Saturday, April 30, 2022

Four down, five to go

In fleece harvest, that is. In lambing, it's still three down, one to go. Bridget was clearly not going to lamb before I left at o'dark thirty Wednesday morning, so maybe she'll wait until I return. But I did get her sheared, and also rooed Bernadette and Spot. I've never been able to roo Bette and Bernadette before, so that was a pleasant surprise; nice to have a couple of those (pleasant surprises, that is) this year for a change. Rooing is faster and thus easier on my back, and there are no second cuts. From the tattered look of others, I'll hopefully be able to harvest additional fleeces that way when I get back. Lambing and shearing in May, oh my; that's just the way this strange, discombobulated year is going.
 Bridget in the waning light after a several-hour shearing

Bernadette, half-rooed
Her c-section site blends in now!

Bernadette after rooing
Bernie's fleece
Spot the handsome lambic-daddy

Spot after rooing, showing the little white streak on his lower belly

Fresh sheep suit in the twilight

Before I left, I got the ewes and lambs out on pasture as much as possible, both because it saves on hay (which is running low) and because the foxtail was already heading out. By the time I get back from this trip to Texas, pasture season for sheep (because of the wicked foxtail awns) will be over. So here are likely the final spring photos and videos of sheep on lush grass:

Here in the Texas panhandle, it is slightly greener than it was last month, where some lawns have been watered and some trees have leafed out. It's 30° warmer than it is back home, but I packed for that. The last photo is one of the three redbud trees in front of my parents' house. It took me awhile to realize what they were; flowers seem to shrink from the arid wind here, instead of flaunting themselves 'loud and proud' like they do in the Willamette Valley.

That's all I've got for April!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Of weather and wool

A current screen shot of my weather app wouldn't look much different than the one leading off my last post, but there has been a lot of water under the bridge, sunshine over the bridge, and snow ON the bridge in the last nine days! Those of you who follow me on Instagram saw our sticking snow three mornings in a row last week; it didn't last long here but set records throughout the area for latest snowfall. As with my farm and family life, there is no point in asking "What next?" because I clearly don't have enough imagination for all the possibilities. 😳

Snow on lilac buds

Time for a flock update. The sheep have been out on pasture several more times, and on Easter I even managed to slip away from Bling instead of having to babysit. (But she much prefers it when I stay.)

Bonded lambs and dams
Estranged mother and daughter

Got a lot of nasty tansy pulled while lamb-sitting

A 'bluebird day'

Bling still thinks us two-leggeds are her 'flock'

The day I slipped out Bling stuck tight to Bernadette and Broadway

Now they holler to be let out ALL the time, but it's turned very wet again and I'm trying to keep fleeces dry so I can harvest when there's opportunity.

On Sunday I rooed Bette, whose fleece was starting to fall off on its own. (Available for purchase.)

Now Bette doesn't look much bigger than Boop – or maybe I should say that big Boop doesn't look much smaller than her dam now!

Also on Sunday, Rick preg-checked Bridget with ultrasound and confirmed she is carrying at least one vigorous lambie, so I put her in with the other ewes and put wether Bing out in the Ram-ada Inn to keep Spot company.
Ewe's not just fat and fluffy!

Ewe's interested in those lambies? Just wait!

Yesterday yearling Berlin persisted in being a butthead to Bridget, chasing her round and round and bashing her in the butt and side. The little brat got put in with Bing; I don't need her to precipitate another lambing crisis. I suspect she might also be mean to Bernadette, Broadway, and Bling when they have to trade spaces with Bridget.

Another thing that will help prevent problems is getting Bridget's huge fleece sheared; we'll be able to keep a closer eye on her progress and her udder (when and if it ever develops) will be more accessible. I was going to shear her today, but it's been too wet and cold for that several-hour process. Maybe later today....

Please let Bridget lamb before I leave for Texas again  – or wait until I return!

That's it for now from . . .

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Spring sprang a leak

Our weather has gone from warm and sunny to cold and rainy. Yay for more moisture in the ground and snow in the mountains, and enough wood left to keep a fire going in the fireplace insert! I feel a kettle or two of hearty stews coming on for this week's menu....
I got some good pictures of the flock yesterday before the weather turned wet, but thought you might need a break from the barrage of flock photos. So after Bling's afternoon bottle, I walked around and shot soggy flowers:

Then I went inside for a hot drink!

That's it for today from . . .