Story Behind the Photo: Eastern Cottontail

April 22, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

With Easter Sunday just around the corner, it seemed fitting to share a photo of a bunny today. The Eastern Cottontail is one of the most common rabbits in North America, and this one lives in my next-door neighbor’s front yard amidst their lush landscaping. Known as “Peter Cottontail” around our house, we see him often around dusk venturing out for some dinner.

Rabbits have long been a symbol of fertility and abundance due to thier ability to breed large litters often, especially in early spring. In ancient times, rabbits were the favorite animal of the Germanic goddess of spring, Eastre, symbolizing renewal and fertility in the spring. The exact history is a little vague, but the tradition of a rabbit delivering brightly colored eggs to children on Easter Sunday is thought to have began in Germany in the 1500′s. The tradition was introduced in the United States in the 1800′s by German settlers in Pennsylvania Dutch country. As the tradition spread across the country, the modern day Easter Bunny was born.

I hope you each have a wonderful weekend and a very happy Easter!

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