A Flop Has Occurred
We always knew there was a rabbit frequenting our backyard. In the winter we’d see tracks around the bottom of our bird feeder, and some mornings when we headed to the driveway for our daily commute, we’d see his ears sticking up amongst the neighbor’s shrubs.
But before 2020, we never paid that rabbit very much attention. We were busy with the daily grind, and what happened at night while we slept, or during the day while we were at the office, wasn’t top of mind.
During 2020 –– when leaving the house became a rare and daunting adventure –– we suddenly got to know our resident rabbit. He is, in fact, a whitetailed jackrabbit, more formally known as a prairie hare. It was Easter Sunday when he hopped up to our basement window, and after being deprived of wildlife photography for more than a month, we scrambled to take photos of him. He happily chewed on grass while we blazed away with our long lenses.
Soon we realized he wasn’t alone –– a few hares liked to visit our yard. During the winter, they’d graze on seeds that were knocked from our bird feeder, and if the snow was light enough, they’d push it aside to eat grass. During the summer they feasted on dandelions and clover. And because they’re urban hares –– the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada equivalent of raccoons –– they really didn’t mind us at all.
In fact, one particular hare would hop right up to us, and as the months dragged on, we got to know him –– or, at least, a fantastic version of him.
Mister Bigflop is a special hare. He’s curious and clever, thoughtful and brave. He can hop fast and far, and is always willing to help a friend in need. He’s an adventurer who crosses Canada’s vast landscapes, meets all sorts of wild animals, and helps us all learn a little about their behaviors.
And thanks to many months stuck at home, we’ve amassed enough photos to tell his stories.
I’m pleased to report that Iceberg Publishing is launching a series of children’s adventure stories featuring Mister Bigflop –– ‘Flop’ to his friends –– as he helps some of Canada’s wild animals solve mysteries and deal with challenges.
Leaning on our professional experience as science communicators, Jeannine and I are shaping these stories around real animal behaviors, with a bit of adventure and humor mixed in.
These are books that can be read by or to children who are interested in nature, wildlife, or helping a friend. All the images are original –– taken by one of the Iceberg team using a long lens –– and are digitally composited to suit the stories. None of the animals are domesticated or in captivity, and none of have been fed, lured, or otherwise disturbed during the process.
We’re very excited to have Mister Bigflop join the Iceberg family, and to see who he meets next. We hope you’ll be glad to meet him too. You can find him full-time over at misterbigflop.com, and he’s starting out on social media too –– @mrbigflop.