Hare and Snail Adventures.
The History of Hare and Snail.
Hare and Snail came about when my children were young and asking questions about insects while we were out walking. I always carried a camera with me, until cameras became part of smartphones, then I always had a good camera on my phone. All of a sudden I would stop, my children would wait patiently for me to take the photograph and off we would go (they laugh about it now they're all gown up).While looking through the photographs later, we would try and identify what we'd found. They would ask things like "can we touch it?" "where does it live?" or "will it bite?". Their need to understand the nature around them was obvious, but how do I explain?
As a child, I used to carry the little Collin's Gems books, which was great for identification, if one was a good reader, I wanted to try and convey to my young children the answers to their questions.
I found that with illustrations, I was able to show my children, whether the bug could be touched, where it could be found, what it ate, whether it had a sting or a bite, or with regards to a wildflower , how it was pollinated, where to find it and so on.
Sadly, none of these original illustrations exist anymore. Technology has advanced so much and we have moved around a fair bit. Hence why I started again, using mostly watercolour and then later experimenting with ink, which can be a sharper colour. Maybe by the time I have grandchildren, there will be a book they can look at.
Hare and Snail originally began as two snails, a mother and a child. Later, mother snail became a cat (as we had cats by then) but cats are predators and don't have a great deal of interest in the garden, unless it's a shrew, or a mouse and our cat ran away from spiders! When we had rabbits, and I was able to sketch from them, the cat became a rabbit. It wasn't until much later, in fact, once the children had grown up, the rabbit became a hare.
I began using Hare as opposed to Rabbit because although they are crepuscular like rabbits, they live above the ground. They are not quite as flighty as rabbits, hares don't over populate (where there's one, the chances are, there will be a dozen others. Also, hares have an air of mysticism.
Hares are said to symbolise fertility, creation, new beginnings, solitude and focus. They are strong, masters of camouflage and clever. As I looked around the internet for affirmation of my understanding, I also discovered that people who feel close to hares are often artistic, sensitive and untame-able (though some have tried!).
The snail also has it's own symbolism, of patience, evolution and healing.
Because Hare is bigger, more attuned to the spiritual, Hare would explain about the bigger things, the animals and birds, the ebb and flow of the days and seasons and also the predators and friends. Snail's role is to explain about the smaller things, the other insects, flowers and plants.
Together they embark on a lifelong adventure, exploring the countryside around them, teaching each other about the worlds each of them live in and although, seemingly far apart, they are also part of the ever evolving, ever unfolding universe.