Harry Hare checks out the garden

He pops in of an evening, and laconically lopes around the place, seemingly heedless of Kali cat’s presence, though always on the lookout in case she should pounce out of nowhere. Yesterday I managed to catch him through the camera lens during his inspection routine.

While rabbits are two a penny, and Kali cat brings in a young specimen nearly every day to crunch under the dining table, hares are much more rare. Still, there are about three handsome specimens bounding through the fields around us, and it’s always a delight to see them. One is as large as a small dog.

My little photo book, designed for the delight of the grandsons, is developing slowly, but Harry Hare makes a good addition. I shall have to make up a story to go with the photos, much as I have done for some of the garden birds I’ve captured already.

There’s Mr and Mrs Blackbird, and their growing offspring; Mr and Mrs Greenfinch; Mr and Mrs Sparrow; Mr/Mrs Starling; Mr/Mrs Jackdaw; Mr and Mrs Goldfinch; Mr Chaffinch and offspring (Mrs Chaffinch, so far, is very shy); Mr and Mrs Collared Dove. A soaring curlew caught in the air by our son on an afternoon’s walk with the camera. And Earnest the neighbour’s pea cock, Gordon the guinea fowl, and Mr Drake and Mrs Duck splashing in the pond. Then too there’s adorable Doris, the little princess cocker spaniel from next door, and handsome old Plough stoically enduring this heatwave in his horse box.

Birds and Animals of Our Garden — it feels like a project for the laziest of summer afternoons, but to be honest, and perhaps more realistically, I hope it will be finished in time for a Christmas stocking.

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