The top photo is Ralph, taken Sep 2012 and looking quite brownly.
And here’s Ralph this morning looking decidedly blackly after shearing.
And here is Ralph’s fleece on the skirting table, with the section on the right folded back leftward to show the underside.
This is, no doubt, old hat for folks experienced in coloured sheep, but for me it is new and was quite a surprise. I don’t generally like surprises, but this one was nice. And interesting. I presume the exterior brownliness is sun bleaching. (?)
Skirting Ralph’s fleece was interrupted:
This is Bloomfield and her twin daughters (yay). I wasn’t expecting more lambs until Friday. Another surprise!
All of this activity in the barn, and I don’t have time to deal with the third surprise of the day:
Hand delivered by my good and trusty mailman Scotty.
From Lorna’s Laces.
I’ll wait to open this til I get the newborn lamb goo washed off me.
Yesterday was shearing day and the weather couldn’t have been more cooperative.
Above is first Shetland fleece shorn on this farm. I skirted each fleece as it came of the sheep, as is usual, then rolled and individually bagged each one. Over the next few weeks I’ll skirt each fleece again. On the first go I get off the manure tag areas and highly contaminated with vegetation spots, and scraggly bits off the legs. On the second pass I’ll get out more of the nuisance bit of vegetative matter. The more I can get out at this stage the less that will come back in the yarn from the mill.
I find the Shetlands have a much more open fleece than the Columbias and I was a little surprised that the Shetland fleeces came off in one piece. The fleeces were actually larger than what I expected too. Though still no where near the size of a Columbia:
(This photo of SIL from a few years ago.)
Something else that totally surprised me was how jet black some of the fleeces were, underneath, that appear brown on the outside. I’ll get some photos of that when I do second skirting.
And this is Cody, who (along with the sheep) did all the work!
I found Cody accidentally on Kijiji while I was looking for something else and he lives not too far from here, on the other side the the Bruce Peninsula to me. Were able to set this up with a few clicks.
He was skilled, careful, thorough and pleasant company to boot. And he treated the sheep gently and respectfully.
A great day!
Its been more than a few years since I’ve been able to scratch an itch on my nose with my foot.
Ah yes, I remember it well… as the song went, by Maurice ________ and Sophie _____ (if you recall ;o) )
Well this is just plain annoying.
I only bought this rake in 1976 and you’d think it would last a long time yet.
I’m going to see if I can whittle the left-over handle to a cone shape – since its too big to stick in my pencil sharpener – so I can get a few more miles out of it.
Finally a little sunshine and a nice day to be outside, instead of hiding from the blizzards, rains, sleets, and hail indoors.
Yes. It’s a bonnie day.
DaVinci beat the crap out of Seasonal (pictured) yesterday. Again.
I haven’t seen such nastiness since I whipped the tar out of Lawrence M. in seventh grade. For talking to Jane S.
I’m not the only one who enjoys the sun and snow combination. We’ve had a few glorious days and the sheep have rarely hit the barn other than to grab a lick of salt here and there.
The two rams - Da Vinci (on the left) and Seasonal (middle) are all buddy again. When the breeding groups were consolidated back into one flock these two fought ferociously to re-establish who is King of the Castle. Seasonal was the boss before, but Da Vinci really beat the crap out of him and is the new boss. I thought Seasonal was a gonner for several days – he hid in a corner and wouldn’t eat other than to nibble a bit of corn out of my hand. And he’d run and hide if Da Vinci came around the corner.
I think we’re all back to normal now.
Jesse and I are enjoying the sun and snow too, and have gone for a pleasant snow shoe hike every day for the last while. I dread the melting snow though – parts of a trail are getting very thin. With spring will come the mud season….sheep, shepherd, and dogs will all be very dirty!
The snow keeps on coming. Love it. These are the same trees that I blogged yesterday. They are between the house and the barn.
It was a trek to check on the flock this morning but they all seem fine. I took Bonnie an ‘extra’ half meal mixed with a spoon of bacon fat to give her a boost for the day which is forecast to hit a high of -15.
And here’s a shot of the front yard this morning: