Friday, July 31, 2009
The llamas are adapting quite nicely! At first they wanted to head to the donkeys as they had lots of donkey companions at their original home. Lyle, the white llama, even jumped a fence his first day in the pasture to get closer to our donkeys. Now they've settled in and seem to be getting used to the goats that skirt cautiously around them. They stare at the sheep in the next pasture and only occasionally startle now when a chicken flies by. Looks like they are settling in well.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
After a hot morning working outside, it seemed like a good idea to work on some felt inside. This is part of a Shetland fleece that was shorn after "the rise". The Shetland is a primitive breed that begins to shed its old fleece as the new one grows in. The old fleece tends to create its own felted blanket so that shearing is not easy. It comes off in a single piece & cannot be separated to spin. But it also makes an interesting effect once it is thoroughly washed. Since I'm not worried about felting the fibers together further, it is easiest to wash by stomping in a hot tub with lots of shampoo. It takes four or five good washes before the rinse water runs clean. Right now it is drying in the sun.
Mrs. Seabright, our little old lady, was just hanging out in the corner of the chicken yard. We leave tomato cages & other bits of wire around so that the birds can run for cover when a hawk circles overhead. She seemed to think it was a nice spot to hang out for the afternoon - at least until bedtime which, in her case, is getting earlier & earlier each day. I've found her in on the roost by six o'clock which is a good two or three hours before the others start to retire.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This little fellow is still just going by the name Teeny Weeny. He was born as one of the tiniest little goats we've ever seen and has been rather fragile since his birth even though he has had a very loving mother. Just a week ago he began to stumble and look pitiful. Since he's already weaned we took him into the stable and have been hand feeding him and fussing over him. A little shot of selenium got him up again but he is less than 100%. He isn't giving up, though, so we aren't either. For now he's enjoying keeping me company when I groom the rabbits or do a little dyeing or fleece sorting. He's become quite the nosy little man. But we've debated whether or not to give him a "real" name for fear that may just be the end of him.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Ginger was a little reluctant to unload when we got home. Katy lifted and dragged her out of the trailer but all was well by the end of the day. She and the white fellow, who the children have tentatively named Bert, were bedded down in their stall after a few walks on lead as well as some free time in the barnyard. The best thing was that they didn't need to be caught. Katy just walked up to them, picked up their leads and led them to the stable. There was a little shoving to get them to step onto the concrete stable floor and then to pass through a door but for their first day it really went well.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
This has been a busy few days but I did want to post a picture of the birthday babies. These are weanling llamas that we happened to bring home on my birthday. The white one is a nice male and the brown is the female. Both are sweet as can be and are already adjusting well. The little gal was even humming to Katy.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I'll be teaching again in another week at the Anderson Arts Center so decided I'd best begin prepping materials for my students. This is Bart's wool dyed a variety of colors for felting projects. I guess I'd better get busy warping a few looms too.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Or at least part of the reason. We received our first chick shipment of the summer. I'd ordered 75 new laying hens to grow out for the coming year. They all arrived strong and healthy and are off to a great start. I'll pick up the next 50 at the post office on Tuesday. Unfortunately the little stinkers would not hold still for a nice picture - but at least they are good & active.
Since the weather has been so pleasant, I've been taking Chester, our African spurred tortoise, out to the garden every afternoon. He has a large fenced area to roam in and treks around much of the day. I have to laugh, though, when I see him looking longingly at the big world outside of the fence. I'm sure we'd never find him again if he got out.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I came out this morning to find Bart tackling the hay pile all by himself. I believe right now there are about 13 bales stacked there so it should take him a while to eat through it. The jealous ox standing over Bart's shoulder already has two bales of his own in the pasture.
Ordinarily I wash the eggs & leave them in a single layer to dry but I was too lazy to go for another clean towel. I piled them as I washed them and managed not to break any in the few minutes it took for me to get around to drying them. This is just a portion of the day's gathering. We've had some busy birds lately.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Just last week we had to overturn a round bale to rescue a sheep who'd helped eat her way into a bale that later collapsed on her. Obviously no one was paying attention as they have not changed their ways. As soon as I took the picture, I tipped the bale over so that it is safely all the way onto the ground.
This is not exactly Eve's bed. We'd cleaned out the azalea bed at the front of the house, tearing out all the old roots and miscellaneous border grass and refilling the holes that the dogs had dug. Al had even spread a thin layer of new mulch so that it looked half decent while we decided what to replace the old plants with. Eve decided we'd made this bed just for her and has taken up residence. She travels the rest of the yard grazing and returns whenever she's ready to lay down. I'm wondering if the unusual earthy aroma from the new mulch is helping repel flies or if she is just enjoying being the center of attention at the front door.