Haibun: Mountain Layers

 

a blue whippet in a black winter jacket climbing a mountain with snow fields in the background

 

We tiptoe through layers of grass, brown heather and stone. The mountain’s steady pulse becomes our anchor with the wind whirling around her boulders. We can rest here. We can sip from the rising spring.

sunlight swims
between the melting snow fields
this wildness

© Xenia Tran

 

two whippets in black winter jackets climbing a mountain trail

 

landscape shot of a mountain trail leading towards a corrie with snow fields near the peaks

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100, f/3.2 – 1/1600 s – ISO 160 and f/4.5 – 1/1250 s – ISO 160.

 

dVerse Poets Quadrille #74: Sip

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Layer

 

Helping the Hounds of Macau

 

a black whippet with a green collar sitting on a blanket and green sofa

 

We want to share a story with you today about greyhounds that have been racing far away, in the Canidrome at Macau. Greyhound breeders from Australia sent their slower dogs here without much regard for their welfare. The ground on the track was hard, the facilities for the greyhounds were poor. Many were injured, many were put down if they weren’t fast enough. Animal welfare campaigners have been raising their concerns for years. Finally, in 2016, the decision was made by Macau officials that the Canidrome had to close. The owners were given two years’ notice. They were obliged to arrange a suitable rehoming programme for 650 dogs. When the Canidrome closed its doors in July 2018, 532 dogs were left inside, in urgent need of rehoming.

Local charity Anima (Society for the Protection of Animals in Macau) appealed for help to save the dogs. Volunteers began pouring into the Canidrome to help clean the kennels and care for the animals. An international rehoming programme was launched with the help of Pet Levrieri (Italy) for Europe and GREY2K USA Worldwide for the USA and Canada.

 

Kennel Sponsorship Certificate for Macau Greyhounds at Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary

 

We are sponsoring a kennel for the Macau dogs at the Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary. This weekend five of the six dogs (aged between 5 and 8) arrived at Heathrow airport and are now safely recuperating from their long journey in their foster homes in Scotland. One more dog, aged 13 (Hong Kong Ace in the photograph above) will arrive in March. There are several other senior dogs still to be rehomed in Europe of which six will go to Italy, five to the UK and one to France.

The key to the success of this programme is the help and goodwill of many people working together. Every positive contribution has played its part, however small. Watching video footage of Heathrow’s Animal Team handlers walking through the sliding glass doors and handing dogs over to volunteers from various greyhound charities has brought tears to our companion’s eyes. Tears of joy. After everything these dogs have been through, some were smiling and wagging their tails. It’s as if they know that a happier life is ready to begin. The kind of life that every dog deserves. With walks in nature. A loving place to call home.

 

close up of a blue whippet with a pink collar looking up at the camera

 

For up to date information about the rescue and rehoming operation you can visit Save the Macau Greyhounds’ Facebook page.

The National Greyhound Adoption Program in the USA has taken one hundred of the Macau hounds in for rehoming in the USA. If you are in the US and interested in adopting or offering help, please contact them in the first instance.

Pet Levrieri in Italy have been co-ordinating the rehoming of the hounds throughout Europe and currently have dogs in foster and waiting for rehoming.

Levriers en Détresse is rehoming dogs in France and Greyhound Protection is rehoming dogs in Germany.

Several UK charities are taking in fifty dogs rescued from the Canidrome between them, of which Celia Cross Greyhound Trust is helping to rehome twenty.

Forever Hounds Trust is taking in three and have set up a Just Giving page.

We are supporting the Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary who are taking six dogs in total. They have a special sponsorship programme for the Macau greyhounds which remains open until April.

Some of the other UK charities involved are Erin Hounds Sighthound Rescue, Foal Farm Animal Rescue Centre, the Greyhound Awareness League (GAL), Greyhound Gap, Greyhound Rescue and Co-ordinated Emergencies (GRACE) and Makants Greyhound Rescue North West.

If you know anyone who might be interested in helping or adopting, please share. The remaining greyhounds are scheduled to arrive by the end of March.

Please help us say a prayer that they will all arrive safely in their new homes to enjoy a happy and loving retirement

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/125 s – ISO 100, f/3.2 – 1/2000 s – ISO 160 and f/2.8 – 1/400 s – ISO 160.

 

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Key

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Surface

 

Haiku: Snow Dunes

 

a blue whippet in a purple and black winterjacket in snow-covered dunes

 

the earth’s hum
a promise of new growth
beneath the snow

© Xenia Tran

 

a blue whippet in a purple and black winter jacket in snow-covered dunes

 

a blue whippet in a purple and black winter jacket and a black whippet in a blue and black winter jacket walking through snow-covered dunes

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100, f/2.8 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100 and f/3.5 – 1/1600 s – ISO 100.

