We met a man on the trail, a burly man with a shaved head. The kind of man who has trouble tattooed all over him. He had a burly voice too, when he spoke to us. He said, “Look. There’s a bunny.” He pointed off the trail.
Sure enough, a bunny. The burly bunny man went on his way. The question then became, is this the red-listed (i.e., extirpated, endangered or threatened) washingtoni race of the Sbowshoe Hare, Lepus americanus, or is it an Eastern Cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus, a species from eastern and central North America introduced into Washington State early in the 1900s that has since spread into southern mainland BC . Chillliwack is within the known range of both taxa, both of these “bunnies,” and the two are not always easy to tell apart. They are both small brown rabbits encountered in scrubby places. Snowshoe Hares have larger feet, but both species are morphometrically uncooperative.
Ahh, there’s the answer. The rufous nape of the neck. Cottontail. It’s almost always a cottontail.
Whichever, it’s always a bunny.