Sunday, January 31, 2016

Scotland's Castles

The Bothwell Castle is at Strathclyde. This castle was built in the 13th century. Red sandstone was used to build the thick walls that were 60 feet tall. Bothwell is one of the largest stone castles.
The castle has a huge round keep. A parapet and ditch separate the castle from the courtyard. The English occupied the Bothwell Castle and the Scots lead by William Wallace took 14 months to finally defeat the English. William Wallace used huge medieval siege engines and 6800 soldiers to take Bothwell Castle back from the English. The Bothwell Castle was abandoned and later it was restored.

The Caerlaverock Castle of Dumbriesshire is a different and triangular castle. This castle is one of Scotland's best castle that goes back to the 13th century. This castle was added to until the 17th century.

This castle posses a huge double drum tower that can be seen from the gatehouse that sits above the gatehouse. Sometime during the Renaissance a fabulous facade was added to Caerlaverock Castle. The Caerlaverock Castles outer moat is dry and the inner moat is full of water.

The Crathes Castle of Aberdeenshire was built in the 1500s. It has turrets on a huge medieval tower. The castles interior is in very good shape. There are oak ceilings, heraldic shields and a large Elizabethan fireplace and many more impressive items.

There is a beautiful walled 19th century garden. In side the castles walls are a total of 8 gardens. All year long people will come to see them.

The Old Horse mill has been converted to a restaurant. When the castle was renovated in 1877 they found an original Jacobean painted ceilings.

The Edinburgh Castle is in Midlothian. The Edinburgh Castle was built on a huge rocky foundation. Scotland's Kings and Queens made their home at Edinburgh Castle. All of them made changes to the castle.

Edinburgh Castle is a fortress, palace, barracks, chapel and war memorial. The Stone of Destiny is where the Scottish kings are inaugurated. The Scottish crown jewels are kept at Edinburgh Castle. The Scepter, Sword of State and the Crown are kept in the Crown Room.

The Great Hall has a collection of medieval weapons and armor. A cannon is fired at the castle at 1pm daily. You can enjoy beautiful views of the city from the castle. Edinburgh Castle is very popular with visitors to Scotland.

The Eilean Donan Castle is Rose and Cromarty. This castle had a rich history. King Alexander II had the Eilean Donan Castle built as a defense against the Vikings in the 13th century.

Eilean Donan Castle has a strong keep and no one could penetrate it in the early years. In 1719 warships bombarded the castle and left it in ruins. In the 1900s they started restoring the castle. Eilean Donan Castle is the seat of the Mac Rae Clan. The Eilean Donan Castle was used in the first “Highlander” movie.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is in Midlothian. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is where the reigning Scottish monarch lives. The monarchs of Scotland have lived here since the Middle Ages. In 1128 the Palace of Holyroodhouse was a Augustinian monastery.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse goes back to the 1500s. Mary, Queen of Scots live here from 161 to 1567. This palace is were the Scottish royalty have lived.

Sources and credits: Picture courtesy of: Pixabay.

The Australian Pony

In 1803 the first ponies were brought to Australia. The Australian Pony became a distinct breed in 1920. The first Australian ponies were used for children to ride, They are now used mainly as show ponies.

The Australian pony is considered a large pony being 12 to 14 hands tall. They com in several colors.

The Australian Pony was developed by crossing the Welsh Mountain Pony of Type A and the Shetland Pony. The Shetland Pony is solid and strong. The Arab, Hackney and Thoroughbred were also used to develop the Australian Pony.

The Australian Pony has a great disposition. Many people from other countries have never heard of them. They are popular in Australia.

Sources and credits: Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

The Banker Horse

The Banker horse is found on the islands of North Carolina's Outer Banks. They are a feral horse and have lived here for centuries. There is very little water and food where they live. The horses eat marsh grass. To get water they will dig through the sand. There are very few Banker horses left.

The Banker horse is 13 to 14.3 hands tall. They are usually bay, dun, brown and chestnut. They are feral horses but they are calm and friendly.

The Banker horse originated from Spanish horses. The Spanish settled this area in the 1520's and they brought horses with them. The English came to the area in the 1580's. They also brought horses. How the horses got to the islands is not known for sure.

The Banker horse is rare and their existence is threatened.

Sources and credits: Picture courtesy of: Pixabay

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Great Dane

The Great Dane was developed using the Greyhound and the Mastiff breeds in Germany To hunt boars. The boar hound was much different from the Great Dane of today. The present day Great Dane was bred to be a pet. They are often called the “Gentle Giant” of dog breeds.

The Great Dane is an elegant looking dog. Their hair is thick, short and shiny. They can be brindle, fawn, blue, black and harlequin. The male is 30 inches tall, and the female is 28 inches tall. The male will weigh 120 pounds, and the females weigh 100 pounds, The Great Dane will be matured when they are three years old.

The Great Dane is gentle, playful, patient and affectionate. They are great with children. They are social and must be around people. They will not bark very much. They are brave, loyal and will make good watch dogs. They can be aggressive to other dogs. They need to be socialized and trained because of their size.

