Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Out like a lion (cub)

March came in unusually mild, definitely like a lamb, and has pretty much stayed that way – until today. Nothing extreme, but it was definitely cooler (we've got a fire going again), with showers, sunshine, downpours and hail.

Barbados sheltered well from the showers last night and wasn't wet this morning, so I struck while the fleece was dry.
Behind hip
Shortly after I got the above photos it started to rain, so we moved to the machine shed. Even though I wasn't able to keep it intact, his fleece came off easily except for a small area on his haunches. He was left with a nice layer of very dense, crimpy new wool, now protected by a fresh coat.

Available: a crimpy, fine, soft fleece, and a 2014 fine-fleeced fawn katmoget polled ram (micron test results pending)!

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, March 29, 2015

One of these things is not like the others

Annabelle got rooed today! One fleece harvested, 13 to go....

Now that I've seen the forecast, I'm thinking I should have done Raggedy Andy Barbados instead. Those trees are the only shelter in the boys' pasture, and tomorrow – when I'm "Gone Girl" – is supposed to be our last dry day for awhile. Maybe I'll get lucky and the rain will hold off until Tuesday morning. Glad everyone got lots of time outside today; the lambs had a ball together!

The flowering cherry is starting to bloom. If you've got it, flaunt it!

That's it for today from . . .

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Loads of lamb photos

Friday morning I tried to get some close-ups of the boys' noggins without much success. At any rate, neither one has any sign of horn material; instead, both have divots where horn buds would be. That's a double-score for this polled Shetland breeder. (Oh, and happy first-week birthday, Belfast and Boston!)

Since it was a blessed (and busy) home-day for me, it was a pasture-day for the ewes and lambs. Vienna's girls continue to be the more active pair. I thought of shooting video, but I would have been panning back and forth so rapidly to keep them in frame during their strafing runs that I would have made us all dizzy. Instead, I snapped a couple not-great action shots,
plus some stills.
(Bree is the one with the light "wash" on the left side of her chest.) You can see that the girls also have divots on their heads where horn buds would be.

Yes, I still have other sheep. ;-)  Blaise hiked her skirt up yesterday.
Apparently she thinks this year's lambs are hogging the spotlight, and decided to grab some of it back with slightly risqué behavior! Ha!

That's it for Friday from . . .

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Besties, boots, barns, and blooms

This morning I loved on my brown-sugar girlies again. I started with Bree,

then turned to Brosna.
At which point Bree let me know she wanted more by jumping up on my knee! Awww; my new besties. I'm a happy shepherd!

I'm also a blessed shepherd. I needed to replace my old LLBean chore shoes, which were cracked and worn, but hadn't bit that bullet yet. Then I got an email from blogpal Theresa, asking if I could wear Blundstone boots in a size 8.5. Why yes; yes, I can!!! Thank-you SO much, Theresa!

It is a sad thing to love big, old barns as I do; they too often die slow, neglected deaths. Recently, an old barn that didn't look too bad was torn down. I figured the owners were going to put up a second big, bland metal shed, if anything. Imagine my surprise – and delight! – when this classy structure started taking shape!

It looks like more than just a barn. Perhaps it will have living quarters upstairs? Here it is with the metal shed constructed last year:

As for flowers around the farm – the daffodils and narcissus are on their last stems, but the rosemary is still going strong and the perennial bachelor's buttons are ramping up. Soon our double-flowered cherry is going to explode with fluffy pink confetti . . . the parade continues!

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


The ewes and lambs only got out for a soggy hour yesterday, so today's mostly sunny afternoon to graze and play was much appreciated. Vienna and Sarai have relaxed their vigilance a bit, allowing all four lambs to romp.

(sorry for all the dust inside my lens)
Could you keep them all straight? Four brown lambs; see how they run! Color and pattern genetics; aren't they fun? Last year I had both colors (black, brown) and every pattern except Agouti (i.e. Ag, the fading or graying gene) represented in my lamb crop; this year I only have Ag and brown (together called "musket") in my lamb crop. There are subtle color differences between them, though. I'll post a bunch of photos I took today then identify them below, in case you want to try your hand at telling them apart.
In the top two photos, Bree is on the left and Brosna is on the right. Then it's Belfast,  Brosna, and Belfast again. In the sixth photo, Brosna is on the left and Bree is on the right. The last two photos are of the boys; Boston is the lighter one and Belfast is the darker one.

It is easier to tell the pairs apart when additional "accessories" show:  ;-)
So far, the girls are the runners and the boys are the climbers:

Tonight Bree and Brosna fell under my spell. I sat with them for awhile after chores, rubbing their chins and briskets until they went all soft on me. Happy one-week birthday, sweet ones!

That's it for now from . . .

Winken, Blinken, and Nod

I took the above yesterday morning, and have to admit I was a bit jealous of Belfast's and Boston's cozy nap. I don't sleep well. I can't remember when sleeping well was the norm; I know it's been years.

My boss bought enough FitBit Flexes for everyone at work to use one if they wanted. I had an inexpensive, off-brand activity tracker; I was interested in the differences between the two. Well, the FitBit blows the other one out of the water. It provides SO much more information in an easy-to-track manner . . . including about information about how you sleep. Somehow, having concrete data about how little sleep I actually get and how often it is interrupted by restlessness makes me feel even MORE tired than I already felt! But last night was a better night, and I'm off to face the day.

That's it for now from . . .

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Now for those lovable lambs

Before the rain moved in today, I let out all the ewes and lambs together to stretch their legs and graze. Sarai thought it was a bit too soon to let her wee boys mingle with the flock, so she kept them off to themselves:
She did let me get some good photos, though. And, as is typical of ram lambs, they were happy to stick around and pose instead of skittering off. (Brian is already campaigning to have them banded so he can love on them all he wants, but both look too promising for quick decisions and Brian has Bree and Brosna to cuddle.) There's Boston (I decided to stick with the Irish place names theme),
and – in honor of my friend Adrienne's mother's birthplace – Belfast.
Nice, huh? All four lambs have super conformation like that, and all four have crimpy, soft, consistent birth coats. Very promising, indeed!

Meanwhile, the girls are getting a head start on their training:

Lamb races have begun, at . . .

Nature walk or lamb races?

I once read an essay that called those beams "fingers of God;" love it!

I have post topics popping up like spring flowers and enough time today to do something about them, so you just might get two posts in one day! (Followed by busy days with none, no doubt.)

You may have noticed that getting out and enjoying God's creation is a favorite Sabbath afternoon pastime of ours. Yesterday we returned to a favorite nearby wildlife refuge. I hope you enjoy a look at spring in the Pacific Northwest.
Bald eagle nest in far left tree, bald eagles perched at top of middle tree
Eagles as close as my camera is capable of
Peregrine falcon!!! Rick caught it in flight, with perfect arrow wings
Blurry shot of a rough-skinned newt...
...and a garter snake, the only creature immune to newt poison.
A pretty pond...
... and its pretty residents.

That's it for one post from . . .