Sunday, May 5, 2013

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary - A Place to Love

Had an awesome day at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary yesterday. The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful at 75 degrees the sky was deep blue and the surrounding hills and trees colored in shades of green, and with the faint smell of pine was a perfect outdoor day.  When I arrived a large mule came to greet me, just walked right up to me nearly nose to nose and then sideways so I could touch her. Her name was Diane and throughout the day she repeated the hello. Next, I entered the goat and sheep barn to say hi and tidy up the entrance for the visitors who were soon to arrive, when they are not resting inside they are most often out on the grassy field eating from the grounds or laying in the shade. The sheep were shaved in preparation for the warmer weather, I had never touched a lamb before and was amazed at their thick wool and the softness not to mention how affectionate one in particular was. I caressed her head and body and the more I did this the more she nuzzled against me. Really it’s the best feeling and moment to be this connected. The pig barn and roaming grounds across the way is idyllic with lots of room to rest and roll in the mud. Many of them love to sleep in pairs side by side and with what looks like smiles on their faces, the chickens like to hang out with them too.
Lots of visitors arrived with children, they said hello to the friendly mule, the goats, sheep, cows, pigs, roosters, chickens and the turkeys that hang out near the office and walking paths. Tours are given along with stories of the animals and how they arrived at the sanctuary, I think anyone who visits leaves with a beautiful new outlook.

There was one very small bird with long dainty legs, which reminded me of the birds I see running along the beach near the shoreline, except this one was very colorful and chirped quite a bit. She spent her day with the goats outside and often looked like she was rolling in the grass I thought maybe she was just happy to be in the sun, but after making my way along the field in my quest to clean up, I discovered her nest of four freckled eggs in the ground which were exposed to possible crushing - I now realized her excitement, she was protecting her eggs.

Unfortunately, I have just the one photograph and decided not to take many photos. This was my third visit and have photos from previous visits. My focus was again to put in the elbow work and get close to the animals, stopping now and then to touch and watch them, to really absorb their beautiful presence. Sometimes taking pictures can distract thinking about composition, light and such, I just wanted to look at them.

They’re always in need of volunteers and donations, if you can contribute in any way it really helps this awesome organization, they also sell great t- shirts. Check out their fun website.

Founder Jenny Brown of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary came out with a book in 2012
called The Lucky Ones "her passionate fight for farm animals" a great read and available through their site, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

Below are doughnuts I made the day before for the staff and volunteers. Everyone seemed to enjoy them.

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