I crossed the Maine border a little after 9:00 on Monday night, and as I drove up 95 past Saco, I was startled by a white blur jumping at the side of the road. It was a small hare -- I know it was a hare and not a rabbit because it was white, and rabbits don't change color in winter -- and it moved fast back into the forest along the highway.
This sighting baffled me for a couple of reasons. I'd always assumed that rabbits and hares hibernate, and I also hadn't thought they were truly nocturnal. You tend to see them at dawn and dusk.
So I looked it up, and it turns out that rabbits and hares don't hibernate, although they do slow down in winter. And hares, particularly, are nocturnal.
"It's good luck to see a rabbit," my friend MaryAnn said, when I told my pub trivia team about it last night. We're not sure whether that extends to hare sightings, but I'm assuming it does; I need the luck.
It feels like a good way to end an extraordinary year. It hasn't been a bad year for me, as it has been for so many people I know, but it's had tremendous challenges and more than my fair share of opportunities. I have many reasons to feel optimistic about 2009, and I hope that you do, too. Happy new year.
Five Random Songs
"In the Still of the Night," The Neville Brothers. A cover of the Cole Porter classic, from the collection Red, Hot + Blue.
"Motel Blues," Loudon Wainwright III. Modern alt-country from a Yep Roc sampler.
"The End of My Pirate Days," Mary Chapin Carpenter. "And those who need adventure, they can sail the seven seas/And those who search for treasure, they must live on grander dreams..." Too sad for me today. Next.
"God Bless the Kid," The Blue Nile. From Peace at Last, the Blue Nile album I listen to least. No reason for that; I just prefer High and A Walk Across the Rooftops.
"Hugo!", Too Much Joy. A song of praise to Gang of Four drummer Hugo Burnham. "Hugo, Hugo/Hugo doesn't have these faults/Hugo, Hugo/He is pure and he is good."