Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sheep WIP

My work in progress this week has been to work with Della and Lucy to gain their trust. They came here, as all the other adult sheep have, fearful and unaccustomed to day to day human touch. I just find it 100% easier to work with sheep when they trust me. It saves stress on them and makes working with them a pleasure. So twice a day, before I let Della and Lucy out in the morning and after dark when I put them in the barn, I take them down the alley where I can close them in a small area. Here they go...

Once there I get down on their level and rub them all over, I hold their chin in my hand and speak soft words, over and over again. I do that for about 5 minutes and then I let them out into the main barn area again. I then hand feed them a few pellets of grain. That has taken some doing also as a week ago there was NO way they'd even come to me. But now they know my hand is good. It has treats and a kind touch. It is working. Now shy Della, who is 5, walks over to me, still cautious, but takes the grain. As I clean their area each day they are getting more used to me coming and going ,the tools, the bucket, all of it. It is gratifying.

Here they are yesterday, just musing on their new world. Della on the left, Lucy on the right.

And off they went to do what sheep do best!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Buff Sex-Links they are!

In response to Laurel's questions in the prior post, I found this explanation for our pretty hens....we have the red sex-links. They are GREAT layers and very calm in the barnyard.

And Laurel, I will be most happy to provide one or more pictures for begging allowed! I'll be in touch!

Sex-Links are chickens which can be sexed at hatching, usually by color but sometimes by feather development. They are planned crosses, which are hardier and more productive than their parents' respective breeds. (Ed. note: Be aware that these are breed hybrids and will not breed true.)

(Ed. note: If you came to this page by some name that is not mentioned herein, it's because I can't keep up with all the commercial names that sex-linked chickens are marketed under, but I try to link the names to this page when I come across them.)

Both Red and Black Sex-Links use a red male for the father. Either a Rhode Island Red or a New Hampshire may be used.

Black Sex-Links are produced using a Barred Rock as the mother. Both sexes hatch out black, but the males have a white dot on their heads. Pullets feather out black with some red in neck feathers. Males feather out with the Barred Rock pattern along with a few red feathers. Black Sex-Links are often referred to as Rock Reds.

Red Sex-Links are the result of various crosses. White Rocks with the silver factor (the dominant white gene would produce all white offspring) are crossed with a New Hampshire male to produce the Golden Comet. Silver Laced Wyandotte crossed with New Hampshire gives the Cinnamon Queen. Two other crosses are obtained with Rhode Island White x Rhode Island Red, and Delaware x Production Red. These two crosses are simply called Red Sex-Links. Males hatch out white and, depending on the cross, feather out to pure white or with some black feathering. Females hatch out buff or red also depending on cross, and they feather out in one of three ways.

Buff with white or tinted undercolor (such as Golden Comet, Rhode Island Red x Rhode Island White)
Red with White or tinted undercolor (Cinnamon Queen)
Red with Red undercolor (Delaware x Production Red) (In this color pattern it is almost impossible to distinguish daughters' color from father's color.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Della and Lucy! I always wanted to name a ewe Lucy after my grandmother! What does the name Della conjure up in your mind?

Jack and I drove west today to central NY state to meet another truck coming east so we could pick up these lovely Romeldale ewes we bought to add to our flock. I am soooo excited to have them here!
They rode like champs, having been in transport a total of 13 hours today. We pulled in at 4:30PM, off loaded them to the big barn, did a good physical check, a few meds, filled the hay rack, water bucket and salt feeder and they are nicely settled here at Long Ridge Farm.

Both sheep hail from the largest flock of Romeldales in the country and I am delighted to have this line of genetics a part of our flock.

Three cheers for Della and Lucy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back to life, back to reality

Seattle was fabulous. On many fronts from the work I did at Earthues with Michele and also the second week which eight of us gathered and worked on some other topics regarding mordant variables and how they affect the individual natural dyes. I haven't got any show and tell presently as it is all shipping from Seattle so that will have to wait. The weather was the best the country had to offer. I was there 12 days and every one of the 12 days was blue sky, no humidity, 70-80 degrees by day and the 50's overnight. I ate great food, drank some wonderful wines and enjoyed visiting with good friends I get to see only when I am in Seattle. I rode in cabs or buses to get around, walked otherwise and never left the city limits. Such a difference to my regular life in the country here.

