Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Summer!

Nothing says summer like bright colorful day lilies in bloom. Our yard is covered with them along with all the road sides in town - they plant several feet wide strips of day lilies along all the main highways - lovely to drive by!

For more Mellow Yellow Monday posts click here

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Skies

We have had soooo much rain these past few weeks that I was getting tired of taking pictures of cloudy stormy skies. Today is nice and sunny although hot. I walked up to the ridge and took photos of the blue sky peeking through the tree tops before the heat got too unbearable. The forest is lush and green for the first time in several years - we have had a drought. It has been pretty devastating as much of these mountains are a temperate rain forest normally. It is nice to see it looking healthy again.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mountain Laurel - Outdoor Wednesday

While taking a walk along the trails on our property I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of our Mountain Laurel bushes were in full bloom and we have many! Soft pale pink and white flowers cast a glow in the woods in the under story of our huge hardwoods. It was quite enchanting to see.

Around the house our hydrangeas are in bloom, the tiger lilies and daisies. The single white flower was in the middle of the woods - looks like a morning glory but how it got there I don't know!

For more outdoor photos around the world, check out or click on the Outdoor Wednesday photo in my sidebar.

If you would like to take part in a fun Pay It Forward - getting a samll fun gift from my part of the world - check out my Full Moon Farm post from Sat June 13 for more info - you can leave your comment on any post but just say I'm in or something to that effect!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Full Moon Farm, Black Mountain

A small cemetery for the wolfdogs sits at the entrance to the farm.

Last weekend I attended my first Howl-In at Full Moon Wolfdog Sanctuary (they have Howl-ins several times during the warmer months). Tours of the farm are given during the afternoon and then everyone gathers for a potluck supper under the shelter.

Volunteers, supporters and people interested in wolfdogs bring picnic foods and visit surrounded by the wolfdog habitats. Later after dark the fire pit is glowing and music and tales are shared.

Banjo and Yetti pacing in anticipation of visitors.

Banjo enthusiastically greeting Nancy who has taken care of him since he was a tiny puppy.

When I arrived, things were still getting set up. I wandered into the gift shop perusing the t-shirts, photos, cards and other items sold to support the farm. Nancy arrived and the tour began - she took us from wolfdog to wolfdog habitat explaining about wolddogs in general and about each one in particular.

What is a Wolfdog - it's a dog with recent wolf heritage - a pure wolf ancestor within the last five generations. Dogs are actually viewed by taxonomists as a domestic variant of the gray wolf - even your tiny Chihuahua.

Zodiac, a German Shepherd wolf mix, sleeping through it all. His penmate was a coyote dog mix and she let me pet her. Very soft fur and kind eyes.

Most wolfdogs are mixed with German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky but here they have some strange variations - wolves mixed with Border Collie and Great Pyrenees - not breeds that would work well with wolves since they are bred to protect livestock from wolves! People do strange things.

The one in front is a Border Collie wolf mix. Both were very vocal and friendly.

People actually breed wolfdogs to sell as an exotic breed. The ethical ones keep accurate records, take care in breeding good lines and evaluate and educate potential buyers. Most breeders ar not like this and wolfdogs end up abandoned, abused or worse.

Wolfdogs are not wild animals - they are domestic animals with special needs. They were created by humans and depend on humans for food, care and companionship. They are not aggressive - most wolves are timid around humans and so is your typical wolfdog. They will be hiding when an intruder breaks in. Wolfdogs have a very high prey drive and should not be around small animals and children unless they have been raised with them.

I was able to pet this guy - he was very gentle and sweet. One of the wolfdogs began howling and they all took to letting it rip - what a sound - very eerie and wild to hear this many wolfdogs howling. Not all dogs can howl so some sounded like they were yodeling rather than howling. Pretty impressive!

This wolfdog had lost her mate recently and was alone in her pen.

