Honoring Arbor Day

Yesterday we planted six blue spruce seedlings at Dog Bark Park for Arbor Day.  Our local library has been giving these Idaho grown seedlings to library patrons to encourage awareness of Idaho forest products and the Arbor Day Foundation.

Planting blue spruce seedlings for Arbor Day

 
In a few years we will move the seedlings to permanent locations on our acreage.  Right now they are together in a small plot with east sun & a bit of protection provided by the big dog from southwest winds & summer’s hot afternoon sun.
 
Seedlings planted a few years ago are now approaching 3-ft tall.  Other larger pines transplanted longer ago are now being used for nesting robbins as well as shelter for other songbirds, flickers, cats & at least one racer snake.
 
From our carving studio we can see most of the trees, all ones added to what was a grass only landscape when we founded Dog Bark Park 14 years ago.  We enjoy the beauty of the changing light on them through the day & across the seasons.
 
 
Not long ago our largest blue spruce became the canvas for nature’s art.  With an abundance of moisture this winter & spring our pines should have a great start to the growing season when warmer temperatures & plentiful sun arrives.

Blue Spruce transformed

 

Idaho Rodeos

We live in rodeo country here in north central Idaho where cattle and horses are abundant; which means cowboys & cowgirls are plentiful as well.  Which means rodeo is a favorite pastime for many residents and visitors that come here in the spring, summer & fall.   In fact there are seven rodeos to choose from this year within a hour’s drive of Dog Bark Park.

    For details & dates about the rodeos click here.  (Information is from visitnorthcentralidaho.org.)

How we create a chainsaw carved dog

 
Meet Huner, a blue merle sheltie carving recently shipped along with 26 other sheltie carvings to a sheltie club in Texas.  This particular sheltie, named Hunter, is our large-size chainsaw dog.  it is about 18 inches tall, by 6 inches thick, by about 20 inches long & weighs nearly 10 pounds. 

Chainsaw-carved Sheltie Dog
The wood is Ponderosa pine harvested from a dead tree last summer.  We use electric Stihl chainsaws in the studio, and once the carving part is done we cure (dryout) the dog for several weeks before beginning its painting.  When the wood is dry we use a propane tourch to burn away any residual chainsaw oil & to lightly darken the wood which also removes any splintery wood fragments left as part of the carving process.  Note the saw marks along the dog’s ruff & body to indicate long flowing fur.
 

The undercoat grey/blue color is achieved by applying several layers of spray paint.  Next to go on are two layers of white hand-painted on to define the sheltie’s legs, toes, tail, muzzle & collar. To make the merling we lightly dry brush on touches of white over the dog’s body.
After all the white paint is dry, the dog is given black eyes, nose, lip line & whisker marks.  When the eyes are dry a thin dab of white is applied to bring the dog to life.  Because of all the steps involved, it usually takes us several days to paint a Sheltie.

Chainsaw art - Newfoundland dogs

 
This pair of Newfoundland dogs just shipped to a customer in NJ.  Brown colored newfies are described as bronze.  The black & white one is a variation of what is called a Landseer Newfoundland, which means a black & white Newfie.  The most common coloration for a Newfie is solid black.  The tiny white eye marks described above,  show in this photo.  Underneath the red neckerchief, each dog  wears a brass license tag marked with the year & location of  its origination, Dog Bark Park Cottonwood, Idaho.
Weimeraner chainsaw art dog carving

The Weimeraner, a smooth coated dog with an unusual grey/brown coat coloration, was a breed we have finally been able to offer after discovering a technique a spray painting to achieve a resemblance to its unusal color.   We apply several layers of brown & grey paints with the final layer a light drifting of grey.  The dog has amber eyes & a brown nose, both not readily visible in this photo. 

 
All three dogs pictured are the large-size carvings we offer on our website.  This size carving is suitable to display outdoors on a patio  or porch or indoors in any entryway or by a favorite chair for example.  If protected from the weather they will last for years to come. 
 
 
 
 

Slideshow images

With assistance from TripAdvisor, we’ve put together this short slideshow with music that gives a taste of Dog Bark Park.  Most of the items we’ve added to our outdoor art garden are included. Enjoy the visit. And let us know your reactions.

To start the slideshow click here.