My intention was to video a butterfly. To get other images of the Large Marble, to be exact, an insect whose name reminded me of boyhood games where the large marble was the juggernaut that knocked the ordinary marbles out of the ring in the dirt. No sooner had I got set up, backed up discreetly against a tall fennel bush for light camouflage, than a jackrabbit emerged a few paces west and hopped at top speed away. OK, I thought, I was too surprised and slow to capture that. But then minutes later, the same rabbit came back, approached, sniffed the tall grass, and once again hightailed it west. Not three minutes thereafter, it returned, and this time, after a brief hesitation, it raced right in front of me, three paces away, so fast that I could not step to the other side of my tripod and pivot the camera in time to catch its tail. That was a brave thing for it to do.
This hare was brave in another sense also. Somewhere in its earlier life it had lost a piece of its right ear. A deep notch at the tip told a tale of an encounter with something sharp — a canine tooth? Yet despite this earlier trauma, the coney ranged freely and with little fear of the cameraman and his equipment. Of course, I’m not a canine, just a featherless biped, as my high school science teacher was fond of saying.