Snowshoe Hare

     It’s that time of the year when the snowshoe hare changes the color of its’ coat from white to brown.  Snowshoe hare moult every year in the spring and again in the fall to help camouflage themselves from predators.  The moulting process doesn’t happen overnight and on year’s like this year that can pose a problem.    

<%image(20070329-snowshoe-hare.jpg|260|205|snowshoe hare)%>

The snowshoe hare blends in perfectly with it’s white fur in the winter.  The thick fur on its’ feet help it to stay on top of the snow, just like snowshoes.  When the temperatures begin to warm up they begin to moult their fur.  The melting of snow is generally a gradual process but when temperatures are in the 60 degree range the snow can disappear almost instantly.  That is what happened this year leaving the stark white snowshoe hare an easy target in a brown or green forest.  

     The snowshoe hare is also in the process of mating this time of year.  This keeps them hopping in more ways than one.  I’ve never seen the mating of snowshoe hares but it is said they hop over one another like they are playing the game of leapfrog.  This would be something neat to see.  You can find out more interesting facts about the snowshoe hare at this website.