Monday, November 23, 2009

A very shiny day

A bright frosty morning sparkles with light, frozen dew and sunshine.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

These two photogenic guys are Cyrano, a brown Merino, and Steenie, a white Bluefaced Leicester.

The rams have been turned in with the ewes November 1, and will stay until mid December. I keep back the 2009 replacement ewe lambs, away from the rams until they are over a year old and fully grown. I separate the ewes by color, breed, and fleece type, then pair them with a ram that is unrelated, and well matched. The ewes are bred for fleece type, purebred blood lines, growth and vigor. This is the last year I will use multiple rams, since I have so many really nice ewes I will keep them and change rams every two years instead of replacing the ewes.

These lovely girls are a couple of the brown, or moorit, ewes I especially love for the color of their fleece. I keep covers on the sheep year round to keep the fleece free from sun damage and fading. Handspinners appreciate the naturally colored clean wool to create beautiful yarn with.

Lambing will begin around the end of March 2010, and I will be dreaming of dancing lambs throughout the winter months. I will begin shearing in mid February and work my way through the flock in three weeks. As I shear each sheep, I take time to trim hooves, replace missing or damaged ear tags, replace the old coat with a fresh one, then skirt and label the fleece as soon as it comes off the sheep.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Wonderous World

Every fall I remember how much I love this time of year. It is a special treat to me, a surprise bestowed upon my world. I so love spring and the regenerative growth it brings, I tend to forget the twilight of nature before winter's deep sleep. Spring is like early morning hours I love, promising new ideas and projects I have not yet imagined. Fall is like early evening when the day's work is complete and I enjoy warm, quiet time reading, spinning or knitting by the wood stove.
Hawthorn, blackberries, and wild fruit trees create a palette of fall color beyond compare. I am surrounded by beauty and abundance which astounds and humbles me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time really flies when you're having fun

I have a new mental health therapist.
Meet my new pug puppy, Taterbug. Or maybe they made a mistake and gave me a fat little pig instead of a fat little pug.....
Despite the fact that I have other working dogs, for my birthday I treated myself to a fun loving, inside companion.
I am completely smitten, nothing like a new love in the springtime.......

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Busy-ness

There is never a dull moment on our farm. Well, it may be dull if you don't love sheep, goats, dogs, horses, llamas, and poultry and the baby animals they create, but I do and it keeps me hoppin'!
I take the month of March off from teaching so I can tend to the lambing and kidding of my flock. I only keep the very best of each year's lambs and kids and after ten years, have a healthy flock of goats and sheep that I know and love.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weather in conversation

After a phone converstaion with my brother Phil in Denver,I realized when he asked how we are, I talked about the weather. Weather has a huge effect on my day, every day, as I spend at least one and a half hours outside doing farm chores. The weather also effects the thirty mile drive to work in Moscow, Idaho teaching at the Moscow School of Massage. The weather is of great importance to our safety and the welfare of the critters I care for. We heat our house with wood, and the weather has a large impact on our keeping cozy and the plumbing running. Our farm is located on the side of a river canyon, the road in and out is steep and winding. Weather has a huge effect on the safety of our driving.
So if I mention the weather in a conversation, please accept I am not making small talk, but sharing an element of nature I am intimately involved in.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

homespun, handknit

Been knitting! The weather has been so frosty and cold, all I want to do in my free time is sit by the woodstove and knit. This is the first glove, I am hoping to keep a better understanding of the pattern for the second glove! With all the tearing out and reknitting of the first glove, I should really have a pair already....
This pattern is "Liidia's Gloves" from Nancy Bush's book Folk Knitting in Estonia. The yarn for these gloves is hand spun wool from my own sheep, which I dyed with cochineal.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Some kind of winter

Returning from a balmy 60 degree week with my family in Denver, the farm is in a wintery deep freeze. There is at least a foot of snow on the ground and huge berms where it has been plowed or slid off the roof. I don't mind the snow at all, it is clean and fun to play in, and so much better than mud! As long as the electricty does not go out so the water tank heaters are operable, chores are realitively easy.

We watched a flock of wild tom turkeys across the pond yesterday.

Helen, a Pyraneese/Akbash sheep loving guard dog, smiles her hello as I greet the sheep in the morning.

A path through the snow berm on my way to the barn.