Monday, July 28, 2014

Some Sunday Sheep Shots

Mia Mia - Queen of the Tour de Fleece, which finished in fine fashion yesterday.  Pictures tomorrow.


 Burrnie, Maisie, Casper Belly and Emily


Keebs in the foreground and Daniel and B. Willard behind.

The boys.  Look at that thunderhead!  I love to watch them boil up.

Oops, no sheeps ;-).

Count Chocula again.  I love how this turned out with the aperture wide open.

Petunia and Ewen McTeagle - two of my all-time favorite sheeps :-).

Show's over!  Miss Maisie's propeller flying away :-).

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sunday Stills - Looking Through Windows

I've missed so many great Sunday Stills challenges this summer.  This one was extra fun - anything you see looking through a window.  I picked the Wool House because I have lots of great views from there!

The boys.  Baaxter is doing great.  He loves his "brothers" :-).

This purple flower in the Dye Garden blooms and bloom and blooms.

Horses and sheep on the outside, spinning wheel on the inside.

Baaxter and an odd view/angle of the lavender.  Everything looks small and crunched together and it's really not.  I did have to replace quite a few plants after the hard winter, but it really looks pretty nice in real life.

Another view of a couple of the boys.  I think Baaxter is behind the "bars" on the right.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Blast From The Past

I've been cleaning up my computer files this morning and came across this video.  It's on my "desktop", but not in a "folder" so I think maybe I stashed it there and forgot to upload it?  If so, here it is.  If not and I've already posted it, it's still fun to watch again.  Nothing earth shattering, but cute - the kids goofing around last fall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Spider With A Lot To Say

Our writing spiders are back!  One of only a few good things about summer ;-).

Look at this interesting web.

 I've never seen anything but the single straight lines before.

I've been watching the egg sacks hanging on the garage, hoping to see all the babies floating down like Charlotte's Web.

I missed this hatch out.

Definitely a lot to say.  A novel perhaps?

A young writer, with a web the size of a quarter :-).

"Instructions for living a life.  Pay attention.  Be astonished.  Tell about it."  ~ Mary Oliver

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Keeping With A Theme

Another misty morning.  

From the back porch.

I wish I'd noticed the rams in the background. I'd have probably moved off the porch for a different angle.  It was early... ;-).

We are back in the 90s today, but then it's going back down to the upper 70s and lower 80s for a couple of days later in the week.  Weird.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Misty Monday Morning

We've had a fabulous stretch of unseasonably cool and rainy weather this past week. I enjoyed every minute of it! The sun is shining bright (and getting hot :-/) now, but this morning it was still cool, foggy and beautiful.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Early Morning

We have a group of early risers that hit the green at daybreak. I saw them out by the pond and grabbed the camera.

Miss Renny

Coming in from way back - Daniel, Burrnie, Lila and Graham

Graham might be re-thinking the early breakfast.

"I was just resting my eyes!"

See all the lines in the dewy grass?  Those are the sheep paths.  Mia is always the farthest out.

And here's what she thinks about having her picture taken ;-).

Crazy Miss Maisie

Friday, July 18, 2014

Kindness To Animals

Today's poem from The Writer's Almanac is one of my favorites.  It hit extra hard this morning though as we just got done 'tutering the boys this week.  There's no nice way to do it.  Period.  It hurts.  They're sad, I'm sad.  They do get better in a couple days and all seems to be forgiven, but still, it's a rough couple of days.

I try to take mostly boy lambs because they are the ones typically needing a home.  You can easily place ewe lambs in starter flocks, as replacement ewes...  Boys...there is only so much demand for breeding rams and only super trained professionals (like this guy :-) should ever keep a pet ram.

I tell the boys that getting 'tutered means they are extra special and that they'll get to stay here forever, and while for the next couple of days that's not going to seem like such a good trade, in the end they'll be happy. We make sure the weather is as comfortable as possible.  We give them pain medicine.  I sit out under the pine trees with them and Betsy's there, too.

Kindness to Animals

Little children, never give
Pain to things that feel and live:
Let the gentle robin come
For the crumbs you save at home,—
As his meat you throw along
He'll repay you with a song;
Never hurt the timid hare
Peeping from her green grass lair,
Let her come and sport and play
On the lawn at close of day;
The little lark goes soaring high.
To the bright windows of the sky,
Singing as if 'twere always spring,
And fluttering on an untired wing,—
Oh! let him sing his happy song,
Nor do these gentle creatures wrong.
"Kindness to Animals" by Anonymous.
The Writer's Almanac July 18, 2014
Some shots from yesterday evening.

I am not completely set on Spud as this boy's name. I still have to "think" to come up with it when I'm calling him. That doesn't seem right.  Auntie Reg has suggested Teddy and that seems to work, but one of our neighbors is named Teddy, so that's a little awkward as they like to bring their grand daughters down.  I think a two syllable name might be easier for my brain.  Any thoughts?