 

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Growth

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Hum

 

Haiku: After the Storm

Rosehall Forest

 

two whippets in maroon winter jackets on a forest trail, looking to their left

 

fallen trees
finding their balance
after the storm

© Xenia Tran

 

a black whippet in a maroon winter jacket walking underneath a fallen pine tree straddling the trail

 

a blue whippet in a maroon winter jacket running along the forest trail beneath the fallen pine

Returning to Rosehall Forest after the gales we were surprised to see so many fallen trees perfectly balanced across the trail. In time the Forestry Commission will decide what will be done with them. The wood from windfall has been used for signage, seating, bridges and the building of the visitor log cabin, while other logs are left for moss and lichen to grow and form new wildlife habitats.

Wishing you all a very happy Tuesday and a wonderful rest of the week!

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/30 s – ISO 200 and f/3.5 – 1/50 s – ISO 200.

 

Carpe Diem #1592: Storm

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Balance

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Challenge: Rose

 

A Walk in Rosehall Forest

 

 

On days with forecast showers we love to walk in the forests. To avoid the crowds in the National Park, we headed for Rosehall Forest in Sutherland. With a mixture of pine, spruce, firs and beech, there is always some tree-cover close by when we need it.

The log cabin that welcomes us by the car park was built by community volunteers. It has a few chairs and tables and information boards which tell you about the history of the forest. Since most of the nearby cafes are closed for Winter, this is a good spot for a picnic when it rains.

 

two whippets in black winter jackets on a forest trail beside young trees and brown grass

 

A former deer park, Rosehall Forest is now owned by the forestry commission. Horse-drawn carriages used to travel along these wider tracks. Today the track is used as a logging road and part of a sustainable working forest.

 

a blue whippet in a black winter jacket running on a narrow forest trail

 

There are several narrow paths off the main track, which are great for whippet zoomies. You can walk in a loop or follow these paths deeper into one section of the forest and link up with other paths later. The suggested trails combine into a 9km/5.5 mile walk and you can extend this further if you want to.

 

view of a flowing stream from the forest trail above in Winter

 

The main path continues to climb and crosses a flowing burn with moss-covered banks. The sound of water tumbling over the stones follows us into the forest.

 

a sign with a poem about the otter on the bank of a flowing stream in Rosehall Forest

 

On the banks of the burn that flows through the forest we find a sign designed by pupils from the local primary school. It has a picture of an otter and a poem that reads:

I catch only a glimmer
as you shine and shimmer
for a second in the sunlit water
I wish I could dive and slide and play
and share your world for just one day

 

two whippets in black winter jackets walking side by side down a narrow forest trail

 

The paths between the trees are soft underfoot and very kind on the pads of dogs too. The banks on either side are covered in pale grass, moss and winter heather.

 

lr-1530474 ww

 

At the highest point of the trail the light is bright, even in the drizzle. Green grass grows among the gold. Climbing over the brow we catch a glimpse of Strath Oykel.

 

a black whippet in a black winter jacket climbing onto a bank beside a forest trail

 

The forest is home to sika deer and other wildlife. Although Eivor is curious about deer, he won’t chase them. If you’re walking here with dogs with a strong instinct for hunting, this is a good place to keep them close or put them on the lead before descending back into the deeper forest.

 

a black whippet in a black winter jacket looking between the trees from a forest trail

 

The path winds further down to join the main path where we started our walk. Some of the mosses and lichens that grow on the lower ground are very similar to those found in the Celtic rainforests of the West.

 

close up shot of raindrops hanging of the branch of a fir tree

We hope you enjoyed our little stroll in the rain. There will be a few more images from the trail in tomorrow’s post Part of Our World.

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

 

Jo’s Monday Walk

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Angle

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Bank

 

Haibun: Into the Breeze

 

a black whippet in a maroon and grey winter jacket enjoying the breeze along the shingle shore

 

The weather changes daily. We celebrate the mild when it rains, the sun’s rays and clear blue skies on colder days. It’s the kindest Winter we’ve known since moving to the Highlands.

skipping the season
a pile of books waits
for snow to fall

© Xenia Tran

 

close up shot of a blue whippet in a grey and maroon winter jacket running towards the camera

 

seals sleeping on a sandbar with oystercatchers and seagulls feeding along the shore

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5, 1/1600 s, ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/1250 s, ISO 100 and f/4, 1/500 s, ISO 100.

 

dVerse Poets Quadrille #71: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Breeze

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Collection

 

Haiku: Winter Dawn

 

two whippets in winter jackets on a forest trail, one sniffing the ground

 

among the gold
fresh grass grows
winter dawn

© Xenia Tran

 

a blue whippet in a maroon winter jacket bending down on a forest trail to sniff some fresh grass

 

two whippets in maroon winter jackets bending down side by side to sniff the grass on a forest trail

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2, 1/25 s, ISO 200 and f/3.5, 1/20 s, ISO 200.

 

Carpe Diem #1576: Dawn

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Gentle

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pairs