Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fluffy Sheep Clouds

Tomorrow, these two handsome guys (Ted Collins on the left, Derek on the right) will lose those fluffy wool sweaters they are wearing when they are shorn in the morning.  Just in time, I would say, both by looking at how shaggy they are starting to get and also because our temperatures rocketed to 92 degrees with high humidity today!

We sheared the ewes in March, before lambing, but left the rams with their wool as they live outside of the big barn with only a 3-sided shelter.  Plenty for a sheep in full fleece, but a little cold and wet for a "naked" sheep ;)  We no longer coat our rams.  Over the years they have managed to destoy any brand of coat we put on them, and tangle themselves and each other before they do.  I know that other shepherds get by just fine coating the rams, but we don't and I have given up trying to change it.  Life is just easier for me (and I guess them) this way!  Before they go back out to pasture they will get wormed, vaccinated and hopefully hoof trimming if they need it.  I say hopefully because neither of these guys care to have this done.

We had a heavy rain move through tonight.  Luckily, my daughter had been here to help me get the rams shut in the barn so they would be dry when Dave, our shearer, gets here in the morning.  Unlike so many other showers lately that only seem to bring more oppressive heat when finished, this was more of a "normal" spring rain that brought a cool, breezy relief when it passed out of the area.  I just came in from outdoors and could have easily been convinced to stay out!  It is cool and no bugs or humidity.  The earth smells so fresh and mingled with that rain washed fragrance is the smell of lily of the valley and iris.

If it had not been already getting dark, I would have tried to get a picture of a cloud that hurried by in the northern sky.  It looked for all the world like a sheep head!  I stood and watched in amazement while it blew over the pasture and woods.  I came in thinking of the words to "How Great Thou Are".

Sleeping will be a lot better tonight than it was last night.  And tomorrow night it will be a lot better for the rams ;)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

We Really Do Have Lambs...

I thought you might be waiting for proof (grin)~

These are, from top to bottom, Carley's lambs Hayley (black ewe) and Holden (white ram); Amanda's twin ewes, Hannah and Heather; Sarah's ewe Helen (remember baby Helen, born back in February?) and then Dawn's wildly colored ewe lamb Hilda (named after a shepherd mentor and friend). These are just a few of the flock that I was able to snap pictures of this past week. Here are two more:

LOL...don't adjust your monitor, Serenity Farms has not switched breeds! The ewe pictured above is Izzie. She is an Icelandic-Hampshire cross ewe. She came to us as a yearling and is a very efficient sheep. Her sire was a stunning registerd polled moorit Icelandic ram from Orchard Hill Fleece Farm, her dam was a registered Hampshire ewe. Izzie's first lamb last year from our Corriedale ram looked like any other speckle face, commercial cross sheep. This year's lambs, also from our Corriedale ram, threw back to the Icelandic genetics in a big way. These guys are fine boned, fast growing, with wavy fleece that appears to be dark moorit on one and black on the other. One of them (the one I think is moorit) has very small tear drop shaped patches under his eyes and a bit of shading around his muzzle. They are both wethered and their names are Hoot and Holler ;)

We are still waiting on a few young ewes to lamb, first timers, then we are done for the year. Overall, we are very pleased with the quality and vigor of the lambs from our new registered Corriedale ram "Ted Collins". I'll end this post with a picture of him back on an earlier, woolier, wintery day (he is the white fellow peering into the camera):

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Looking For Spring Where We Can

Even the chickens seem to be searching for signs ~

I often like to start a new month's blogging by looking back at the archives to see what I wrote about a year ago (or more). It looks like I managed to post at least twice in May the past few years, but didn't start until the middle of the month ;) So maybe I am ahead of myself this year? LOL...

One thing that is not ahead of itself for sure is our "spring" weather. Earlier this week I was outside trying to get some decent photos of our new wool rovings when I started to see some "peeks" of the change of weather. Daffodils, of course - they have been here for a few weeks and are all over the blog world right now:

And we enjoyed Easter, especially coloring eggs and dyeing yarns with grandchildren:

But around the yard things are changing, too!

Above, Mrs Moon Bethlehem Sage

Lilacs and lace (won't be long till the blooms appear!)

And isn't the rich glow of color from the Arborvitae "Goldy" inspiring?

I know it won't be long...or maybe it is already here, but hiding? What's going on in your yard?

With a serious and heavy heart, I can't help but think of those affected by the destruction of last weeks tornados. Several blog friends...it is almost unimaginable! Please keep folks in your prayers...