Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy May Day!

Maypole card by Cindy Hendricks

 Happy May Day.  I always loved this old fashioned holiday from my childhood.  We made up little baskets of flowers and left them on neighbors doorsteps.  In school we crowned our Virgin Mary statue with flowers after a special procession.


If you are not familiar with this holiday... a little history...May Day began as a festival to honor Flora, the Roman Goddess of flowers.  It became a more secular event  known for the tradition of dancing around the Maypole and crowning the Queen of May.  May first was the first day of summer in ancient cultures with June 21 being the summer solstice or Midsummer.

Pansies and violas

To celebrate this year I visited the NC Arboretum to see what was in bloom since my last visit.  A whole new array of flowers made for a great day of hiking and taking photos!  What is in bloom near you?

Tulips in all colors

Another iris

Tulips in white and deep maroon




Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Blooms

All my azaleas
My yard is full of color right now with the azaleas blooming.  As I have said before, the previous owners had a landscaping business and we are reaping the wonderful results!  Leaving you with a bountiful assortment of blooms and wishing you a wonderful Easter!


Pink flame azalea


Lily of the valley


Blue bell

Scenic Sunday

Straight  Out of the Camera Sunday
Macro Monday
Mosaic Monday

Friday, April 8, 2011

Revisiting Full Moon Farm, A Wolf-Dog Rescue and Sanctuary

The many faces of wolfdogs. Photos courtesy of Full Moon Farm.

April is Prevention of Cruelty Month sponsored by ASPCA. In honor of their effort to stop animal abuse I am dedicating this post to our neighbors at Full Moon Farm who rescue wolfdogs.

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

This is a repost from two years ago but this wonderful place is having a tough time financially and could use some support.  They rescue wolfdogs - dogs bred with wolves that have been given up or taken from their owners.  Please do read and share!

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 with each other surrounded by the wolfdog habitats. Later after dark the fire pit is glowing and music and tales are shared.

Banjo and Yeddy 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 wolfdogs 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. All 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 pen mate 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 wolfdogs (wolf hybrid). 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.

Aries - photo courtesy of Full Moon Farm.

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 Full Moon Farm in Black Mountain, NC.  They also have a Facebook page hosted by River the official Amasssadog to Full Moon Farm and an overall Facebook page - follow their activites and Like them!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Whites

We had warm summer like days over the weekend and I took a short drive to go renewed my Arboretum membership. With camera in hand I spent the better part of the afternoon wandering among the flowering beauties of spring. So many of the plants in bloom were white and contrasted beautifully against the Carolina blue sky!

Spring snow flakes

Flowering quince

Bradford pears

Bridal veil
I hope you enjoyed the flower tour - I will be posting more blooms over the weekend - the pinks were glorious too.  Happy Wednesday!


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