Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Picture Of My...Rabbit?

I have pictures of spinning, wool, yarn, 20, flowers in the dye garden, cotton plants, purple martins...and I just can't get them sorted and posted.  Instead of the blog "rule" of posting a picture of your cat, I'm posting an adorable visitor to the lavender garden yesterday morning.

I love yard bunnies :-).

Sunday, July 16, 2017

More Cute Babies

They are cute...if you just look closely and give them a chance ;-).  The writing spiders are hatching!

I can find 6 tiny webs in this picture.

The spider sacks from last year's spiders.

Already working hard on their webs.  This one is about the size of a dime.

And catching bugs!

On the other baby front, everything looked good out there yesterday evening :-).

Friday, July 14, 2017

Meanwhile Out In The Field

An update on our favorite robin family!  Last night, just before dusk, I walked out and peeked into the nest to see how many babies were actually in there.  I found two babies, but they looked dull and lethargic and my heart sank.  I know how heat can affect animals, especially tiny babies :-(.

This morning I took my breakfast out to the end of the walkway and watched the "tree" while I ate.  I saw no activity.  I waited and watched for any sign of life.  No mom or dad coming or going.  I wasn't super surprised, but I'd been so hopeful yesterday.

I finally decided I had to know for sure, so I walked on out.  As I climbed up the ditch, one baby heard me and jumped up, active as could be!  I quickly backed away and was happy at least one baby had survived.  And sure enough, mom and dad were still on the job.

I checked on them from a distance several times during the day and found both babies were alive and well.  Baby birds grow fast.  Hang in there kids!  

*     *     *     *     *

Meanwhile, as I was on my stakeouts yesterday I caught a couple nice horse shots.  Hickory and T-Bone are much like Biscuit and Muffin.  They are almost always together and frequently side by side.

More puzzles :-).


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Robins Of The Year

Earlier this week - I hope it was Tuesday and not Monday - the neighbor across the road had a crew come through and clear out his fence row.  I felt bad for any wildlife that had been used to having cover over there, but didn't think any further about it.  Tuesday's weather was almost tolerable. Wednesday was brutally hot.

It never cooled off enough last night to open the windows and turn the AC off.  Anyone who knows me knows how. hot. that. meant. it. was.  It was 72 at 6:00 this morning.  At least it was overcast at times and I worked around the farm and then at lunchtime headed to town to deliver some printing for Tim.

As I pulled out of our driveway and started down the lane I saw it.  A robin nest sitting on top of a now completely exposed fence post.  Not just a nest, but an adult robin standing over some babies. Open mouthed panting. I felt sick.

I couldn't get to town and back fast enough (luckily just a few minutes away).  Saint Tim and I formulated a plan en route and when I got home I gathered up some pine branches and wire ties and headed down the road.  The adult was still standing over the nest, but darted away as I approached.

I didn't waste any time taking any pictures and didn't really look into the nest any more than to see that the babies were still alive.  The branches went up easier than I thought they might and I think they'll hold at least for a few days...unless we get a big storm.  Fingers crossed. I then grabbed my binoculars and moved away to see if the parents would be willing to come back.  They did.  

Not only did they come back to feed the babies, but they both were feeding the babies, not one standing in the nest...and it dawned on me that one of those adults had spent the last few days standing over their babies trying to provide as much shade as they could.  That is not a dumb animal.

Let me introduce you to the robins of the year!   

The pictures aren't great because I didn't want to bother them.  They'd had enough stress the last couple of days.  I sat out on the other side of the wet weather creek in the blazing sun.  You know, my favorite thing to do during my favorite season of the year :-o. 

You may be able to click to biggify.

They cautiously approach and then swoop right in.  Hard to capture.

This last picture was taken from The Unit, parked up next to the garage in the shade just a few minutes ago.  I've been stalking them off and on all afternoon (with Weaslie and an ice cold beverage ;-), just to make sure everything is going okay.  Everything seems good.  

Interestingly, while I was sitting there, a robin flew over and landed on the fence next to me.  It stared at me for a good while and then flew down into the pasture.  It joined up with another bird and they both hunted around, slowly working their way over towards the nest.  I can't swear they were the "right" birds, but the behavior was curious and if're welcome :-).

Are You Getting Tired Of Biscuit And Muffin Pictures?

I hope not, because they sure do make me smile :-).

Yet another Biscuit and Muffin puzzle :-).


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Good Evening!

Always handsome Hank happily clocking in for the night.

And a couple new puzzles :-).


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Good Morning!

These pictures were all taken at the same time.  Well, not at the exact same time, but within a minute or two ;-).  I love how the light changes color.  The horses were shot with the sun just off to the left of center/in front of me.  I turned to the right about one quarter turn to take the pictures of Hank.

And then back again.  The horses had also moved a little further to the left, towards the sun.

Two new puzzles :-).


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Rocking The Ravatar

Coming up with the idea for this year's Tour de Fleece ravatar (Ravelry avatar) was no real stretch of the imagination ;-).  


Saturday, July 1, 2017

And We're Off

Well, 20 loaded me down for this year's Tour de Fleece.  I knew he would.  We're alike that way ;-). Since this seems to be the year of color, we settled on the Elizabeth blues, Murphy's gray, Chocula's light brown,  Petunia's darker brown, some white over gray core roving from Allie and gray over white core roving from Billy Belly.  Those last three are from deep in the SABLE*. 

