Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's 11:00; here are the details

Sorry folks, I thought that announcing "One of each from Annabelle" made it clear I got ram/ewe twins from Mother Jugs!

Bonny arrived around noon, just before I got home from hauling a horse for someone. After making sure she and Bronwen were doing fine, I went to the house to post "It's a GIRL!" Annabelle wasn't doing a thing - no eating, no cudding, no straining, no restlessness; nothing. That made me think something was going on. Around 2:30 I went down to check on her again, and there she was with dark, wet twins. The lanky ramling, in fact, was still laying in a puddle of birthing fluids with only his face clear of the sack; he must have just arrived. The smaller ewe lamb was already up and vigorously searching for a teat, striking out with her wee front leg in frustration over not being able to find it, the little pistol!

Both lambs appear to be Ag grey, with very different types of birth coats. The ewe (on the right) looks black, but has some white hairs in her ears and faint "sugar lips." The ramling is beautifully "marbled" in coloring. Both show far more signs of Ag than their sire ever did, which I find interesting.
"Little sister" glowing a bit red under the heat lamp. She has a tiny tail and more of a "dog coat."

"The marbled man" - both sides of him. He has a crimpy coat, and small horn buds - I suspect he's a half-poll. Their names have not come to me yet; I'll keep you posted.

So the 2011 lambing results are four lambs from three ewes; two rams and two ewes - all born on Thursdays! Ruth was the first one to guess that in my lambing contest, so she wins the quilted wall-hanging (to be). Guess I'd better get on that!

That truly is IT for today at . . .

One of each from Annabelle!

Details at 11 - or whenever I get back from doing the clinic's payroll.

Oh, and psst, Ruth - you WON!

It's a GIRL!!!

First-time mama Bronwen is doing a fantastic job.

Baby looks nice and square.

And of COURSE she's beautiful - so her name is Bonny!

"Mother Jugs" is still holding out on me.

That's it for now at . . .

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 2011

In spite of this March going down in the record books as having the most consecutive days of rain ever, and close to being the wettest and coldest ever, the flowers are blooming and the chickens are laying. These are the three eggs Welsie has laid, in order from left to right. See how she's getting better at pigment distribution, and slightly darker each time?

As for my overdue sheep?

They mock me.

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo op for the pop-to-be

Blake needed a bigger coat, so I took advantage of the opportunity to get some conformation shots. This homebred yearling musket ram is the sire of Annabelle's and Bronwen's lambs, and I am looking forward to seeing what he produces. I think he's looking good; of course, I thought his parents were good-looking Shetlands, too. I just hope he got the finer fleece of his dam (his hogget fleece was wonderful in all ways) - and polled genes from both his parents! Any nice ewe lambs may be retained in hopes that they carry polled.

I'm hoping Franna will take some photos of papa Barish now that he's shorn so we can all get a good look at Barrister's sire, too. I still want a black katmoget daughter from him!

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weary of waiting

I just took this video. Please note that the hoovers seen first and second to last in the footage are the two ewes who were due to lamb last weekend. AHEM! I have to be gone from mid-afternoon through late evening today. I'll be home all day tomorrow but have to be gone most of the day Wednesday for responsibilities that I canNOT get out of. I am hoping Annabelle and Bronwen finally release those lambs Tuesday at the latest!

Meanwhile, itty-bitty baby lilac flowers are peeking out of their leafy blankets:

Maybe yesterday's rainbow (during a rare break in the rain) was to remind me that Noah had to wait a LOT longer both to get on - and then off of - the ark....

Trying to remind myself that patience is a virtue at . . .

Skirting finished

Today I skirted my last three fleeces and boxed them up to ship to their new homes. All that's left is Inky; I'll scissor her fleece off once it warms up enough for the old gal to run around next-to-nekkid.

Three of this spring's eight fleeces were new experiences for me - Blake's, Bunker's and Annabelle's. The first two are yearlings, and of course Annabelle and Bunker just moved here at the end of September. I loved all three, and am so glad to have them in my little flock! If they all produce lambs with fleeces just like theirs, I'll be a happy shepherd. Here is a close-up of Annabelle's:
It is very similar in type to her boy Bunker's, although his is much finer according to the micron tests. Can't really tell that much difference by hand, though!

Yesterday's egg collection included the first egg in months from Welsie, our Welsummer hen. If she keeps laying, she'll get better at pigment distribution and produce lovely chocolate-colored eggs, instead of eggs with chocolate speckles.

Last night I finished the second to the last chart of my beaded shawl; the end is in sight and I'm getting excited! Blocking this project will be another new experience for me; I need to buy some wires and T-pins.

And no, neither Annabelle nor Bronwen show any indication of lambing soon.

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, March 25, 2011

Watched pots

I've got plenty of other things to look at and even more things I need to do, but . . .
Just how many do you have in there, Annabelle?

"Look here, this waiting business isn't any easier for me."

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Departures and arrivals

Yesterday I got Blackberry's and Bronwen's fleeces skirted outside before the rain began again, and did Bunker's incredibly fine, crimpy fleece under cover in the garage last night. I'll be making a run to the post office today:
Fleeces are headed to Georgia, Prince Edward Island, California and New York. (A lady in Switzerland is buying Bunker's, but I'm sending it to her sister's in NY.)

The next one to skirt is Blake's. I am loath to sell his; it's my favorite fleece this year. But there will be other exquisite hogget fleeces, and I still have hogget roving from Browning, Blackberry and Bramble to spin. MUST.NOT.HOARD. I had to call Laura to hold my hand while I made that decision - then had to tell her that no, she could not buy it if I could not keep it!

Still available at this point are Annabelle's, Bramble's and Katie's fleeces - one white, one light grey, and one fawn. Let me know - fast - if you want one.

In the midst of all that picking and packing, a surprise lamb arrived yesterday! A beautiful, dark moorit, just like her mother:

Ha! I saw a cute sheep like the bigger one at a holiday craft fair I attended last December, and placed an order for a grey one. When I went to pick it up later that month, I didn't like the grey fleece; it looked dyed. Since Gwen (of The Mouse Factory) said many people had tried to buy it, I asked if I could get a brown sheep instead, if I waited until after the holiday rush, and she agreed. It arrived today - with an adorable little surprise lamb!

If that isn't quite what you were hoping for, stay tuned. Real lambs have GOT to arrive sometime!

That's it for today from . . .