I arrived home to high humidity, beating sun, thunderstorms (this one brewing)and overall sticky weather.

Sunday Jack and I put 157 bales of hay in the barn (yes I counted every last one!) and then we mowed and reset temporary fencing in the near field (about 2 acres of it) as the grass had started to drag down the electrical voltage which then puts the sheep at risk for predators. I don't remember when I was last that hot, ever!

And finally we put up 5# of broccoli from our garden into the freezer, part of which is pictured.

The chickens are growing leaps and bounds and settled into the big barn quite nicely. We let them outside for the first time Saturday and they now enjoy coming and going as they please.

It was a great trip west and it's great to be back home!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

Seattle has plenty of dogs in all shapes and sizes. Travelling back and forth to the studio each day and around Ballard I met a few.

This weimeraner keeps watch over a shoe repair store.

This little one models in a store window.

I met this greyhound on a walk one evening.

These dogs are on my bus route at one stop. This is not a good situation. I wish I good unlatch the gate and rescue them.

This little one is Jack. He was sitting outside a restaurant waiting for his owner and he loved treats from passersby.

These two terriers are mother and daughter visiting from the east.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A bicycle built for 7?!

Now is this the coolest bicycle or what!?

I was leaving the studio for the day and had seen these women riding it up and down Ballard Ave, not really knowing what the gig was. But as I was grabbing a camera to get a photo they asked me to come on along for a ride. Too hard to resist! It carries 7 people and each has peddles and there are the classic bells to ring. One person is the navigator and runs the brakes and that seat always faces forward. It is easiest and most fun with a full bike and because we all faced the center it offered a great way to communicate as we peddled. in the center is a big basket type area to put whatever. We all thought a knitting group would be a hoot! All the projects go in the center basket and anyone (except the navigator!) can knit, visit and travel all at once! But whatever you do on it, it is great fun and simply creates happiness just being onboard.

As we peddled up Ballard Ave with two empty seats, we'd call out "Come on, jump on. You know you want to!". Some stared, but wouldn't take the time, others ran to get on. Too much fun, especially in the flat city streets.

It hails from Amsterdam and costs somewhere around $13,000 You can see the particulars at (darn links arent cooperating)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Seattle sidewalks

While here in Seattle, I have been taking a walk every day which can be a challenge in itself with the hills. Streets run level across the hills and cross with the streets that run straight up and down. There are great views with the mountains in the background, the Ballard canal, freight trains coming and going.These are pictures of views along the walk.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bye bye

I'm headed to Seattle early in the morning....the annual sojourn to work in the studio at Earthues. No pictures tonight..I have just taken a walk with Jack around the farm and bid my goodbyes to all. It is so hard to leave this blessed place. I will be in touch from the Pacific Northwest as the next two weeks unfold...baaa baaa.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Remembering Mom

Today is my Mom's birthday. She passed away in 2006 and I miss her terribly.But I find great peace in knowing we had a great run together. This picture is when she served as a Wave in the US Navy during World War II. She was so proud of her service and she was also beautiful in a uniform!

I'll raise a glass to her today. July 5, 1921 ~ January 18, 2006

Friday, July 04, 2008

Celebrate your freedom and independence!

Wishing everyone a relaxing day with friends, family, even solitude perhaps on this most celebrated day in our nation's history!

The sheep celebrated early with a trip to new pasture. They have fresh water, hay for snacking, a shed to lounge in and green pasture for grazing. Independence!

The chickens are celebrating with independence to and from their coop to the main area of the barn. They have grain, water fresh outside air and room to move. Freedom!

We humans are celebrating by enjoying the freedom of doing what ever we feel like today, no deadlines or timetables. And, as always, we are thankful for those serving in our armed forces who preserve our continued freedom and independence!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

WIP Wednesday

Just under the wire I completed the Rowan Froth Scarf tonight. It is 36" long and 6" wide. It feels wonderful around my neck, even on a July morning, so I can imagine the cozy feel come October. I found another pattern free on (SORRY! Link option currently NOT working!)named Seascape which I instantly fell in love with. I ordered more Rowan Kidsilk Haze in a new color and will start this shawl over the holiday weekend. It is single strand lace knitting and that will be new to me. That's always good!