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.

18 comments:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You took some really great pics all. My fave is the second one up from the bottom. They look they are trying to tell you something. lol!

Oh and all the sheep looking up from the stall begging to come out. Cute!
You are lucky to have such wonderful friends to help you with the sheep and to teach such useful things, too.

What no llama shearing yet? I've got to get my two sheared this summer. I plan to join in on a planned farm shearing day and trailer them to another barn so I can get some help. Most shearers around here won't come to your farm unless you have a minimum of 10 animals to be sheared.

Will you need to worry about your chickens when the Osprey come back, or do they only eat other critters?
I can't wait to see pictures of them.

Have I told you yet how happy I am to see you posting again? :)

~Lisa

Wrensong Farm said...

Hi Lisa, I'm looking for a kind, llama shearer right now....I may have to just attempt it myself. :0

Fortunately the Ospreys are fish eaters, it's the hawks I have to watch out for.

It's good to be back,Lisa, thanks. I've been trying to read everyones blogs but haven't managed getting comments posted to them all!

Christy said...

Your Jacobs are stunning! I just got a Jacob ewe today, pictures coming tonight I hope. I will need to get her sheared soon.

mudranch.com said...

What a colorful flock you have Tammy! It really is good to have you back... I've been missing your updates and am so sorry about the cougar. They are amazing and scary animals... Especially for us animal lovers. ;)

Karen B. said...

Great pictures, looks like it was a pretty fun day. The sheep look good after shearing, and your scenic views are wonderful!

Grammy said...

I love all your photos! Happy spring.

Nancy K. said...

Beautiful photos of what looks like you managed to make into a FUN day! I HATE shearing day! Then again, I hate anything that I think is traumatic for my sheep. Which would be just about anything other than me just going out and sitting with them....

;-)

country girl said...

Your new llama definitely looks like a member of KISS. I'd be scared by him too. Hopefully any predators will run when they see that scary face.

kenleighacres said...

Hey, I know Sally :) It sounds like you had a fun day! It looks like Gallo is fitting in really well. Did your girls look like they are all pregnant? Symphony and Pacifica definitely are. Your flowers are beautiful. Llamas are a lot easier to shear than sheep.

Franna said...

Thanks, Tammy! I had fun and enjoyed meeting you and the critters. You had it all organized and made it easy to help.

How much did you get finger spun, hmmmmm?????

You all, the view really is spectacular, and the hill is... STEEP!

- Franna

Kara said...

Great post!

Eve said...

Great work on removing the winter coats Tammy. I love seeing spring photos. Looking forward to Osprey too. We have a winter storm coming tonight! BLAGH!

Mom L said...

Thanks for sharing your day with the beautiful photos! I love your view of the mountains. Your woolies look so peaceful that I imagine anyone who has sheep, goats and llamas most definitely would NOT have trouble with high blood pressure!

Nancy in Atlanta

Tammy B said...

warning, stupid city girl question: don't you shear the llama? he's looking pretty smug!

I need orange said...

Sorta like the way I feel when snow changes the landscape -- you know that the sheep will look *so* different once shorn, but it's still a surprise each time.....

thecrazysheeplady said...

Sounds like a great day. Love all your pictures and MUST see some Osprey pics!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Such a great post, but so much more I wanted to know! WHO looks pregnant? What did Franna and Sally think of each fleece? What color was Bevin under her hogget fleece? I obviously needed to BE there!

Susan said...

Tammy, what I wouldn't give to have that view to look at every day! It is just breathtaking.

I just love your new llama. The coloring on his face is stunning. You can tell he knows he is handsome. :)