Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Going batty from bugs!

Stinkbugs and boxelders and flies, oh my. This fall all of them are nearing plague proportions. If they would just stay outside and leave me my house as a place of refuge I'd be okay, but the bugs are finding their way INside as well. It doesn't matter how many I kill; they seem to spontaneously generate. Poppy tries her hardest to help with the flies, but is reluctant to take on the others. I can't blame her; they must taste awful.

We are STILL warm and dry; this October has had a record-breaking number of days 80° and over, with another one in the forecast for tomorrow. But after that it finally looks like fall:

"Dusty and brown" gets me down; I so look forward to the greening of our world! But this extended summer has been good for grape harvest; our concords usually get ruined by rain before they fully ripen. This year we got a nice mess of white and dark concords, mixed them in the steamer, and canned six quarts of lovely juice:
The dry weather is also good for getting outside tasks done. Sunday Rick finished spreading manure; now both the middle and upper pastures are amended:
Poppy and Chuckie checking out the poo

While he was doing that, I was busy with sheep and OFFF. Bright and early my friend Kate showed up. She unloaded her little Tilly to join Spot's breeding group; then we loaded up Sarai, Berlin, and Boomer to take to their new owners – just in time for them to move on the next day to Sisters, OR! The family was delightful, and delighted with their little fiber flock. Here they are in their shiny new halters before donning their clean, new coats:
I have to admit it; while parting their fleeces to show their new owner, I rued parting with them. But hopefully Spot and his ladies are making more fine-fleeced Shetlands with drool-worthy fleeces. Here he is with his five Shetland ladies and Tilly, the pretty little 'dairy maid' in front:
That leaves Spot's three young daughters keeping company in the barn, not completely happily, but oh well:

Anyway, after delivering the sheep Sunday morning, Kate and I went to OFFF for several hours. First priority, head to the Jenkins booth to proxy-shop for several people. After that Kate wanted to go to the livestock barn to look into potential sires for her milk goat and her other dairy sheep – and I'm so glad! First I ran into my farrier's wife, and through her connected to a Washington Shetland breeder I've talked to on the phone but didn't know would be at OFFF. Then I got to watch both of them show, because both had ewes to present for Diamond awards! Janice's Grand Champion and Best Fleece on the Hoof Shetland didn't place in the Diamond Award classes, but Loren's Border Leicester won the Diamond Award for fleece. (Additionally, the Texel fleece that Loren entered in the Fleece Show won Grand Champion – out of 450 fleeces.)
Janice and her gulmoget Shetland ewe are second from left

Here are a couple parting shots. The first is of some Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds I captured from our deck yesterday,

and some of the color on the deck (two geraniums are off-camera):

That's it for now from . . .


Mama Pea said...

Sounds like a fun day for you, even though you parted with three of your "babies." Homemade grape juice? How wonderful! Here's hoping you get your good amount of rain soon. That will be good for the fertilizer Rick spread, too.

A :-) said...

I don't know how you let them go. I seem to remember when you got Sarai . . . At least I think I do. Not being able to let an animal go is the main reason I haven't fostered a shelter dog. I don't think I could ever let one go once I bonded with it. Glad you had some fun at the festival!! :-)

Michelle said...

Yes, rain to soak in the nutrients will be just the ticket, Mama Pea.

A, but you love to see new lambs! And I can't breed for new lambs without letting some go.... I'm sure you do remember Sarai's arrival 11 years ago as a yearling; we've been blogpals for a long time. 😁

Retired Knitter said...

I am with A:). I bond way to easy with animals and once they are with me - it is forever. Now people ... not so eager to bond there. (hahaha!). I laugh but it is true.

Tim B. Inman said...

Well, your 'dinner jacket' sheep have made me grin yet again. When I saw the pic with them all lined up at the feed station, all I could think of was a formal dining table complete with china, crystal and candelabra. Maybe I have a Beatrix Potter gene floating around somewhere in my DNA? And good dinner conversation....

Thanks for the grin, and the pics.