Hare or Rabbit?, free downloadable art, inspiration, an Etsy coupon, and more...
Welcome! So happy you stopped by! All the work up until now is paying off - the garden is shaping up beautifully! The roses are in full bloom and the tomato plants have baby tomatoes - so exciting! I'm alternating between working in the garden and working on the book - all good!
Glenna, the young brown hare, gets an Important Letter!
Glenna and Graham are characters in my WIP book,"Milkweed Manor." At the time of the book, Glenna is a senior citizen hare living with her husband, Graham, at the Inn at Ivy Knoll. Their youngest daughter, Evie, now runs the Inn. What I have for you here is a look back in time - a peek at how the relationship between Glenna and Graham began. Enjoy!
Dear Miss Glenna,
A fortnight ago, whilst journeying to see my dear Sister in Henley-on-Thames, I had the pleasure of an overnight stay at your parent’s delightful establishment, and it has taken that full fortnight to summon the courage to compose this missive. Writing, as a virtual stranger, to a gentle young lady as yourself is an act of boldness, and I am not ordinarily bold. But I so enjoyed making your acquaintance that I am impelled to make contact once again.
It would indeed be an honor if you were to remember me. But should my identity be a mystery, perhaps reminding you of our conversation in the garden the afternoon I arrived, a conversation in which we spoke of our mutual admiration of Beatrix Potter’s writings, will bring my visage to mind.
Furthermore, before dinner you honored me with a tour of the glorious gardens you and your mother so expertly tend and we both remarked on the vivid blue of the aquilegia. Dinner with you, your parents, and your charming young siblings was a lively affair and a culinary delight. I gave my sincerest compliments to your mother and also, most enthusiastically, to you as the creator of that marvelous carrot chiffon cake – a “perfect bake,” as they say!
In a week’s time I shall embark on my return journey and will stay, once again, at the Inn at Ivy Knoll. I delightedly anticipate seeing you and furthering our acquaintance. But, dear lady, if that prospect is in any way distasteful to you, I pray that, immediately on my arrival, you so inform me and in that eventuality I will keep a respectful distance. Please do not hesitate in this regard as there is nothing of which I would less rather be guilty than causing you pain or discomfort.
What a strange day! I received a letter in the post. This is my very first letter, remarkable in itself, but what a letter! It seems I have a budding admirer – another first! He is a young gentleman who stopped at the inn a fortnight ago. He thought I might not remember him but, in fact, I remember him very well. He is so handsome with those big brown eyes! But not full of himself – humble, to his great credit. And he is learned. He knows Beatrix Potter as well as I, and is schooled in the identification of plants. His handwriting is first rate – truly the sign of a gentleman. Oh, and he certainly appreciated my baking!
And as if all this weren’t news enough, he’s coming back – in a week! I don’t know how I’ll sleep tonight, I’m so excited. I know I need to calm down and act in a dignified manner when he arrives. Tomorrow I’m going to show mama the letter. I wonder what she’ll say!
Rabbits (pictured on the left) and hares (pictured on the right) are both members of the Leporidae animal family. Within that family, one genus, Lepus, comprises the hares while the other half-dozen are rabbits. They look so similar! What are the differences? Here are the main ones.
Rabbits have a round compact body shape while hares are long and lean and have strikingly long legs.
Both have long ears, but the hare's are longer and tipped with black.
Hares are born in grass nests on the ground, fully furred and with their eyes open. They're ready to escape predators soon after birth. The babies are called leverets. Rabbits bear their young (with a few exceptions) in underground burrows. The babies are called "kits" and are born hairless with their eyes closed.
The rabbit's strategy for escaping predators is hiding. On the other hand, the hare's strategy is to run - hence the long legs. They are very fast and have a lot of stamina.
A common hare in the US is the jackrabbit. The cottontail is a common rabbit. I'm crazy about both of them, but especially favor the hare! Sadly, the European brown hare (my characters are European brown hares) are dying out in many parts of the UK because their habitat is threatened by modern farming practices. For more information about hares, visit the Hare Preservation Trust page on Facebook.
The Inn at Ivy Knoll
I just couldn't resist making another fairy garden this spring and I decided that I would make my building a replica of the Inn at Ivy Knoll. That's where my hare characters live in my book-in-progress "Milkweed Manor." Of course I couldn't make an exact replica in a stoneware building so small (about 9" to the top of the chimney) but it's close.
Carving all the separate stones in the clay was tedious, as was glazing them. But it was worth the effort. The door is weathered wood and the windows are real glass. I've planted miniature ivy in three places at the base of the walls and I'll train it up the walls as it grows.
Next to making the Inn, the most fun part was planting the garden. I used blue star creeper, elfin thyme, violas, violets, and a few other plants whose names I don't remember. The garden is in a redwood box approximately 24" on each side, and I planted a sour cherry tree in the center which, I'm hoping, will give it a bit of shade in time. I have drip irrigation to be sure it stays watered.
There are many beautiful scenes in my garden, but I think this is the one I enjoy most. I can sit in front of it and just lose myself. Very peaceful.
June is a great month for gardening, so I'm offering you, my precious subscribers, a 20% discount in my Etsy shop. The offer applies to everything in the shop - all items hand made by me - including this stoneware house for a fairy garden. From June 3 to June 15, just use discount code FAIRYGARDEN20 at checkout. I ship the day after I receive your order, and shipping is free. Click on the image to the left to go to my shop!
This Month’s Free Downloadable Art - Glenna as a Young Hare
Click on the image and it will open in a new window (from dropbox.com). You’ll see the image, and at the upper right of the window you’ll see three little dots. Click on them to open a menu, then choose “download.” This file is 2mb. Please note that I’m sharing this image for your personal use only.
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