This portable gate is blocking Hank's cut through between the paddocks.  For some reason Baaxter never figured out sneaking through the "portal", but the other three loved to bust into Del Boca Vista. Our retirees (Jester and Queen Elizabeth) had ZERO interest in being visited by grand kids! ;-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Tour Update

While I'm chomping at the bit to start on Miss Maisie's spinning, I'm not letting myself do that until I meet my Tour de Fleece goals.  Or at least most of them ;-).

This is Henrietta - some roving from several years ago.  She has a beautiful silky fleece for a Jacob and it always sells quickly.  When I noticed this ball had started to felt down into itself (it seems the silkier/looser crimped fleeces like hers and the longwools tend to do that if you're not careful...and sometime when you are :-o) I used that as an excuse to stick the last ball into my stash.

All it needed was a little fluffing up and some pre-drafting and it was back to spinning like butter :-).  Drafting is how you determine how thick or thin your yarn is going to be.  It basically means pulling the combed/carded (brushed) out thinner.  The fibers slip past each other and say the original roving is (just a random guess) 1000 hairs thick all side by side, you might thin it out until it's maybe 50 hairs thick.

It doesn't change the color.  There's just more air and light showing through.  It spins up looking like the darker gray.  Of course, it would have been helpful to have shown that, but it didn't cross my mind until just now.  I used to work for a man that always said "What a brain...", usually about one of his horses.  I find it usually fits me just as well.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sideshow Bob

Around here, the more names you've been given usually reflects how much we like you. Keebler is also Keebs and Kaner, Count Chocula is also Choculon, Murphy is now Donut Murphy...  There are some exceptions, like Miss Tilly/Weaslie/Tilly Bobby/Short Round/The Little Shriner or Graham Lamb/Kevin/bleep bleep Kevin. Just kidding ;-).  

Hershey's other name is Sideshow Bob.  That's "little" Burrnie/Burrnerd racing to keep up :-D.

Hershey is only Sideshow Bob because of his hair, not his character.  And if you're wondering why I'm calling this super light gray sheep Hershey after just seeing his chocolate brown bag of roving from Ohio Valley, it's because that was his baby fleece sheared last August and his hair has since turned almost white! Probably from living with Graham ;-)  

It's very pretty with his dark legs and head, but still, confusing as to why he'd be named "Hershey". Hopefully you can biggify and see his moppy top.

Some more shots from last week.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Night Sights

I rode Hickory up to check the rams and fill their water tank last night. It was getting dusky and out from the Frog Pond I saw a waddling cluster of black fur.  We rode down to (carefully) get a closer look.  A beautiful momma skunk and four tiny babies.  I love watching mommas (of all kinds) teaching their little ones how to forage.  

Working on a farm, I frequently find myself still working, watching the moon come up.  Two nights ago the moon rose while it was still really light out.  Last night, one night later, it was almost completely dark as it cleared the trees out back.  I'd like to find a good book that explains why that is (remember, simple shepherd, not scholar, aka limited big words ;-).  Any suggestions?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Maisie Goes To The Wool Mill

Here she goes!

The washed wool gets dumped into the back hopper, gets picked up and picked out by the swinging arm thingy, then over the top...

...and falls out of this smaller hopper...

...where it's picked/fluffed some more and then onto the drums.  I think I counted 20 or 24 rollers, but now can't remember.

And then, after it's brushed and brushed and brushed through all the rollers, it gets pulled off the final drum into ready to spin roving.

Here's where it gets a little dicey on who this is.  It appears to be Maisie according to my camera files, but looks too clean to be Maisie.  My tongue in cheek post about her fleece being white as snow came back to haunt me.  I hope the shotgun shells don't jam up their machines!  Maisie, Maisie, Maisie...

This I know is Blossom.  Remember the huge fleece from the festival?  Yep, still huge.

Beth sets it all in neatly and then (over and over) pushes it down into the bag in the box...

...where it springs back out, ready to have more added to it!

This is Hershey's lamb fleece, flying free around the drums.  That'd be Hershey for sure!  Luckily most of it drifts back onto the drums, but some has to be swept up off the floor and tossed back in.  Yep, classic Hershey ;-).

B. Willard.  I thought this would be an interesting shot with the contrast between the stationary curls and the whirling drum getting ready to pick them up.  However, when I look at it now, it kind of makes me feel like someone getting ready to jump off the high dive for the first time. 

Ideally I'd hoped to show the gradients from dark gray to white, but the lighting was tough and I didn't have my "big girl" camera.  (Left to right) Hershey, Boudreaux, B. Willard, Henrietta, Ford, Allie, Maisie and Blossom. 

It's sure hard to beat a car full of fresh roving!

Ohio Valley Natural Fibers


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