Jack of All Rabbits

[Long description: A creosote (Larrea tridentata) flat, with rolling basalt hills in the distance. It's been baked a sunset auburn and peach. In the foreground is some sort of little hare spirit, carrying a bushy branch of desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides) as, well, a broom.]

July 17, 2020

A favorite pastime is imagining what the creosote flats might have looked like where I live, before they got paved over. Such a long-lived community of plants-- spreading horizon-to-horizon in every direction-- makes it something like a city itself. I am fortunate to live near a fragment of such a community.

Somewhat unrelated... but I recently learned of Tu'er Shen, the Rabbit God, a Chinese deity who is the patron of gay love. That led me down a wild websearch hole that ended with me watching a short film called Kiss of the Rabbit God, which I like a whole lot (Warning for injury and blood, if you intend to watch.)

So, I have had hares and rabbits on my mind. I'm well acquainted with our local desert cottontails (Sylvilagus audubonii), who I regularly cross paths with, but I rarely am so fortunate as to meet a black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) in the flesh. Something about the prominent iris and sclera of hares makes them very arresting. They're tied with mockingbirds as “SW desert animals that would most likely be a part of the greek chorus” to me.