by | Mar 10, 2024 | Ground Work | 4 comments

Seems I’ve seen a jackrabbit, or three, on every hike I’ve taken this winter. Black-tailed jackrabbits, or American desert hares, make the same habitat as mine their home (that is, the desert Southwest), or perhaps more accurately, I make my home in their habitat. They were here first, and I feel lucky to share this place with them, along with the many other wild creatures I get glimpses of.

Mostly I see their black tails flashing as they speed away from me, their muscular legs powering them across the desert terrain. But every now and then, I’ll spot one’s spectacular ears far enough in the distance that he’ll stay a while as long as I’m quiet (yes, I know they aren’t all males, but they are all “Jack” to me). Since I often carry binoculars for birdwatching, on the rare days that a jackrabbit pauses in my presence, I might see its ears turning toward me, its nose twitching, its whiskers quivering—all its senses alert to my intentions. Jackrabbits remind me to pay attention to what is happening around me.

Though it’s true that given their proximity, it’s no surprise they’ve crossed my path so often this winter, but it’s also true that I choose to make meaning of it. When I searched for the meaning that Indigenous people ascribe to jackrabbits, the first words that came up were hope,  adaptability, and determination. Those words resonate with me at this particular time in my life. So, now, when Jack crosses my path, as he and his kin did each day I hiked this week, in addition to attention, I’m reflecting on hope, adaptability, and determination.

What are you reflecting on?

artwork by Holly Moxley

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  1. Jenn

    Jackrabbits are so cool!

  2. Evey Jones

    I like those last three words!

  3. Scott Burns

    I love all rabbits and hares. My favorite is the snowshoe hare that turns white in winter in the high mountains. Keep writing!

  4. Yvette Jordan

    I love the way you allow the reader to feel as if she’s with you on your adventures….keep writing, keep sharing; we love this!


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Geologists study the earth and the processes that shape it. Writers study the human heart and the processes that shape it. The GeologistWriter builds a bridge between the two. Come across it with me!

GROUND WORK: Wander the outdoors with me.

VENUS & MARS GO SAILING: Life. Intensified. On the Salish Sea.

FINDING THE WORDS: We all have stories – let's find the words to tell them.


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