Monday, June 29, 2020

Black-Tailed Jackrabbit

I have had a banner spring/summer for black-tailed jackrabbits. I am seeing lots of them and I am getting great photos. I am also falling in love with them. 

On Saturday, June 27, it was about 104 degrees when I was in the Hayfield Road vicinity, 11 degrees warmer than the hottest I'd been there previously. I noticed a huge change in the jackrabbits. Instead of flushing them from bushes, I visited two rock formations and flushed three of them from just those two. This is the first time in 11 weeks that I'd seen a jackrabbit near either of those sets of rocks. The first two rabbits were sheltering under large rocks. I investigated and found the depressions where they were resting and their tracks. The third was actually on a rock, sheltering on the shady side. Although it was some distance from where I've previously seen my jackrabbit friend, I think it was him/her again. It stayed in place until I got quite close, then walked forward and hid behind a small tree in front of the rock just a couple of feet from me. I got too close, just a foot or two, and spooked it, but got some great photos of  it running. 
Here is my rabbit buddy standing on a large boulder in the shade of an even larger boulder. 
Here it is running away.
Near Corn Springs I photographed five different jackrabbits and probably saw a few more. Several of them were just off the side of the road and I took many, many pictures from my car. 
Here is a rabbit near the palm tree oasis, sheltering in the shade of a tree. 
A different rabbit sheltering off the side of the road. 
This rabbit was under a tree off the side of the road and I took many photos of it, but I don't really love any of the photos. The rabbit appears tawnier, less gray, than the other rabbits, and a little fatter. I don't see any other species of jackrabbit within this range - I suppose it could be a separate subspecies? 
One more photo of it. 
This rabbit was fun. He was just off the side of the road and he was on alert.
I had some other photos that were blurry of it in positions I'd not photographed before. I love this photo showing the very long black tail. 
This is mega-alert, body taut, ears up high like radar. 

Finally, this last rabbit was near the edge of the road and I probably took 60 photos of it. I love the big eyes with a round white-goggle ring around the eye. 
Its ears were heavily notched. 
Its large tail from a sitting position. This photo does not give a hint as to how long the tail actually is. 
A better view of the eye.

The eyes set on the opposite sides of its head give it almost a 360 degree view. They do have a small blind spot immediately in front of them.