Friday, October 31, 2014

The Colours of Halloween, Woof Edition

Beckett, first introduced to many in Life, Measured Out In Labradors: An Essay. Photograph by Michael Rowe. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Colors of Halloween

Halloween always seemed like a holiday designed by teenagers.  And so, as is always the case, the best way to ruin it is to have adults in on the joke.

Today, it seems that about half of the things that used to make Halloween fun have been mainstreamed into everyday living, and the other half have been outlawed and expunged from modern society all together.

What is left is the colors of Halloween.

Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Falconry and Sheep Herding Exhibition

This time of year, fairs and festivals are bountiful.  Local New England towns take turns hosting and showcasing.

The animals exhibitions are often the best part.  Here, falconry and sheep herding are perfect touchstones.

Harris's Hawk

Many consider Falconry the oldest of all hunting sports, dating back over 4,000 years.

What is Falconry?  The North American Falconers Association explains (link).


This is what the Eagle-Owl does when it sees a dog, which in this case, was a well behaved Border Collie.


If interested, click to the British Falconers Club website to watch an 11 minute video on the Grey Partridge conversation efforts (Link).

This Romney sheep breeder was generous with her knowledge and answered questions ranging from the spinning of her wool, to slaughtering techniques to rodent control (she favors black snakes over poison).

Smart Dogs...

...That Want To Work

This Border Collie pup was ready to learn from the big dogs.

Border Collie History at American Kennel Club

"The original Romney Marsh sheep were developed on low lying land in Kent and Sussex, adjoining the English Channel. The area was, and still is, exposed and isolated, so that a hardy breed of sheep was produced requiring the minimum of attention. They have little interest in straying off and require a minimum of fencing. The breed expanded over the rest of the South East of England and became known as Kent Sheep. It then spread all over the world and the name Romney came into general use." - Romney Sheep Breeders Association

She also spoke of breeding for color and the challenges of managing dominant and recessive genes.

I had sheep (and a Shetland Sheepdog) growing up so it is always wonderful to experience the texture and aroma of sheep.

And one never forgets where they like to be scratched.

Some prefer wool when they sleep.