Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Painting and printing on cloth

Our first of this week's two Earthues workshops is finished: Surface Design on Woven Cloth. The weather was beautiful, the students a great mix of talent and personality and the results were spectacular.

Below are a few photos of the workshop including lunch which was also devine each day thanks to dear Liza and Steve once again!

Thank you all for joining us!

Michele giving a lecture referring to her own collection of textiles

Resist techniques which then will be compounded with dyes, pigments, mica and gold leaf

Lunch which was so delicious...Sid only wished

Beautiful results!

Ochre pots
More results with resist and indigo

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Settled in

Here are Della(eating) and Lucy (looking at me) a day later. All is well. And our rainy pattern may have finally broken yesterday. The air is crisp, the skies are blue, perfect August weather.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Meet and Greet

The time has come for Della and Lucy to join the rest of the flock. They have become quite comfortable with the comings and goings and although they are most used to me, they are not as skittish around other people and the dogs as they were upon their arrival.

Everyone got fed some hay and then we brought the main flock down from pasture where we could join everyone at the winter pasture.

There was lots of baaaing and a flurry of 'who are you?'. But then the main flock went to the left and Della and Lucy went to the right and eventually back to their barn.

That wasn't going to do, so we rounded them all up with a bit of grain, they all folded together and we led them up the road to a new pasture where they would begin the new routine together. Within 4 hours they were grazing and resting as a flock together, most of the 'who are you?' had completely dissipated. I will follow it up later today with a photo of everyone, a day later.

Friday, August 15, 2008

About those chickens

This photo is just before I put the chickens in for the night. A bit blurry but as you can see the chickens have grown fond of the sheep!

The following night when I came down to lock the chickens in it was out of control. They were starting to roost and were all over the barn, high up on beams and posts. Realizing they were running the barn now, I took steps to secure their temporary quarters the following morning. One hen managed to escape the following two nights until I found her escape route. Now they are trained to go in to their coop at dark where they are secure for the overnight.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Della's flock

The chickens are soooo happy to have Della and Lucy to share the barn with. The hens follow them all around the field while they graze, grabbing crickets and all sorts of other bugs. Last evening when I went down to put the chickens in for the evening, they were all over the place. Two were on Lucy's back, one way atop the shearer's post (8' plus) others roosting on the rails around the lambing jugs. It was a laugh!

The hen's love the sheep, but do the sheep love the hens? We'll never really know will we?!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Summer pedicures

Jack and I gathered the flock for their mid-summer night's dream (not). Today was de-worming and hoof trimming Wednesday. The weather has been terribly wet this summer. In the month of July I wonder if we had ONE dry day. So far in August forget it. It is grating on everyone...sun peaks out for an hour and then torrential downpours. Below Bea gives her nod of approval to the next sheep in line. Bea chose first in line which I think is always wise. First in, first out.

For the flock this means extra vigilance regarding hoof care. When the fields are wet their hooves don't get a chance to dry out. If the hooves aren't trimmed regularly the dirt and moisture build up in the untrimmed hoof area causing a multitude of sins. We typically trim 3 times a year; May, August and November. Over the winter our barn and loafing lot offer lots of hard standing surfaces for the sheep. They naturally paw the ground and thereby "trim" their own hooves quite nicely. During the summer months on grass is when the problems tend to occur. These pictures give you an idea of the process. Jack has become very proficient at this. The last picture shows a nicely trimmed hoof.

Tonight: 16 sheep times 4 hooves,64 trims. We started at 6:30PM and finished up at 8PM. We have to confine them in order to be efficient. We usually do the trimming in the big barn but because Della and Lucy are still set up in that barn we trimmed in the winter barn. Oh my God, it was steamy, sheepy and yup, shitty. No pictures of us....but we got them all cleaned up and sent them out to a fresh pasture and they were delighted!

So are we, knowing they are foot fancy and comfortable.