Things couldn’t be Hare-ier for this little guy up on the hills here in the Highlands of Scotland. It’s obviously quite a tiring job being fluffy and cute and hopping about with your mates up on the hills all day, not to mention dodging the eagles. Well, it certainly took its toll on this cute wee fella who had to stop and chill, or warm, in his little snow den for while. One of our first guests of the season caught this shot and a great deal more during their recent stay here at Firhall. A professional artist by day, and amateur photographer at the weekends, we were fortunate enough to host Sonas Maclean and her partner Scott for part of their creature snapping excursion this week. Born and raised in Caithness in the far north of Scotland, Sonas finds inspiration in the landscape and it’s moods. However, fast moving little critters and bitter weather do not make for an easy and pleasant afternoon’s painting, especially when it’s in the minus figures on the side of the Mountains! This is why photography has become such a useful tool for artists. Being able to capture the natural poses of the animals in situ and then paint them in detail later is so helpful.
After a short drive to the west of Slochd, Sonas and Scott parked up and started their hike in search of these endangered Mountain Hares. I was surprised to hear that these gorgeous little creatures are surprisingly tolerant of people moving around quietly near them and Scott explained that he was only a few feet away in some cases. Stuart and I are now going to have to go in search of these cute wee beasties ourselves, they look so amazing. We have always been fascinated with the range of incredible wildlife right here in the Cairngorms National Park, it is a huge part of the inspiration for our decor at Firhall. Our Hare Room is just like that little den, only perhaps with a little more luxury and certainly a lot more comfortable. Thank you to Sonas for sharing some of your incredible shots and we look forward to maybe seeing one of these little hairy guys in your next piece of work. Take a look at Sonas’ beautiful work on her website or at an exhibition near you.