Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thanks for helping

I wanted to start the morning by sorting out a little more of Betsy's fleece so that  I could wash it up for a demonstration I am doing at the Indie Craft Parade.  Betsy is one of the Sofa Sisters, the hugely overweight Border Leicester X Cotswold ewes we acquired last fall.  They have lost weight now and both had beautiful curly fleeces that I've been washing up by the handfuls.  I really need to get through a whole fleece soon but I get distracted playing with all those lovely curls.  Daphne, our little Manx cat, was apparently also intrigued by the beautiful fiber.  And, although she always has a peculiar scowl on her face, Daphne is one of the sweetest and most affectionate outside cats we have.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Making Progress

This is the last of yesterday's dyeing.  I rinsed it and put it out to dry this morning.  I think I'll switch to sock yarn dyeing today as those little skeins are much easier to manipulate than the half pound skeins of the beautiful bulky wool yarn.  I have been working like a fiend to be ready for the Indie Craft Parade.  Last year I did fabulously - enough so to pay for much of the winter's hay.  This year the even has been expanded by another day so I'm really stockpiling product.  Between keeping up with my regular Saturday Market, all of the farm chores and some school artist obligations it has been a hopping few weeks.  I think I'll be due a nice cup of tea and a rest in a few weeks.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Not quite peace & quiet

I ran outside this morning to take a picture of a chicken's ear.  That, however, is another story.  As I entered the barnyard, this doe caught my eye.  The "shelter" she is in is actually a piece of bent hog panel that we sometimes put in a corner to corral a pile of hay for the sheep to snack on.  Some how the panel was flipped over.  The part that tickled me was that mother was inside while her little one was on the outside.  Perhaps mama just felt she was taking a little break from the kid.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where does the time go....

This is the latest little project to take time from all of the things I ought to be doing.  Saturday night Al did his last round through the pastures before bedtime.  He returned with a nasty wet blob in his hand.  It was a baby squirrel that Allez, the Anatolian Shepherd who guards one pasture and the woods, had been carrying gently around for a while.  She had not put a mark on it but had almost drowned it in slobber.  I put it on a heating pad for the night to see if it would survive.  It was up and hopping the next morning so I started it on Esbilac that I still had in the freezer from our years of wildlife rehab.  We knew there was no way we'd be able to reunite it with mother - we hadn't a clue where Allez had even found it.  Now he is a happy little man who is eating like a fiend.  I am hoping to transition him to solid food and eventually release him.  Of course, I won't release him anywhere near the house with the cats and dogs.  I am also not planning to return him to Allez's woods.

Monday, August 15, 2011


We'd had a bit of a rain storm last night and the Lincoln boys were out in it.  The sheep seem to prefer to ignore the rain rather than take the time to run for shelter like the goats do.  Anyways, I was taken with the way the rain had parted their fleeces right down their spines.  The locks are looking so lovely, especially considering that the fellows are barely 3 months old.  Both started out as black lambs with a lighter undercoat but Buddy, in the first picture, is turning almost silver.  Should be interesting to see how their first shearings look next spring.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh, Baloo

The high heat has really impacted egg production.  The gals are eating less and lounging around most of the day. Some have even started their later-in-the-summer molt so that they've quit laying all together.  I need every egg they can produce because we have a few restaurant commitments and also hate to disappoint regular customers at the Saturday Market.  That is why I am not amused when Baloo runs ahead of me to the cow pasture where there is one set of nest boxes.  He climbs the gate ahead of me and races to grab an egg he can reach.  Then he carefully eats up the best part!

Monday, August 1, 2011

More Hay

On Wednesday we were driving over to Jeff & Kim's to pick up more cull squash and tomatoes.  We passed a fellow baling in a field so turned around to find out what he had planned for those bales.  We do have other hay sources but with the terribly dry weather we are apprehensive about how the rest of the summer will go and feel a need to start putting in hay for the winter now.  To make a long story short, the fellow was willing to sell us hay.  We arranged to get 400 bales over the weekend.  Al and I worked alone on Friday and Saturday, gather 100 bales each day.  On Sunday the farmer found us a hard-working young man who helped out so that we were able to get 200 bales in the afternoon.  We now have 300 bales packed into the old barn and another 100 tarped up and remaining on the trailer.  With our temperatures in the high 90's we just didn't have the gumption to unload the last load of hay.