Meadowland fauna!

On the way to the Stanford Cactus Garden this morning (plant news to come), parked in front of the university’s art museums, facing a meadow of spring wildflowers in the eucalyptus and liveoak woodland that rings the university — when leap! bound! a jackrabbit flashed in the middle of the meadow, then reappeared to sit alert and survey the area.

Pocket gophers, (tree) squirrels, ground squirrels, and chipmunks are all over the Stanford lands, and I’m familiar with jackrabbits from driving across the desert, but a Cardinal jackrabbit — whoa! a double dactyl! — was a new experience for me.

From Wikipedia:

(#1) Black-tailed jackrabbit on alert

The black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus), also known as the American desert hare, is a common hare of the western United States and Mexico, where it is found at elevations from sea level up to 10,000 ft (3,000 m). Reaching a length around 2 ft (61 cm), and a weight from 3 to 6 lb (1.4 to 2.7 kg), the black-tailed jackrabbit is the third-largest North American hare. Black-tailed jackrabbits occupy mixed shrub-grassland terrains.

And a black-tailed jackrabbit in a meadow of Texas bluebonnets (Lupinus), with a celebratory Double Dactyl verse:


Hippity hoppity
Bluebonnet Jackrabbit
Scans the horizon for
Delicate grass to eat
Bundle of quivering
Trusts in the luck of his
Fabulous feet

(with an allusion to the lucky rabbit’s foot).

5 Responses to “Meadowland fauna!”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    Benita Campbell on Facebook:

    Remember Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit tomorrow!

    Rabbits for the first of the month!

  2. Bob Richmond Says:

    Great double dactyl. Your fourth line is a foot too long – “fresh grass to eat” or something. An alternative for the double dactyl might be loporinisciousness.

    I once wrote a quadruple dactyl, about my professor of organic chemistry (though his name didn’t fit the meter).

    Cisity transity,
    Louis F. Fieser who
    tied on the Harvard
    premedical bib.

    Speaking of napalm or
    he’s equally glib.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      No, the fourth line is fine, but it has to be read as:

      délicate gráss to eat (SWW SWW)

      That’s a deliberate messing with the form.

      • Robert Coren Says:

        I dunno. Yes, you’ve forced the line to a double dactyl, but I thought that the fourth line, like the eighth, had to have a single syllable for its second foot.

      • arnold zwicky Says:

        To Robert: yes, I deliberately broke that expectation.

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