Book Tag: All Creatures Great and Small

When I saw this book tag post on Stargazer, I knew I had to do it too. First because I have loved the James Herriot series All Creatures Great and Small since I was a little girl. I even “named” our homeschool James Herriot Primary. Then second, because I am a big animal lover. Be sure to check out Stargazer’s post too, she has some amazing stories and photos!

  1. What is your favorite animal?

Woodland animal? Desert? Arctic? This all makes a difference, I feel like I have so many! I will keep it simple though, and just name my top two – foxes and rabbits. I’m still considering my tattoo of the dewey decimal number for Vulpes Vulpes.. If we are at the zoo though, the animal I get excited to go see are the zebras. I dig them too.

I have caught glimpses of foxes twice in my life, so fast and quick I was not entirely sure I saw them at all. Both times at twilight, when the light itself is playing tricks. The first time at Shenandoah National Park, one of my very favorite places on earth, and another time in the woods nearish my home. I find them so fascinating, so beautiful. I don’t have a photo of my own handy, so I will share a photo from the Instagram account Juniper Fox. I love cute little Elmwood- and all the work that this account does for animals!

2. What got you interested in animals?

Probably my mom originally. I always loved them when I was really little, I was always drawn to stories with animals and cartoons about animals – like the Canadian cartoon, The Green Forest. We live just close enough to Canada that we were able to watch all the cartoons, including this one. Then one Christmas, when I was around 8 or so, my mom gave me the book series by James Herriot and that was it for me. I was all in.

3. Do you have a pet?

I currently have many. Three rescue cats, 1 leopard gecko, and an anole. Miso, Maggie, and Marlow all came from the shelter I used to volunteer for before I had Wyatt. All three of them have different stories – Miso was from a hoarder house, with over 100 Himalayans in various states of care and neglect sadly. We were able to find just about all of them homes or rescues, and rehab them though so that was a great success story. Maggie was a stray kitten, and Marlow was abandoned in an apartment – his family moved, leaving him behind. Then Harry and Dash are pandemic pets – I discovered a love for little lizards during this past year. I have also had three very special dogs in my life, who are sadly all passed on now – Molly, Chevis, and Penny.

Marlow (my little old man kitty now), Dash, Harry, and Maggie. Miso is at the top of this post.

4. What is your favorite nonfiction book about animals?

I would say My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, and of course, the All Creatures Great and Small series. When Wyatt and I started our homeschool year this year, I bought him a special book to celebrate. I am going to start reading it to him this spring, and I hope it becomes a keepsake book for him.

5. What is your favorite fiction book about animals?

I have read so many, especially when I was a kid. This is a tough one!! For sure Watership Down, my favorite book of all time. I also loved the Big Red series when I was younger. I still dream about one day having an Irish Setter running around my house. I did have an English Setter, Penny. She was another shelter rescue and was the sweetest girl.

6. Have you been part of any animal conservation efforts?

I volunteered for years at our city animal shelter, and served on the board of an animal rescue as well. I donate money to various animal conservation agencies when I can, most recently the Wolf Conservation Center in New York and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

7. What is your top bucket list dream that your would do with animals?

I have quite a few!! I would love to stay at the Giraffe Manor in Kenya, to camp with the wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center (I feel like I could do this one!), and there is always that dream of owning land and opening a rescue.

8. Have you ever dressed up like an animal?

Absolutely, yes. Lol. And my son in his 6 years has dressed up as animals for at two Halloweens. He was the cutest skunk ever!

Do you love animals? Feel free to join in and be sure to link back to the original creator Cari.

Nonfiction November: Bonus Book Pairing Post

Nonfiction November this week is all about book pairings, and I did mine on The Simplicity of Cider and The Cider Revival; however, when I was considering books for that particular post, I thought about adding a second pair and decided not too. I haven’t read the nonfiction half yet, although it is on my TBR for this winter. But then I got an email that made me change my mind. But, books first!

I loved this series by Nevada Barr, and my favorite was Winter Study, set in my own home state of Michigan. I love to read books set here, and I have always been fascinated by Isle Royale, it’s remoteness, and it’s animal inhabitants, especially the wolves. Then a few years ago while at the zoo, we talked to a few scientists who had a table set up about this very topic, the wolves and moose of Isle Royale. They had spent months there studying the population of both, their relationship, and all that good stuff. It was fascinating to talk to them, and afterwards I added this Rolf Peterson book to my TBR.

Which leads me to today when I received an email from the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. (we “adopt” a wolf there every year- this year we adopted Deven) This email was about a free webinar being given by Dr. Rolf Peterson, about the wolf restoration happening on Isle Royale. I just thought the timing was so coincidental, since I had just been thinking about this topic this week! I immediately signed up of course, and I am excitedly looking forward to it. It is November 19th at 6 pm EST, if anyone is interested in signing up as well!

If you do, let me know!


Happy Howly Wolfenoote!

Wolfenoote is a holiday that was imagined by a little boy across the world from me. A holiday he created to honor wolves and also people kind to dogs. It is a simple holiday really – eat roast meat, enjoy a cake made to look like a moon, and if you are a dog lover or kind to dogs, you can hide gifts in your house for loved ones to find. Our family thought this was a fabulous way to spend the day after Thanksgiving, and had a great time making this new holiday a new family tradition! 

We began our celebrations at the Detroit Zoo, where we went to visit the two wolves that live there, Wazi and Kaska. We took our time warming up in the log cabin that houses a photograph gallery that is meant to dispel myths of the danger of wolves and to educate people about this beautiful animal. We usually breeze through, but today really took our time looking around at the exhibit, as well as at Wazi and Kaska. They are both stunning, but Wazi is gorgeous with her white coat. The top photo I took of her in the summer, today they were both taking a nap near the front of the acreage, as the zoo has dedicated two acres to their habitat. 

Afterwards, my husband ate “roast meat” (an Arby’s roast beef sandwich lol) alone, as I am a vegetarian and Wyatt doesn’t like it, but the spirit was there for all of us. And later we opted to decorate sugar cookies with white frosting to make our moons, as cake was just a little too much today after the eating excesses of yesterday.

We also decided in lieu of gifts for ourselves, that we would “adopt” a wolf from the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. They dedicate themselves to educating people about wolves, “their relationship to the environment and the human role in protecting their future.” They are home to three packs of wolves – their Ambassador wolves, Mexican Gray Wolves, and Red Wolves. There are only 114 Mexican Gray wolves left in the wild, and zero Red Wolves. Yep, zero. They were declared extinct in the wild in 1980, and efforts have been made to get these wolves onto a road of recovery. 20 wolves reside at the Conservation Center. The story is a sad but interesting one, if you want to read about it on their site. 

My son is currently choosing between “adopting” Zephyr or Trumpet – although all are adorable and equally deserving. Once the decision has been made, I will have to update! Here they are if you want to read about them. **Update- Wyatt chose Zephyr, and gave his photo a kiss even. Lol.

I think this guy is a handsome one!

We had a great time with this holiday, and it was kind of fun to do something so different. And I really loved that this came from the mind of a 7 year old boy. 

Happy Wolfenoote!