Down Under Showcase Day 14 – Welcome, John Terry Moore!
Our second full week of our Authors Showcase starts off with Australian writer John Terry Moore, author of Black Dog published at Dreamspinner Press. John is giving away 3 copies of Black Dog with his own mini quiz! Check it out on his Down Under Author page linked above and following after this one.
As John Terry Moore has worn many “occupational hats”, including breeding Kelpies, I have tailored our Australia Fact of the Day to him:
Australia Fact of the Day:
Kelpies (how is John Terry Moore connected to Kelpies?):
Favored dogs of farms and stations all over Australia, the working Kelpies vary in size, ranging from about 19 inches to as much as 25 inches and from 28-60 lbs. The dog’s working ability is related to appearance, so stockmen looking for capable working dogs disregard the dog’s appearance.
A Working Kelpie can be a cheap and efficient worker that can save farmers and graziers the cost of several hands when mustering livestock. The good working Kelpies are herding dogs that will prevent stock from moving away from the stockman. This natural instinct is crucial when mustering stock in isolated gorge country, where a good dog will silently move ahead of the stockman and block up the stock (usually cattle) until the rider appears. The preferred dogs for cattle work are Kelpies, often of a special line, or a Kelpie cross. They will drive a mob of livestock long distances in extremes of climates and conditions. Kelpies have natural instincts for managing livestock. They will work sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, and other domestic livestock. The Kelpie’s signature move is to jump on the backs of sheep and walk across the tops of the sheep to reach the other side and break up the jam. A good working Kelpie is a versatile dog—they can work all day on the farm, ranch, or station, and trial on the weekends. Kelpies compete and are exhibited in livestock working trials, ranging from yards or arenas to large open fields working sheep, goats, cattle, or ducks
Famous Kelpie: Red Dog, the hitchhiking Kelpie of Pilbarra:
Red Dog was a fully paid member of the Transport Workers Union, an official member of the Dampier Salt Sports and Social Club, and had his own bank account.
Red Dog was, of course, a dog, a red kelpie born in the mining town of Paraburdoo in 1971, and a much-loved member of the Pilbara community.
Known simply as Red Dog, the red kelpie was known for stopping cars on the road by walking right in the path of an oncoming vehicle until it stopped and then he would hop in and travel to wherever the car driver was going.
He took bus rides as well and, once, when a new driver pushed him off her bus, the passengers all disembarked in protest.
Red Dog’s travels bought him as far south as the Western Australia capital of Perth but mostly among the mining communities of the Pilbara and the coastal towns of Dampier, Port Hedland and Broome.
He was quite well known as the Pilbara Wanderer. Dog pictured is a red kelpie but not Red Dog.
New Zealand Fact of the Day:
Flightless Birds of New Zealand!
With over 40 species of flightless birds worldwide, New Zealand is home for a majority of the species, including some that are found nowhere else in the world.
Among New Zealand’s flightless birds are the kiwi, takahe, kakapo and several species of penguins. It is thought that these New Zealand birds never developed the ability to fly because they had no land-based predators to escape from – until the arrival of human beings. Isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years, these flightless birds adapted to their environment in a way that would most benefit them.
One species calling New Zealand it’s home of origin is the kakapo (Strigops habroptila) is a flightless, nocturnal parrot. Its speckled yellow-green plumage acts as a camouflage for the ground-dwelling herbivorous kakapo. It is the world’s only flightless parrot, as well as being the heaviest parrot in the world, and very possibly the longest-living bird on the island with an average life expectancy of 95 years. It is also the only parrot to have a lek courtship and breeding system, where males gather in an arena and compete with one another to attract available females. The female chooses her mate, presumably based on his performance, they mate and go their separate ways, with the female raising the young.
Once thought to be extinct, and rediscovered in 1948, the takahē (Porphyrio hochstetteri) is another of New Zealand‘s flightless birds. Primarily deep purple-blue in color, the adult bird has a red frontal shield and reddish-pink bill, with pink legs. These monogamous birds are very territorial, laying their eggs in nests under bushes. Conservationists have relocated small groups of the birds to some offshore islands – Kapiti, Maud, Mana and Tiritiri Matangi – considered to be predator-free, where birding enthusiasts can view them in the wild.
Once thought to be extinct from over-hunting and the introduction of predators, a few pairs were discovered in the Murchison Mountains of South Island, New Zealand in 1948. The population is around 220 birds, and is now carefully protected.
Now don’t forget to enter John’s contest for 3 copies of big dog while meeting another wonderful
Down Under author. Locate the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word of the day.
Enjoy your week, check in with us all month long and happy reading!