Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dahlias, dogs and data

I haven't featured flowers much lately, because there aren't that many flowers to feature! The hanging basket of petunias is still a small bright spot, but the daylilies, species geranium and Goldmound spirea have mostly petered out. That leaves the dahlias to provide seasonal color, and they haven't filled in as I had hoped. Not all the tubers grew, and not all that are growing are blooming yet. But what is blooming is beautiful; here are the three latest varieties to open:
This time of year makes me thankful that only one of our two dogs has long hair (you can click, then click again to double-biggify the prickly buggers!):
I call him "Stickery-dickory dog" - and brush him several times daily....

As for data, I was studying last year's fleece test reports trying to make intelligent decisions about which ewe would pair best with which ram. A lot of numbers on my test results from Texas A&M mean nothing to me, so I finally emailed them to ask some questions. Lo and behold, they sent me a "glossary of abbreviations" (which should have been included with my report) that makes everything MUCH clearer! Not that all the information is good; but knowledge is power to make better decisions. I forgot to pull samples for testing this spring, so will have to wait until next spring to take another look at where my flock is. I am especially eager to see the results on my Boulderneigh prefix sheep - Bronwen (if she's still here; she's for sale), Bramble, Blackberry and Blake. My main goal for now is to get as much of the fibers in my flock as possible below 30 microns, as anything over 30ยต results in significant "prickle factor" for a lot of people. In my opinion, the $2.00/sample is WELL worth the amount of data I receive (especially now that I know how to interpret it!).

That's it for today at . . .

8 comments:

Kara said...

Can you forward me your cheat sheet? Mine came without one too.

A :-) said...

Those pink ones are really beautiful :-)

Theresa said...

Beautiful flowers and boy, are those burrs and prickers hard to get out even in hard coated dogs. We also have the evil fox tails, so when walking them I try to keep the kids out of the nasty stuff. Brush is right by the front door. Dennett is the biggest sissy.....;)

thecrazysheeplady said...

I need to get my sheep tested too. I'm not in the breeding business, but am curious.

My dahlias didn't do so well either this year, but I think that was mostly my fault. I didn't get them planted early enough and probably should have been fertilizing them some... Next year!

Michelle said...

Theresa, our bulldog Dozer must be Teflon-coated; NOTHING sticks to him!

Sara, I think our long, wet spring may have rotted some of my tubers....

Franna said...

I'd love to see the glossary, too. If I had it before, I've forgotten what many of the initials mean.
Love the pink dahlia!

MollyBeees said...

Have been remiss on keeping up with blogs for a while. Thoroughly enjoyed catching up with yours! Beautiful pics!

Leigh said...

Hate those stickers, what a nuisance.

I tried to grow some Dahlias this year, no show. I'v dyed with the flowers in the past and thought it would be nice to have some around for that.