Friday, June 22, 2007

On to more pleasant subjects!

This morning I pulled out bright and early to get to the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene in time for the Shetland judging. I knew after a call last night at 10:30 that my new lambs wouldn't be at the fairgrounds, so that left me undistracted and available for whoever needed me. I helped pluck debris off some of Lois' and Wally's sheep, then helped Gabrielle Morningstar show her Shetlands. A beautiful little (only nine weeks old) moorit ewe lamb I got to handle for Gabrielle won her big class; she then went on to win Grand Champion Ewe.
The Grand Champion Ram was also a lamb, shown here with breeder Marybeth Bullington and judge Letty Klein. I thought Letty Klein was a great judge, looking carefully over the whole animal from front to back and sharing her findings.

After the Shetland judging was finished and the sheep were settled back in their quarters, it was time to grab a bite to eat, walk by the vendors (I didn't buy a THING!), and exchange paperwork for transportation charges with Rena. Since the event rules state that no sheep can be left in trucks or trailers on the grounds, the sheep brought to Oregon from Arizona for Cheryl Lavooi and me got to spend the night on a small, grassy lot in Creswell at the home of Cheryl's friend - their first experience with Oregon green! (I hear they didn't know what to do with the stuff.) Cheryl rode along to show me the way and help me catch my little lambs. Here is my first look at them, with one of Cheryl's new ewes.
Boulderneigh Braveheart is in front, and Brava is behind him. As you can see, although both are "brown," they are quite different in color. (There are several shades of brown in the Shetland lexicon, with lots of differing opinions on how to define them.) They may both be what is called musket, since Brava has some white hairs in her ears. Musket (pronounced mooskit) sheep fade to a lesser or greater extent on their body; I'm hoping they retain some color in their fleeces and don't fade to white or cream, but we'll see.

I think BB, born on April 10, is quite handsome. His scurs are tiny, his fleece is very dense - and look at that rear view!
Brava, born March 20, is more skittish, and looks UP for escape routes; I hope she settles down. She and Valentine are calling to each other like they are mother and daughter, so maybe sweet Valentine can teach her how to be a "lovey sheep." I'm glad to see Brava has a pretty head! Some horse people say, "You don't ride the head," meaning a good horse is much more than pretty face, but I always say I have to enjoy what's looking at me over the stall (or sheepfold) door. :-)
That's it for now at . . .


Kathy said...

Glad you made it! Won't the lambs be registered as "Valiant" since they were bred by Beryl? (My lambs that came with the ewes from Kim were Mtn. Niche even though Kim said I could give them names)

I wish I had been there to take in everything. (sigh) Maybe next year?!

Michelle said...

Nope, Beryl left the names blank on the registration application so I can name them whatever I want. I'm sure I COULD register them with the Valiant prefix, but instead I'm picking names that nod to the meaning of "Valiant" - Braveheart and Brava.

Tina T-P said...

Hmmm - I think you may have to register them with the Valiant prefix, but then again, I may be wrong too.

Glad to get the good news of Marybeth's lamb getting best ram! Yahoo - and good for Gabriel - one of our friends has one of her little black ewes from last year and she's a pretty one.

You are a better woman than I that you were able to get through ALL THOSE VENDORS and not buy anything! I am impressed - there is always something that catches my eye - a new pair of sheeply earrings or some of that wonderful Oregon Fogwash soap.

Glad you had a great time - thanks for the news, too. Enjoy your new babies :-) And Kathy - Definately next year! XOX - T.

Lauren Dorsee Dillon said...

They are lovely, great colors and conformation, and I think the head shot sheep (sorry forgot which one it was) must be related to my Charlotte because they have that narrow, lovely nose instead of a broader one. Fiona and Darby inherited that, too. It's so neat we have sheep from the same breeder. They could be cousins so should definitely keep in touch.

Congratulations on your new additions! Have a chocolate cigar!

Lauren Dorsee Dillon said...

Oh,and I love seeing them on grass. I have witnessed first hand what they have lived on up to this point. I'm sp happy for them!

Juliann said...

Hi Michelle,

Glad you hear your new sheep made the trip okay, and I'm elated to have yet another breeder working with polled genetics! Welcome to the club!

Tammy said...

Very pretty babies! Congrats on your new flock members and taking the plunge to have a ram. Here is hoping he will be a good, gentle citizen. I'd like to hear what others think his color is. He could be musket, of course, but he looks a little different for a musket... something about the overtones in his fleece. What are his parents, color wise? Have fun with your newly expanded flock! :-)

Franna said...

Michelle, it was great to see you at BSG and glad to hear you and the lambs made it home fine and dandy. I thought about stopping on our way home, but once we were in the truck it was pointed HOME. Well, with one stop at the mill south of Corvalis - wow! 50# bags of alfalfa pellets for $6 and no tax!
Looking forward to growing up pictures of the Valiant lambs.

Michelle said...

It was great to see you, too, Franna! I am very thankful for my Shetland friends and this blog, where I can chatter away about my new little lambies (and ALL my sheepies) without exhausting my DH's patience on the subject. I watched "The Freedom Writers" last night for the first time, so I'm keeping in mind how much she talked about "her" kids!

Kathy said...

Yes, I agree with Tina that I believe the rules state that they must have the "Valiant" pre-fix denoting the herd of origination. I would ask Gail Former about it since she's been doing the Flock Book. I know that most of the time, breeder's have no problem with you giving them their actual names, but the prefix breeder farm name has a lot to do with the Registry and Flock Books.