Friday, February 18, 2011

Shivery shearing

This morning I looked out the window and saw this:
It was snowing snowballs!

It's only sticking to Jackson, but still, this is NOT the weather I ordered for shearing day!

For the first time I remembered to withhold feed from the sheep so being bent like pretzels wouldn't be so hard on them - especially ewes already round with lambs. But I sure did feel sorry for leaving them hungry on a cold and blustery day like this - especially when Jeannie and I went into the fold to do some pre-shearing skirting and Bramble was shivering and grinding her teeth! I was shivering and feeling pretty hungry myself before we were done, so I guess the shepherd got a taste of their trials, too.

My friend Jeannie came to help me today, and what a blessing she was! (Jeannie is my fabric/quilt-enabler and the owner of four Boulderneigh fiber wethers.) She pulled the fleece off the shearing mat after each sheep was done and picked off the second cuts and yucky bits while I put each freshly sheared sheep away and brought out the next "victim." Fortunately, there were no real victims today; I think I saw one or maybe two tiny knicks. As always, some sheared easier than others. I grabbed quick side shots of everyone before putting on clean coats and letting them finally fill their tummies with choice hay. Then Jeannie and I scuttled up to the house for some hot homemade creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches!

Annabelle, who sheared like butter:
"Sticky" Blackberry:
Handsome Blake:
Blackberry's "sticky" sister Bramble:
Blurry Bronwen:
Well-fed wether Browning, sporting the only real knick of the day:
Bunker, who sheared nicely like his dam:
Clean Katie:
That's it for shearing 2011 from . . .


Donna said...

Mr Blake is a real looker!

Christine said...

It always cracks me up that their heads seem so big after shearing.

Michelle said...

Thank-you, Donna; I think so, too!

I know, Christine! That's part of the reason I like polled rams - the horns make naked horned rams' heads look even MORE huge! But some of my photos have strange perspectives; I didn't have time to set anyone up nicely and get really good shots.

Anonymous said...

I love the way they look after shearing... Just funny, clean, and you can see what shape and size they are. Of course, our sheep always look at each other like "what in the heck happened to you, you look funny!"

Nancy K. said...

I SO hate shearing day! At least until it's all over and done with and everyone is reacquainted. I do think they look beautiful freshly shorn!

I think I'm in love with Katie! I'm praying for a gray ewe lamb from Alice this year...

Theresa said...

A few look a bit embarrassed. I would imagine except for the cold, it must feel good after a day or two adjustment. And I can just see all that wonderful fleece.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Seems like it never fails to turn off cold and miserable right after shearing. We are scheduled in about two weeks.

Mom L said...

Having never been around sheep (except for a strange camping night in Wales), I'm always amazed at the difference between a shorn sheep and a fully woolly one! Their legs look so skinny before they're shorn, as if they couldn't hold up those sheep. Now I can see that the legs match the bodies!!!

Nancy in Iowa

Country Girl said...

This is so interesting. Great shots, too. Your herd is beautiful, Michelle ~

A :-) said...

Naked sheep! :-D