Friday, April 09, 2021

Spring harvest

I am plugging away on harvesting fleeces whenever I have a big block of time (I never know how many hours one will take me). After rooing Blaise I turned to Vienna. Her belly and backside were easily rooed (so she's ready for lambing; 👍🏻) but her body fleece is firmly attached.

Here's a good illustration of the elasticity of fine, crimpy Shetland wool. Vienna's fleece looks short-stapled, but when I separated out a lock to snip for micron-testing, it's a good three inches.

Knowing Vienna would take awhile to scissor-shear, I turned to Sarai, who has been one of my reliably roo-able sheep. Not this year! So I scissor-sheared her, running out of time to get her neck. She's thin (clearly not pregnant), but doing fine on hay, pasture, and regular handfuls of alfalfa.

On Tuesday I decided I'd better salvage what I could of Spot's fleece, since the base of his neck was framed with tattered old fleece, the upper covered with new growth. His fleece is quite short (1" unstretched!) because he was sheared late last year, but when I went to take a mid-side sample for micron testing, it pulled off easily. The boy was ready to roo! I wouldn't think his fleece would have been worth anything last year if he got this significant a rise last spring, so I don't know if this is new for him or what. Anyway, it went fairly well considering he's not really halter-broke. Afterwards I tied him to the fence to recover from his struggles on the stand – and look who came over to socialize. 🙄

Sarai is apparently just into romance, not reproduction (remember; she is the only ewe I witnessed Spot breed last fall). BTW, Spot is still jet black, but the heavy grease at the rise makes him look rather gray after rooing.

Vienna and Blaise will both surely lamb this month, but I'm not setting up the lambing jug(s) just yet. Feeling lots of anticipation about what they will produce with handsome Spot. Because Spot still boings around like a lamb, I've decided one of his offspring will be dubbed Bebop. That set me on a musical/dance theme, so there may be a Bamba, Boogie-woogie, Blues, or Big Band as well. This will be a fun 'harvest'!

I also feeling like I'm now reaping the results of the long, slow work of relationship-building with my beautiful Morgan mare Stella. I am now riding her regularly at walk and trot, which just thrills me, and there is much promise of greatness to come. You can always get more on that subject over on my Dances With Horses blog.
I hauled her to a round pen for our first solo trot work

That's it for now from . . .


wyomingheart said...

Spot is quite a gent! He really looks like he has a sweet disposition! Looks like a good ride on tha Morgan! Have a perfect weekend!

Michelle said...

He really IS a sweetheart, wyomingheart; he has fit in here very well. You have a good weekend, too! What is your weather like now? We are in full-blown spring, with beautiful weather. Hope we get some more rain before summer, though.

Tim B. Inman said...

Your 'music names' theme made me smile. My wife, Joyce, used a 'first ladies' naming theme for our barn cats. We had Martha, Dolly, Mary and of course, Michelle, among others. Thanks for the grin.

A :-) said...

Bagatelle, or Beguine? All the sheep look great. And I love seeing you and Stella together. :-)

wyomingheart said...

Morning Michelle! We are in beautiful spring ! Raining about every other day, but the garden is sure enjoying that! Our day temps are high 60’s to low 70’s, and the nights have been in the 50’s. Looks like next week, however, we will only be highs of 50’s, but we will take that anytime! Have you started your garden yet? I will be praying for your rain, as the fire hazard out west seems very high! How’s that Little Rock Star, Chuckie? Good Sabbath!

Jeanne said...

Hi Michelle!
I really enjoyed reading your adventures of rooing and shearing your sheep. I'm so happy for you that Spot is such a good tempered guy. He surely is beautiful!
It's SO wonderful to know that you and Stella are doing well, working together! I need a sign or something to remind me to look at your Dancing With Horses blog. I always forget to do that!
Have a great weekend!

Michelle said...

Tim, were you following me when last I had lambs here? The theme that year was movie stars, so I had Bacall and Bogart, Bridget (I misspelled) and Bardot, Bette (Davis), Bernadette (Peters), and (Rhett) Butler. That was fun!

Thanks for the additional ideas, A!

Our garden is being sorely neglected, wyomingheart. At this point I'm wondering if we'll HAVE one, as I can't do it all and no one is stepping up to help. Yes, it is drying out too fast out here; fire season looks scary in the West. Chuckie is well; I have fresh photos for you. :-)

I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Jeanne. I like sharing my animals!

Retired Knitter said...

Missed this post. How wonderful to enjoy just a simple ride on that beautiful lady, Stella. Just think about how far you have come with her.