David, on Easter Day, saw hares out getting something to eat and following their Mad March routine. This was near Portmahomak.
The picture of hares was taken near Portmahomach this morning – Easter Monday. The smaller animal in the centre with ears down is probably a female and the other three are males.
The original Easter animal was the Ostern Hase (Easter Hare) first recorded in the Rheinland in the 15th century, but possibly much older, as hares are associated with the moon and Easter is a festival timed by the full moon of the vernal equinox. In some towns in the Rhineland and Southern German the Ostern Hase still appears on Easter Monday and hands out eggs to children. Those who know their lagomorphs will realise that chocolate “bunnies” such as the Lindt ones, designed in Switzerland and prevalent in shops at the moment are actually hares – have a look at their ears!
When German settlers went to America in the 18th & 19th century the animal in this tradition evolved into the Easter Bunny and that strange fluffy creature has since migrated back to this side of the Atlantic.