Full Moon Farm is non profit rescue and sanctuary for wolddogs. They rely solely on donations for survival - money, time or supplies. They rescue wolfdogs in peril, educate the public about wolfdogs and provide a safe healthy and loving environment in which to live out their lives if they are not adoptable.

The farm has 76 wolfdogs at the moment - some are kept away from the public due to severe abuse before they were rescued and their fear of humans. No wolfdogs are bred at the farm - there are too many already in the world and not enough good homes for all.

If you would like more information about wolfdogs, wish to donate or volunteer or even adopt - please contact Nancy at

For more Camera Critters posts around the globe click on the picture here

Camera Critters

Now for a more light hearted turn here is info on the Pay It Forward - a for fun version:

I won Pay It Forward when JC from Lilacs and Cats randomly pulled my number.

This is how it goes -

Two winners will receive a sweet little prize of local handmade items that will come in the mail. All that’s required is that you have to be willing to Pay It Forward.

Here’s how to play: I’m going to take the commentors from this post and randomly select one of them. That winner has to be willing to Pay It Forward by doing the same on their site.

I just got my Pay It Forward gift in the mail on Friday this week.

I had run some errands and came home - walking right by the package. The mailman left it bagged in plastic (we have had torrential afternoon storms) on the edge of my driveway. Don't know why he didn't put it on the porch!

I opened the box and took a photo of the lovely items inside from Oregon - handmade lavender soap, a sweet votive candle holder with several tea candles, a veggie theme cotton dish towel, an organic refillable catnip cat toy which my cats loved, a set funky colorful nail files and some sand dollars from her beach which got a bit smushed in the mail - one did make it here intact!

So, now it's my turn to Pay It Forward. If you want to possibly get some spiffy gifts from a far away place or not so far....please put a yes or a I'm in or what ever you would like ... in the comments section of this post.

I will select one name and contact you when I have chosen. So, tell your blog friends about this little giveaway! You need to have a blog to join in.

Just remember, you have to be willing to do the same if you are selected ...

Good Luck!

This contest will end on Sunday night June 21st at midnight Eastern Standard time. I will count the 'Yes, I'm in ' comments on Monday and I will randomly pick one lucky winner. I'll let you know that day.

To get a better idea of what you like, I will look at your blog to see what you might need or want or what I might think you might like. If you have pets, then I will put in a little something for them too!

So, comment away ... !!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Broad River in Black Mountain

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy recently protected 235 acres on Dill Knob in eastern Buncombe County, safeguarding the headwater streams of the Broad River Watershed. A local family signed a conservation agreement with SAHC, protecting their property in the Swannanoa Mountains, just south of Black Mountain.

The protection of Flat Creek, which runs through the property, prevents sedimentation and other types of pollution from running into the Broad River at its origination before the water flows toward Shelby then reaching South Carolina

These photos are of the broad River as it heads to Bat Cave just below Black Mountain off Route 9. With all the rain, it is running full. Just below this point the river cuts through Hickory Nut Gorge and the towns of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure in Rutherford County.

For more Watery Wednesday posts check out this blog - and for Outdoor Wednesday post visit or go to the side bar and click on the photos.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Storm Clouds over the Mountains

Driving on Route 40 these clouds loomed ahead of us going towards the higher mountains.

Looking east you can see the clouds catching on the peaks and wisps drifting below. Rain day offer such wonderful skies here and I enjoy looking at the variations! Click on the photos to enlarge.

For more Looking at the Sky on Friday posts go to and for Sky Watch Friday posts go to

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Local Organic Produce at Flying Cloud Farm, Fairview

Our local produce stand at Flying Cloud Farm is now open! We have been waiting for this all spring. They grow organic veggies,fruits and flowers so there is lots to check out each day when I drive past. They are unique in that they operate on the honor system - you help yourself to the produce and leave the money in the metal tube. We like that - says a lot about our town and area!

If you would like more info - check out Enjoy the photos!

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