Monday, May 24, 2010

Not much "sun"-day

We didn't have the dry day the weatherman predicted, but there was work to be done and we tackled it.

I got the sheepfold stripped and rebedded, and gave the hens some of the dirty straw and hay to scratch in. When I brought the sheep in last night I gave Katie the lambing suite just so she could eat and sleep in peace. (The yearling ewes and wether are in with everyone now and not exhibiting the best manners, the pushy things.) If sheep got stretch marks, poor Katie would be sporting a road map. She has grown very little fleece since shearing compared to all the other sheep; I think she is putting everything she eats into lambs. Can you believe her due date is still a WEEK away?

Rick spent most of the day on fencing; I took this shot of him from inside the sheep fold. What he actually accomplished doesn't look like much, but I know how hard he worked digging fence post holes by hand and building braces.
The bigger coats I ordered from Rocky Sheep Suits arrived, so the emperor (okay, Prince Blackberry) got new clothes. I admired his consistent, crimpy fleece before covering it up again; I took a close-up but it didn't turn out well. I forgot to pull samples from everyone this spring for micron testing; it would be nice to know where Blackberry is now. But he may not get used for breeding this fall (more on that when plans are finalized), so I'll get him tested next spring before breeding season 2011.

After spending part of the afternoon inside working on our church's newsletter, I headed back out to attack thistles. The Canadian thistles are small enough and the ground is wet enough that I could pull most of them out by hand; I used a shovel on the bull thistles. I cleared most of the lower pasture the sheep are using; I should be able to finish up the slope below the arena tomorrow. If you look closely, you can see the thistle carnage behind the lambs below:
Sunday's big news? My dahlias are finally coming up!

That's it for our mostly sun-less Sunday at . . .


Leigh said...

OK. I officially envy those dahlias! I've had terrible no-shows with so many flower seeds I've planted.

Good idea about the dirty straw and hay. Do you use any of it for compost?

Yes, digging fence post holes and building bracing is indeed hard work!

thecrazysheeplady said...

My dahlias are up too. I was afraid I'd waited too long to plant them. I had put several new ones around that electric pole in the middle of the yard and about half got washed away in the latest flood. Sigh.

Your flowers are all so beautiful and I can't believe how big that ewe is!

Michelle said...

Leigh, we have four horses; therefore a HUGE manure/compost pile. That's where the dirty straw and hay usually goes; this time I thought it would more appreciated in the chicken yard!

susan said...

Looking at your fence it seems the wire may be on the wrong side of the posts? If they push on it it will unclip the clips and pull out the staple.


Michelle said...

That would be a concern if we didn't also use electric tape to keep the horses off the fence, Susan. Since this lines our driveway, my DH is wanting to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible, hence the wire placement.

Kathy said...

I so envy you your deep grass pastures and growing things. (Send the fencing guys this way, will you? heeheehee) My trees are just now starting to start budding - way behind "normal", as well as the short pasture grass due to lack of spring moisture. The winds have been too great for anything to grow - 50 mph yesterday. I will have to powerwash sheep!
Thanks for sharing!

Sharon said...

All of a sudden it seems to me that your little flock is looking like a substantial flock. How many sheep are you up to at this point?!

Michelle said...

Sshhhh, Sharon! There are a dozen at the moment, not counting what Katie is carrying! But Braveheart and Banjo are leaving sooner rather than later, and Bodhran and Bronwen will have big "For Sale" signs around their necks at Black Sheep Gathering (Dinah and Barry, too, although I don't know if they will be at BSG). And depending on what Katie has, one or two of her lambs may be spoken for as well. So it's not *quite* as bad as it looks! ;-)