The colorful batt in the bag came from a friend and is for one of the challenge days.  Not that I think the batt is going to be challenging, but the whole spinning red, green and white into one yarn...  I may have to add in a small ball of Plain White as an antidote.  This Tour will cure me or kill me!  

*Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy

I think the team ravatar turned out cute.  Muffin and Biscuit grazing nose to nose in the blooming clover :-).

A post shared by Sara Dunham (@thecrazysheeplady) on

Just like in real life.

Thank you for all the kind words for Jester.  The very first wool I spun was Punkin's.  I sat down at a friend's wheel one afternoon and she got me started.  And while I was very excited to actually be making yarn, I found myself choking back tears.  It goes fast, that wool through your fingers. Those twelve years. Jester's seventeen.  I don't think I'll be spinning any Jester this year.

Friday, June 30, 2017

So Much I Should Say

Honestly, I guess at this point there is a little part of me that just really can't believe he didn't live forever.   He was a helluva sheep.  It was an honor.


2000? - June 30, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

It's That Time Of Year...Again

It's time for the Tour de Fleece!  20 is still assembling my complete line up for this year's Tour (fingers crossed he goes easy on me ;-), but I wanted to share a sneak peek at my special "big" project.  

Last year, when I was organizing the wool storage/skirting area, I found an old fleece of Elizabeth's. It was from 2013...hence the wool storage area needing to be organized :-o.  Since I already have a completed Elizabeth project, I felt like this gave me a free pass to try something "dangerous".

Several months ago, Miss B and I separated out some dark, some light and some mix of the two and then dyed it various shades of blue in hopes of ending up with a "denim" color.  We then ran it through the picker to start blending it and I planned on carding it all.  

I have no idea what made me try combing it the other day, but I'm so glad I did.  I hadn't been jazzed about the carded samples.  I loved it combed.  My only issue then was the amount.  How much would I have to comb to get enough to make a shawl (my planned project).  

Turns out you can comb an entire fleece if you just stop whining about it and do it!  Who knew... ;-)

You can click the "combing wool" label at the bottom of this post or on the right side bar for more detailed information about "combing wool".  I'm just going to share some quick pics for curiosity and posterity.

Messy to "faded denim".  I love this color...and I think we nailed it :-D.

I still have no real idea how this works*, but it does.  You start pulling the fiber through a diz (yes, this one is straight from my recycling bin ;-)...

...and keep pulling and it all comes out in one long, ready to spin, wool [thingy].  What would be a descriptive word I'm looking for here besides "top"?  Rope?  I then wound/rolled each [thingy] into a "bird nest" (man, this post gets more confusing for non-spinners all the time :-o) and tucked it into a basket.

Natural gray/brown, white, medium blues, dark blues...

...and a couple brighter blues...that I may try to tone down a bit so they are a little less "dangerous" ;-).

That's a big basket of wool!  17.2 ounces total.  I had more waste than I should have, but I learned a whole lot for next time.  The trick now is actually making myself spin it.  I'm so enamored with the basket of un-spun fiber that I'm worried I'll just keep petting it and never move on.

Another similar shot, but with Tilly helping "pose for scale" again ;-).

The colors are more accurate in the previous picture, but I like the light on the flowers and our old truck in this one.  

I finally finished this year's Ravatar/cartoon this afternoon.  Anyone already in the Ravelry group can get a sneak peek.  I'll post it here tomorrow...which most likely means Saturday morning the way things go ;-).  It's pretty cute!

* "It's still magic even if you know how it's done."  Terry PratchettA Hat Full of Sky

Yes, that's one of the Tiffany Aching books that I just burned through one right after the other.  Fabulous fun!  With a nod to the old Yarn Along posts...  

Part Of My Wednesday Post...On Thursday

The rest of yesterday's post is getting too picture heavy, so here's one to sweeten up your morning.  

I like to check on everyone periodically through the day.  I just casually walk down the barn aisle to check the older sheep. No one wakes up.  Biscuit and Muffin I have to sneak up on.  Any hint of my coming around might mean BABAS!!!  

Biscuit still likes to sleep in the creep feeder.  I'm guessing this feels safe to him after sleeping in the dog crate in the kitchen.  I love that Muffin sleeps near him, nose to nose.  They are so cute together.  And the white fuzz on her is Biscuit's.  Black sheep problems ;-).

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ten More

Random horse shot as they randomly decided to gallop back to the barn.  Hank loves when they do this ;-).

Early this spring I caught a tiny flash of brown dart out of one of the bigger lavender plants.  I quietly walked over to see and sure enough, a tiny baby bird in a teeny tiny nest.  I quietly told the little bird to always be very quiet, especially when there might be a stupid cat around.  

I'd stroll through every day, never doing anything that might attract a cat's attention and watched.  And worried.  And one day I saw a tiny fledgling in the nearby dye garden and the nest was empty.  A tiny success story!

Well, part of a tiny success story.  There remained an unhatched egg.  It's still there, tiny blue in a tiny horse hair lined nest.  So pretty.  I think it was a chipping sparrow.

I love this honey bee with her face deep in a bloom.  A good place to be :-).

There are actually three new puzzles - two with lavender and one with the horses.  I worked the horse puzzle last night and it was a fun one with lots going on.  Click the puzzle to get to my folder of puzzles.  There may be others you haven't worked yet.



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