They only need moderate exercise as they can develop bone and joint problems. They can develop bloat and hip dyspepsia.

The need to be around people and if they are left alone and get bored they can be very aggressive and destructive.

Great Danes can not stand the cold weather. They must be kept indoors during the winter.

Sources and credits: Picture courtesy of: Pixabay.

The Dingo from Australia

Many people believe the Dingo is a native wild dog of Australia but they are not. It is believed the Dingo was brought to Australia by Asian seamen over 2,000 years ago. They were probably already partially domesticated. The Dingo prefer to be alone. They are known as dogs but they are different than most dogs. They are extremely shy and are usually found in the outback of Australia.

Dingos are very intelligent. When they are in the wild and feel threatened they will play dead.

You will find Dingos painted on rocks and these pictures show their role in Aboriginal life. It is said that on very cold night thee Aboriginals slept with the Dingos to stay warm.

The Dingo will take their mate for life and very often if the mate dies the surviving partner will die from loneliness.

Back in January of 1789 a group of English convicts were brought to Australia. They settled near what is now Sydney. At that time the Dingo was found just about everywhere except for Tasmania.

The Dingo can survive just about everywhere in Australia if there is an abundance of prey, water and shelter. They do very well in arid areas where there is plenty of water and rabbits for food. Dingos prefer to eat mammals but they will also eat reptiles, birds and seeds. Their favorite prey in the northern tropical wetlands is rabbits.

Dingos usually live in packs made up of a dominate male and female and their offspring.

When a Dingo hunts it depends on the prey available on how they go about it. When a Dingo is after small prey they will hunt alone. When they are hunting for large prey whey will hunt in a pack.

A female Dingo will give birth to 5 pups and there are more males than females in the litter. She will have her young in a natural cave, hollow log or abandoned burrow.

Dingos have to put up with many adverse living conditions like drought, snake bites and other injuries. They also have to put up with diseases and humans.

Dingos are usually 4 feet long and 2 feet tall at the shoulder. They will weigh around 35 pounds. The females are smaller than the males. Their size depends on where they live. Their fur is short and purebreds are usually a ginger color. They will also be found in black and tan and black and white. Almost all of them will have a tail with a white tip and white feet.

Their eyesight is very good and so is their hearing. Their sense of smell is extraordinary.

If a Dingo is treated good and trained when they are very young they can make good pets. They are very intelligent, playful and curious. They need a large fenced area to run in.

Sources and credits: Picture courtesy of: Pixabay.

The Beautiful Collie Dog

Collies are beautiful dogs but they require a lot of grooming. They are intelligent, loving, gentle and loyal. They will love their whole family including all their other pets. They are very devoted to their family but are usually wary of outsiders. When you take your collie to the dog park he will usually be an observer and not join in the playtime.

Collies ;usually weigh 48 to 70 pounds and are 22 to 26 inches tall. There are rough coated and smooth coated collies. The rough coated is the most popular. Their colors are sable, tricolor, blue merle, sable merle and white with darker color markings.

In Scotland and England collies have been around since there has been livestock to care for. Collies have herded sheep and cattle for hundreds of years. Collies became pets when Queen Victoria took an interest in them. They are a very popular pet in the United States.

Collies love to play with their family. They also like a lot of attention. Collies are really low maintenance dogs. They are not demanding or destructive. They will on occasion get moody. They will protect their family if they since danger.

They will need regular exercise. They will need to be socialized and trained when they are young. If they are not they could be very timid.

The family collies are not like the collies seen in movies and on T.. Collies are working dogs. They should have a big yard to explore in.

Collies need to be brushed everyday. They also need regular trips to the groomers. They do not do well when it is hot and their nose will get sunburned.

Sources and credits: Picture Pixabay

The Beagle Dog

The Beagle is one of the oldest dog breeds. It is believed they originated in England in the 11th century. William the Conqueror brought the Talbat Hound as a hunting dog into Great Britain. The Beagle dog we have today is a decedent of the Talbot Hound and maybe the Irish Kerry Beagle.

Beagles were bred as pack dogs. They have declined in being kept as pack dogs, but they have become very popular as pets. They are popular as working dogs in many countries. They are now used as detection dogs at airports and as arson dogs.

The Beagle has floppy ears and a great sense of smell. The Beagle is white with black and tan. Beagles are usually born black and white and by the time they are 1 to two years old the brown will appear. They have a dense, short and smooth coat. The Beagle will shed a lot in the spring.

During Medieval times, there was the Pocket Beagle, which was 8 to 9 inches tall at the shoulder and weighed 22 to 25 pounds.

Beagles are active with a good disposition. They are very intelligent and gentle. They need to be socialized and trained. They are a great companion and family dogs. Beagles can be vocal, but some will not bark or howl. If a Beagle is left alone and gets bored, he will howl.

Beagles are usually healthy and low maintenance dogs. They can develop cardiac problems and ear problems.

Beagles are food for active people. They like daily walks on a leash. They like other dogs.

Sources and credits: Picture courtesy of: Pixabay.