Sunday, April 5, 2009
Ah Spring! warmer beautiful days, blooming flowers and shearing!
Saturday dawned clear, and as the day progressed the temperature rose. I LOVE this time of year.....it actually makes me enjoy going outside to do things. :)
Walking out of the house I am greeted by the sunny colors of some mini tulips (the brown spots on them by the way, are from my dogs digging in the dirt/mud next to them.....at least they didn't dig them up!), and a crocus and another bulb flower that I can't remember at this given time......
Walking down over the hill to the barn the valley opens up into a heart-warming expanse.
At the gate I am greeted by a disgruntled llama and a more than tickled ewe lamb, Jet.
Last night I had placed my girls and boys in stalls to make sure they were dry for the shearer. Gallo was definitely not pleased, and kept humming questions at me. Jet, on the other hand who had been picked on since she was the new girl in the flock was extremely pleased to be the only girl that Gallo had to share his hay with. I really should have taken a pic of them laying down together the previous night.
Here is a pic of everyone in their stalls, wondering what the heck was going on. Even standoffish Bella stood up on the door and allowed me a chin skritch.....anything that might get me to let her out!
Franna of EverRanch and Sally of Sleepy Hollow Shetlands were extremely kind and offered to show up to help (Molly of Blackberry Moon Farm also offered but was unable to come at that time).
Eifion (from Wales) showed up with his brother-in-law, Joe (from Whidbey Island) and set right to work. I tried to be organized (something I have to REALLY work at....) and somehow managed to forget the first thing I had on my list. Running extension cords to the barn for his shears! Boy, did I ever feel sheepish (pun intended) when Eifion said "C'mon Tammy!". I'm definitely going to get power down to the barn this summer!
He started with the boys and worked thru the girls. Joe would grab the next sheep and pass them to Eifion. He sheared, gave shots, wormed and trimmed their feet. He was definitely quick. A few of the girls got nicks, but I learned (from Franna) that the difficulty he was having getting thru some of the fleeces was because of the rise. (That and that the Jacobs don't have that problem).
Here is my help. :) I learned so much from Franna and Sally, it was worth it's weight in gold just to be able to hear their thoughts on the process and Shetland sheep in general.
And here are some pics after the work was done.....
Jet, was laughing (I KNOW, I could just hear her....) "Ha, Ha now I have more wool than you!" And they all are on the same page now as they butt each other and get to know each other all over again.
After Eifion and Joe were on their way, Franna gave me a skirting lesson with one of my fleeces. She also showed Sally and I how you can spin with just your fingers! It was fun (and amazing)!
Now I just have to get busy and skirt the rest of my fleeces. I wish I had been able to take more pics but I was definitely hopping when Eifion was shearing and I was so intent on learning how to skirt that it completely slipped my mind.
Anyway, thanks again to Franna and Sally. I have to say that all the sheep people I have met in both the Jacob and Shetland world have been the most wonderful people to get to know!
OH! Another sign of Spring? The return of our Osprey from South America. I need to get some pics of them. It's really not very picturesque when they are in their nest....it sits on a big high tension wire tower. They have used this nest for the last 12 years we have been here and I'm not sure how long before that. The nest is HUGE. They have 2-3 babies every year and it's great when they are all learning to fly and circle over our home.
I'm definitely reveling in this beautiful Spring weather....and dreading what I hear is coming next in the middle of the week......more cold and rain. sigh.