Wednesday, April 30, 2008

C is for color

Last night I finally finished my recycled sari silk Sonnet so I could wear it today. I found the perfect buttons - yes, five different colors to go with my "coat of many colors" - just yesterday at the LYS. Unfortunately, the cardigan turned out a bit big - and then got bigger every time I put it on! The yarn's weight and lack of memory make the garment "drape," to put it kindly. I'm not sure yet if I will continue to wear it stubbornly, or if I shall gift it to someone with more "substance." I will definitely make the Sonnet again, but definitely with a different yarn and perhaps in a smaller size.

Our double pink flowering cherry is opening its tissue-paper blossoms; it's a beautiful tree and my picture doesn't do it justice.

Neither can I take a photo that does justice to Morgan's lovely plumage. Our little Easter-egger's color is so intriguing, her silvery feathers accented with gold, topped by that dark head. She's the only one of the pullets who is testing her wings and trying to get airborne.

And how about this pretty bit of color? Those are baby cones on the spruce outside our garage door.

How drab it would be without all this color in our world! I'm thankful the Creator loves color, and put an appreciation for it within us.

That's it for now at . . .

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A is for apple, B is for "boing"

I noticed this week that the apple orchard at the bottom of our hill is bursting beautifully into bloom, apparently untouched by our recent cold weather. Our apple trees aren't readily visible, so I decided to walk up and see how they were doing. Hurray - one is blooming, and the other is covered with buds! Any year with homemade applesauce and apple cider is a good year.

Since today didn't turn out as wet as forecast, I finally let the sheep out to play. The four youngest lambs immediately congregated into a play group, and the big maple was the center of their activity. Oh, those bouncing babies! They are sirens, luring me to linger, forgetting all responsibilities. In vain I try to capture their effortless frenzy, my blurry photos only hinting at their gravity-defying antics.

That's it for now at . . .

Monday, April 28, 2008

Great expectations

Some days I have no plans to blog, but then something catches my eye and I fancy that someone else will enjoy it, too. This morning on my way to the barn to do chores, I noticed that some lilac buds are just starting to open. That inspired me to walk around and take a closer look at other plants, shrubs and trees.

Our three baby fruit trees planted last year are all looking good. From top, a Bing cherry, a tree grafted with several varieties of Asian pears, and a tree grafted with several regular pear varieties.

This Pink Walloper rhody looks like it's going to have wonderful blooms this year.

The iris are developing flower buds, too.

But as sparse and imperfect as they are, what really warmed my heart was to see these blooms on three of the azaleas/rhodies we "rescued" from my neighbor's yard last year. Most of the others have buds. The "pinks" (is that their name?) we transplanted survived as well.
There was a flock of evening grosbeaks at the feeder this morning; some of them stayed for a photo through the window. I cracked the door onto the deck to try to get a clearer shot and they all flew away, but then a couple came back with two of their smaller cousins. Hurray - the always cheery goldfinches are back!

That's it for now at . . .

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I pulled Braveheart's coat off today so he could get uniformly dirty (hey, that's how I see it now that I've experienced covered fleeces!) before Black Sheep Gathering. I knew he had grown and filled out a lot since shearing at the end of February; it was a pleasant surprise to see just how much. Compare the after-shearing photo below with the photos above that I took today, just two months later!I no longer think he'll be the runt of the yearling ram class. Not that I was too worried about that. Lettie Klein is going to be the judge again this year. Last year I appreciated how thorough she was in evaluating the Shetlands, and she placed the most correct individuals at the top of their classes regardless of size.

The lambs and ladies got to be out for 12 hours today. Rain is supposed to move in again tonight, so I rode both my horse and the one I'm paid to ride weekly (there is only an outdoor round pen where the other horse is boarded, and our arena is uncovered as well). After I rode Russell I rinsed him off, then let him graze on his lead while he drip-dried. He enjoyed the treat; Jackson tried what was on the menu out of curiosity or politeness, but didn't seem to relish it as much.
That's it for now at . . .

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Out of the frying pan and into the fire

Not really, but it sounded good. :-) This afternoon I put Dinah and her twins out with the other girls and older lambs in the sheep lot. After things settled down and I was no longer needed to referee, I added Valentine and her little chocolate kisses to the mix. Valentine did her best to keep her lambs away from the rest of the flock, and I couldn't blame her. These are her first and VERY special babies; they deserve extra protection!
Isn't Bryden's fleece just scrumptious? Bevin's is just as nice.

The lambs love to "climb" into the base of this big maple; Blanche is exploring the fun niche for the first time, with Blizz and Browning right behind her.
Suzanne in Alaska will be happy to know that at least some of our fruit blossoms look unaffected by our recent light snows and frosts. Below are the flowers on our white flowering plum tree (which often produces some fruit as well).
And friend Kathy will be happy to see that barn cat Oreo is actually quite spoiled; I have left the three bags of wool out just for Her Highness to have a suitably soft nesting spot. Well, maybe not, but Oreo is taking full advantage of my lack of time and skirting table!

That's it for now at . . .

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Room to romp

Can we go out there, please?

Yesterday was supposed to be dry (it wasn't...), so I put Rechel and her boys and the two maiden ewes out in the sheep lot and took apart the lamb jugs, giving Dinah and Valentine and their young ones the run of the sheep fold. Browning was very curious about Val's twins - perhaps because they looked more like him than his own family? Anyway, things went swimmingly for awhile, and then Dinah started butting Valentine. So I put the puppy pen divider up so Valentine and her sweet chocolate things could have the original "bonding suite" area, giving both ewes and their lambs more room to run and play than the lambing jugs provided. Valentine seemed relieved....
Dinah's twins, being four days older, really took advantage of the chance to stretch their little legs. Who needs TV when lambs are playing? Of course, I had to try to catch their antics with my camera. I took photo...after photo...after nice it is to have a digital camera instead of wasting film on dozens of missed shots!

Once in a great while, you get lucky!

Of course, they are also cute when they are standing still.
Blanche fancies herself a mountain climber or a Grand Prix jumper; she often tries to scale her mom.
Today truly was dry (and sunny and warmer!), so everyone got the same accommodations again (then back to the lambing jugs at night). I am hoping to put everyone together in the sheep lot this weekend while the nice weather continues. Maybe the pullets will venture outside their coop, too!

That's it for now at bouncing . . .