An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Archive for February 17, 2010

Welcome to a photographic journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England

Here I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photographs from my forthcoming book Naturally Curious. I’ll be updating my blog periodically with new images, new stories, and more glimpses of New England in all seasons.

SNOWSHOE HARE SIGN

In New England the scat and urine of snowshoe hares are much more evident in winter than in the summer, as they are so much easier to see against the white snow. Like rabbits, snowshoe hares produce two forms of scat – the initial form consists of soft, green partially-digested pellets which are eaten by the hare directly from its anus and reingested. The second time through the pellets are more firm and have a distinct woody appearance due to the hare’s winter diet of buds, branches and bark. Every bit of nutrition is extracted through this process and it also allows the hare to eat rapidly and then to safely reingest its food in a sheltered spot. The reddish-orange hue of snowshoe hare urine is particularly striking and is thought to be caused by its diet.