Friday, November 17, 2017

Unplanned blog fodder

I was going to share some mushroom photos for "Fungus Friday," but ended up with better blog fodder. ;-)
The sun came out as I finished morning chores, so I decided to "make hay." I've had a sheep shuffle in mind for awhile to reduce labor (for me) and stress (for the sheep), but it required some reinforcing of the Ram-ada lot fence to keep Butler and Bogie contained. I had some plastic fencing from the days of showing lambs at Black Sheep Gathering; it was just the thing for it.

Once that was done, I haltered Sarai, Blaise, and Vienna and led them to the Sheep Sheraton to join the rest of the girls.

Then I caught and haltered the pinballs ram lambs – who weren't at all sure they wanted to move. (Made for some pretty photo ops, though!).

Having an intact ram lamb living nose to nose with a bunch of cycling ewes made for a lot of angst and arguing betwixt and between, and the boys didn't have much space. So into the Ram-ada lot they went – but not before I got photos of Butler's mid-side fleece. It's actually nicer than I thought when picking him Wednesday, the crimp just isn't as organized.

Meanwhile, the girls had all crowded into the corner pen just vacated by the boys. I guess the hay was greener in that feeder. ;-)
Later the girls got turned out into the truly green pasture, something that the three older ewes haven't gotten to enjoy for awhile.

That's it for today from the sheep and shepherd at . . .

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Good friend, good progress, good news

Jeannie braved this rainy, rainy day to sit on a hard stool in a cold barn to pick out little pieces of hay from squirmy sheep, and she did it with a smile. Now that's a good friend!
We started with Bardot. Her first fleece has already been reserved by Iris, so I didn't take a photo of it – no point in tempting anyone to covet! ;-) Next up was Bacall, above and below. The fineness, crimp, and length of her fleece couldn't make me happier.

Then it occurred to me that we could squeeze into the tack room where there is a wall heater and be a lot more comfortable, so that's where we went with Brigitte. It's kind of hard to tell in this photo, but Brigitte was so content with all the attention that she laid down between us!
 Her fleece is even more incredible than Bacall's; breathtaking!
When I took Brigitte back to the fold, I discovered that four of the girls had slipped out the unsecured gate and were wandering around in the pouring rain. Bette's still uncovered fleece was now sopping wet, so she got a pass for today. We moved on to the two ram lambs, little man Butler and big (neutered) boy Bogie. No photos of Butler, whose fleece struck me as unremarkable at the moment; here are two shots of Bogie's pretty color and broader crimp:

 So, five of the six lambs are now cleaned up (as best we could) and coated thanks to hours of help from a good friend. And when I got back to the house, there was a message on my phone from my mom. My folks are coming for Christmas! WooHoo!

That's it for today from . . .

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

They do run, run run; they do run, run!

Just a taste of the antics afoot today. Between the weather and the season – as in being IN season – the energy was running high!

It was windy, but unexpectedly dry. The sunrise was subtle but beautiful still, and the morning sunshine set our ornamental cherry tree (I think it's a Kwanzan) ablaze.

While the Japanese maple in the island is my favorite tree, this ornamental cherry is a mighty close second. It is covered with double pink 'tissue-paper' blossoms in spring, green leaves in summer, glowing color in the fall, and has 'good bones' to enjoy in the winter as well.

Tomorrow morning my friend Jeannie and I will be "knee-deep in sheep" trying to get the six uncovered lambs cleaned up and coated. That should give us lots of time to chat and catch up – it's been too long!

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A day full of birthday blessings

This morning we got up at "school morning time" so we could get to our favorite "special breakfast" spot before the crowds. But when we checked in at around 8:30, there was already a waiting list one hour and 35 minutes long! We all agreed our tastebuds were set on it, though, so we drove to Riverfront Park to pass the time. My excitement over the prospect of a family carousel ride was dashed by the "CLOSED" sign, but going on a walk on Minto Island with my guys was pretty special.

Our breakfast was worth waiting for (Creme Brûlée French Toast and Heavenly Hash – YUM); good thing we burned some calories ahead of time!

I left the guys at home and headed in the opposite to meet up with a friend at our LYS. Kate brought me some homemade goodies, we got to chat and knit, and I took advantage of my birthday discount. Sweet!
Then it was back home to meet a new fleece customer and take her round to see the sheep. The lambie-girls were predictably shy at first, then slowly drew close to Iris to swoon, wag, and cuddle (but thankfully, not to jump on or paw!). I tried to get a photo of Bardot blissfully resting her head on Iris' shoulder, but the photographic curse of black sheep struck again. I think we've made a new friend. :-)

I enjoyed an evening ride on Lance and delivered a loaf of bread to the neighbors, only to be surprised with this book, hot off the press where he works:
No, he didn't know it was my birthday, he just knew I am a knitter. Great timing, though, don't you think?

Throughout the day friends and family called and texted their birthday wishes; yes, even my dad called, although it was short and sweet terse. (But hey, he called!) Rick gave me this lovely box made by a client of his, and Brian gave me a homemade punch-card for 15 ten-minute shoulder rubs (yay!).

It was a gray day, but the rain held off until dark; perfect. Rick and I just put up four quarts of Riesling grape juice; now I'm going to knit a bit more on this while watching the news.
A perfect day may not mean a perfect year ahead, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick – I'll take it!  ;-)

That's it for now from . . .

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gentle as a lamb?

What this morning's sunrise lacked in color
was more than compensated for by my big Japanese maple!

I posted a different photo of that tree on Instagram (link at right) this evening, along a photo of Brian shooting a basketball and this:
Based on the girls' reaction when that ball rolled down into the yard, you would have thought an alien spacecraft had landed – too funny!

Later, after putting them in the fold for the night, I sat on the edge of the feeder to pet me some sheeps. Everybody was feeling lovey, but Brigitte and Bardot were downright pushy. They kept jumping up on me, and when that didn't get the response Brigitte wanted, she pawed my HEAD. NOT funny. I hope they are better behaved when a visitor comes tomorrow to meet them and pick up a fleece!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, November 10, 2017

A fine fall Friday

I can't capture the inner glow of my big Japanese maple, but I keep trying (and feast my eyes upon it often):
"Autumn" may be the formal name for this season, but "fall" is so fitting. Here is Oreo surrounded by "fall":
and the sheep enjoying "fall":
All that green grass and they'd rather eat dead leaves or check out whatever's under the big fir!

Wet wool:

Dry feathers:
Rick added an extension to the chicken run to cover his "wood stash":
He keeps collecting big chunks to turn; the latest is from a neighbor's bulldozed cherry orchard. :'-(  They couldn't get pickers, so need to do something else with their five acres to keep the tax-deferred status. But it's sad to see all those trees destroyed!

At least the wood is free (goodness knows he's spent a lot on tools for his new hobby). He's bought a little bit of exotic wood to play with for smaller projects, like the pizza cutter he made for me last winter. He finally figured out a design and made a matching holder for it:
That's it for now from . . .