Monday, August 01, 2022

Happy August!

I don't know what the rest of August will bring, but this morning brought cooler temperatures and pretty clouds, most welcome relief from what the meteorologists are saying was our longest heat wave on record. Ugh, good riddance; I think I've been in 'heat hibernation' mode. We endured it, including all the critters; I just haven't had much motivation (this posted was started weeks ago and just couldn't get off the ground). Poppy and Chuckie seemed least affected; do cats ever get too hot? They just sprawl about, seeming to enjoy it. Chuckie discovered some volunteer catnip in a deck pot; can you spot which one?

Speaking of deck pots, my wee garden flourished in the heat.
June 7

August 1
I've harvested some of the basil which really made the plant fill out; the bell pepper is getting bigger and heavier, and there's a nice little tomato coming along. I've also harvested half a dozen tasty cucumbers from the plants I tucked into the neighbors' garden, plus a couple summer squash and some rhubarb they said I could pick. In other harvesting news, Rick and I picked 73# of blueberries last Thursday morning, 70# of which are now in the freezer for our year's supply. No photos; no energy to bother with that after three and a half hours out in the sun. 😳

I also braved the morning sun when I could stand it to ride Stella. She is coming along nicely in her arena work, and is an awesome 'trail' horse.

As I mentioned before, I also 'rode' in the Tour de fleece last month (it extended through the whole month because of the women's race immediately following the Tour de France this year). I exceeded my goals, for which I am very happy (I'm both goal-oriented and process-driven, so these kinds of events are up my alley). Pictured with my yellow "jersey" are  237g of Jacob 3-ply (singles spun years ago), 91g of chain-plied BamHuey, 25g of chain-plied cotton, and 15g of singles spun from a Woodland Pixies batt (fiber and spindle acquired at Black Sheep Gathering):

Now for fiber growers. All the lambs are thriving, from Boop to Boomer. Just for fun, I tried to get similar shots of all of Spot's kids (including yearling Berlin), plus their dad, loving their chin rubs. (Boop's photo isn't great because she's so dark and so is the barn.) I also got some fiber shots, even though dark fleeces are notoriously hard to photograph accurately. Spot has passed on his fabulous fleece as well as his sweet personality!





Boomer, showing the character that he is!




Unless he's castrated, Boomer can't stay here as he's related to all my ewes but Blaise. In order to advertise him, I needed some decent photos, so yesterday I jury-rigged my smallest halter and took him out for a photo shoot. Considering this was his first time away from mom and first haltering lesson, he did very well; Poppy helped by giving him something to focus on besides his distress. Yes, there was jumping around, but no throwing himself on the ground or playing dead as often happens when halter-training lambs, so Boomer gets an 'A.'

Poppy would love to play with all the lambs, and horses, and chickens, and, of course, Chuckie. The problem with a terrier's play is that someone is likely to get hurt, so the only live creatures she gets to play with totally unsupervised are prey. Oh, and Spot, because he doesn't play; they are just friends.

It is entertaining to watch 'Poppy the hunter;" I do wish she'd would kill what she catches quickly, though. 😕

When I wouldn't let her play too much with Bling this morning, she grabbed a honkin' big stick. This could actually be quite helpful IF she'd leave it at the firewood pile (she didn't)!

Finally, the orchid buds in my last post have started to open; party on the pie safe!
focused on the African violets

focused on the mini-orchid

focused on the newest bloomer

That's it for now from . . .


Wanda said...

It’s great to read your post! Your spinning during the TdF is impressive - especially 25gr of COTTON as well as all the rest!

It’s great you’ve been able to ride Stella some despite the soaring temps. Today’s weather was needed relief from the heat.

Boomer is a striking little fellow with good coloring and confirmation (what little I know about sheep). I really hope someone will want him for breeding stock.

Michelle said...

Thanks for your encouragement and tips on the cotton, Wanda! I want to get this finished and see how it knits up into a washcloth before doing any more. Wasn't today lovely, and the cool breeze tonight? I do have one person who has expressed interest in Boomer, and will place an ad for him on the Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep Association website as well.

Leigh said...

Aw, Chuckie made me smile! And Poppy, what a gal! Good shots of Boomer. It's so hard to get good photos when they're little like that. Nice to see your container garden thriving. And I'm glad you got a break from your heat wave! I hate summers like that.

Mama Pea said...

You included a bit of everything in this post which I liked. Kind of like visiting your little gem of a place . . . animals, handwork, flowers, etc. Thanks for the "tour."

thecrazysheeplady said...

Seems like other than the stupid heat, you had a pretty good month :-).

Florida Farm Girl said...

Dear girl, that is a lot of blueberries! Can't believe you picked them all in one go. One year we picked a total of 58 pounds on two days and I got totally sick of looking at them before I was done freezing them. Glad you've gotten a break from the heat.

Michelle said...

Leigh, so nice to see your comment here. Yes, the little ones are hard to 'capture;' like I said, Poppy helped by darting around (she really wanted to play with him).

The photos and topics accumulate when I don't post often, Mama Pea; sometimes I think it's all too much to blog about so thank you for letting me know you liked it all.

Sara, considering it was my first full month at home since January, I'd have to say you're correct!

Sue, we pick at a commercial farm whose owners are clients of my husband, so the picking is good.