Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Can't resist the cuteness!

Benny and Jet are enthusiastic grazers now, although they still play and explore plenty – mostly outside the fence. They won't turn down a good scritch in the fold, but Benny has given up hope for a bottle so doesn't come running when he hears me outside. He's still the most vocal of the lambs, though; old habits die hard!
All three ewes are excellent mothers, but Marta is the most attentive. She's not as leery now of getting shots, etc., which means that Blaisie is calming down a bit, too. Instead of always hiding behind mom, she will stand at a distance and watch as the other lambs crowd around me for scritching. I'm hoping she'll eventually get curious and brave enough to see for herself what the attraction is; in the meantime, I occasionally catch and love on her to prove that she'll survive human contact.
The rest of the photos are compliments of the "window" Lance created in his stall wall. It makes an excellent blind from which to capture lamb portraits – although my BFF Bali has figured out when I'm there and comes running over to stand on her hind legs so I can reach her head. In other words, once I make noise to get everyone's attention, I'd better snap fast!

Since the photos above were taken, the weather has taken a week-long detour into cold and wet here, with snow in the Cascades. As late as the snow skiing season started, I'm sure the ski resorts are thrilled that it is extending well into the spring!

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Can't keep up!

It's spring, which means there's so much to SEE – and so much to DO! Chores, lambs, and photo opportunities all vie for attention; I'm trying to give some of my time to each. ;-)

Sunday I got four reserved fleeces skirted. Two are already in the mail; the other two await a big-enough box. I wasn't taking photos as I went – until I got to Bart's. His fleece was arresting; I have to show you his lusciousness!

Out of the bag:


Out on the skirting table:

I have to say I'm really happy with what my flock produces. My fleeces are all in the "Fine" category of the Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep Association's grading chart (which is based on Oliver Henry's grading system), with good length and weight besides. Bing and Bittersweet are both very fine and crimpy, and their skirted fleeces weighed four pounds and almost five pounds respectively!

Yesterday I got the wethers and Bramble moved to the wooded lot; that's Bart, Bing and Bittersweet above. Then there are the future fiber producers below (caught at a rare moment INside the fence, the little rascals – and even lined up in birth order!):

I have several lovely lamb portraits to share, but I think I'll leave that for tomorrow's post. I'll close this post with some posy pix.

That's it for now from . . .





Saturday, April 19, 2014

Checklist

Egg orders filled.

New flowers planted.

New BFF loved.

I saved the best of Friday for last. ;-)

That's it for now from . . .

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life on the farm

It's been one of those weeks when spending any extra time on the computer just hasn't been feasible. I'm going to attempt a quick update while the beans and cornbread cook before my guys get home….

Oh, those naughty lambies! The past few days all five of them have spent much of their pasture time playing and exploring outside the fence, while the ewes yelled for their little truants.

On Tuesday I scissor-sheared Bing. Black is so hard to photograph accurately; Bing has NO light fibers and is oh, so crimpy and soft with great length! Now I can move his group into the wooded lot where grass has had a chance to regrow since I moved Blake and Browning into the grassy strip between the arena and paddocks. The big boys have got that mowed down pretty well, so they will be moved back to the Ram-ada Inn lot soon.

This morning I monkey-picked Sarai's fleece clean and got her suited back up until I have a chance to scissor-shear or roo her. Since her (exquisite!) fleece is not yet reserved, she will have to wait until I skirt the fleeces that are reserved. Brian is going to be gone all day Sunday, so I'm hoping to get all my skirting done then.

I also took down the panel dividing the fold so that my Minnesota Moms (Marta and Sarai) and their lambs are all together. Annabelle and her boys are still in the corner pen when they are in the fold, but not for long.

We're getting a perfectly-timed showery day that should keep the plants looking lush and gorgeous for awhile. The rosemary and perennial cornflowers in my island bed are going gangbusters this year, making up for the half-hearted efforts of the red rhododendron and lithodora. (The red rhodie has one – count it, ONE – flower bract on it this year!)

I caught this bumblebee hard at work yesterday; now it's time for me to get back to work!
Oh! I nearly forgot to include your daily dose of lamb cuteness! It's Mr. Hot Stuff himself, Boulderneigh Barbados:

That's it for now from . . .