Wednesday, March 22, 2017

At loose ends

My ewes are keeping me in suspense (will they or won't they lamb before I leave?); I can't decide what to knit next (MUST.HAVE.TRAVEL.KNITTING!); weather, work and Spring Break are messing with my routine and mental health mustang time; and undisclosed family issues are heating up again after a lull. Among other things. Somebody better bring a straightjacket!

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, March 20, 2017

A reluctant welcome

Shucks. The calendar says Spring arrived today; I really wanted winter lambs. Actually, what I REALLY want is for Vienna and Sarai to lamb well before we leave next week, so I don't have to fret about something happening that our chore person can't handle – or between the two times a day that she is here. I have had to intervene enough times in my relatively short tenure as shepherd to know there is risk. :-/

So I spend time coaching them. "Hurry up and lamb, Sarai. And I would LOVE it if a little black girl with your gorgeous, roo-able fleece is in there."
 "You, too, Vienna." (On the 'hurry up' part; no chance for black lambs from her!) "And Babette, I hate to burst your bubble but you're not going to be the baby much longer."
"Say WHAT?"

"I want to meet a big, handsome ram – I mean, have a baby; why don't you ever let me consort – I mean, have a baby?"

"Someday we'll find the right ram for you, Blaise. Just forget about that for now; let me rub your chin."

"Okay. Oh, that feels good. Can't . . . can't keep my eyes open. Hmmm; maybe rams aren't all they're cracked up to be...."

That's it from most of the girls today at . . .

Saturday, March 18, 2017

From liquid to limpid

This morning I shot a one-frame movie amalgamation. Chicken Run: A River Runs Through It.
In a word: nasty!

But by the time we got home from church, potluck, and visiting this afternoon, it was beautiful, so we loaded up the bicycles and rode around nearby Grand Island, a Willamette River island that claims to have some of the most productive farmland in the world. The river itself was running high,
and high water elsewhere kept us from making a couple different loops. But that same high water provided respite for migrating waterfowl. Small groups of Canadian geese often moved overhead, then Rick said, "Swans!" Sure enough, there were the great white birds on lapis lazuli, dwarfing the nearby Canadians:

Back home, the girls enjoyed grazing on glittering emeralds:
This evening I spent time in the fold with them. Sarai and Bree were feeling cuddly, perfectly content to let me take liberties with their persons. As a result I got my first chance this year to feel the flutter of little fetal feet (Sarai), and confirmed that Bree is indeed going to be a mommy!

Then I caught a much more reticent Babette to check her over and change out her coat for a bigger one. She shows no hint of maternity yet, so either she settled later than her sister or not at all. I wouldn't be surprised (or disappointed) if it were the latter; she's only a yearling and three bred ewes is plenty for my small set-up. But Babette is producing a lovely fleece:

That's it for today from . . .

Friday, March 17, 2017

The muck of the Irish

There is a reason both green and rainbows are associated with Ireland – RAIN. The Willamette Valley resembles that remark. ;-)



But not before this!

Now that was a spectacular sunrise – no pratfall necessary!

I had a short window before the rain started this morning, and made the most of it. I took photos of flowers, Lance and I danced for 30 minutes, and I took more flower pictures. The color of the day – besides green – is obviously white. Around the house:

In the woods, below the arena:

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, March 16, 2017

One fine day....

It's been gray and wet here, so when I saw the sun rising (none too spectacularly) this morning, I grabbed my camera and hurried out to the deck to capture it – only to promptly slip on the frosted boards and crash to my keister! OUCH.
(Yes, I got up and took my shot.) I also liked the way the fog followed the Willamette River up the valley (click to biggify):
I snapped some more shots while out doing morning chores (no, nothing to report from the girls yet),

then came in to finish the fingerless mitts I've been working on. Now the whole set needs a bath and blocking to show off the lace band:

If you didn't get an earworm from the title, I'll let the songwriter infect you. ;-)

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

No pie or lambs

I thought about pie today, but that's as close as I got to any. Did you have pie for Pi Day (3.14)?

There was an accident blocking the road on my way to work this morning. As I sat in my car waiting for it to be cleared, I noticed birds fluttering around a nearby tree. I grabbed my ever-present camera, zoomed in through the dirty windshield, and captured these:

Spring is in the air!

And lambs are still in the ewes. ;-)  I'm not sure what is going on with Vienna. She and Sarai are both bagging up, but they have very different contours. Sarai is round, although not hugely so. Vienna's belly extends down instead of out, which makes me wonder if her lamb(s) have dropped. But there aren't any other signs of eminent lambing, so I'm not obsessively checking her.

Hmmm; just looked at my notes (my blog) from the last two years, and see that Vienna lambed on March 18 and March 19 without a turgid udder. Also, Sarai's delivery last year caught me by surprise on March 14; the year before she lambed on March 20. Maybe I should start those obsessive barn checks – and find some more Irish names!

I'm close to finishing these fingerless mitts (not a good color representation):

I bound off the wrists this evening, and have since started on the little thumb "turtlenecks."

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, March 13, 2017

Daytime drama

Squirrel TV again; our amusements are simple ones at Boulderneigh. ;-)  I filled the birdfeeder with black oil sunflower seeds before the rain started this morning, and the squirrels moved in. This notched-ear fellow ate,

while this one

and this one waited "in the wings" or occasionally challenged.

Doesn't that last one look forlorn? It made my heart hurt a bit the way it sat there holding its paws, hardly daring hope for leftovers. (All photos shot through my dirty windows, so I'm rather amazed at how sharp these are!)

Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird also visited the deck this morning; the missus even landed on the roof of the feeder. Since they don't eat seeds, perhaps they were checking to see if it was another birdhouse? Gotta look at all the options, dontcha know! I do hope they find one of our birdhouses acceptable this year; last year they looked but didn't stay.

That's it for today from . . .