Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Field Trip

We have started sending the flock out to greener pastures with a bit of a treat factor. They get the winter barn at day's end to bring relief from the bug season.

No matter how pretty the farm and how romantic the pictures, here in New England, on any farm and in any field, in the background are hundreds and hundreds of biting bugs from black flies to mosquitoes and later in the summer months, the "no-see-ems" (the littlest flies, so small you can't see 'em, but they are insidious and most voracious at dusk and overnight).

I always feel for the wildlife such as the deer and moose during these months. The North Woods are especially fraught with biting bugs. Fortunately here on our farm the bugs are not as fierce because we are at a higher elevation with very little standing or running water around us.

I take a proactive position and every morning and night take the time to rub some organic bug repellent on their foreheads and ears. They love the smell and walk up and take their dose with pleasure!

Presently it is black fly season which will come to an end in another week so the sheep are day tripping to the pastures while the breezes blow and then back to the winter barn for the overnights until the spring bug season winds down. Call them spoiled, yes, but until you have endured a day without bug repellent, no matter what your species, the biting is maddening and exhausting!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Right on time

Memorial Day weekend congers up many different images across the country from American's paying tribute to war veterans and fallen soldiers, parades, family gatherings, barbeques, the list goes on. This weekend also marks the time of getting first cut of hay for winter in by the 30th of May. This year the first cut was ready right on time. We picked up 100 bales yesterday afternoon. And so begins the cycle of summer gathering to winter feeding once again.

We have a short drive from the field back to our farm and it's a gorgeous drive with views of farms and farmland, the CT River and the Canoe Meadow Cemetary with it's border on the river's edge. It is the second oldest cemetary in town, dating back to 1764 with 12 Revolutionary soldiers buried there. We never tire of this drive no matter what the season.

Last bales in for the day....

My mom was a veteran of WWII having served in the Navy as a Wave. She was so proud of her service to her country. Today we honor all those who have lost their lives serving in our armed forces, so to preserve our country's freedom and liberty.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spring scent

Ahhhh, smell those apple blossoms this morning!

Monday, May 12, 2008

32nd New Hampshire Sheep and Wool

I spent the weekend vending at the NH show...the weather was just perfect, cool temperatures with lots of sun. There seemed to be an influx of our state bug: the dreaded black fly. I don't remember other years being so buggy but it kept the people moving! I was located in a new building this year and it was a great change for me after 5 years at this festival. I didn't get out and about too much, except to grab lunch, but managed to get a few pictures. Below is one area outside our building (Stewart) early on Saturday morning.
This is one of my fleece customers who came to pick up her fleece (Daisy) on Saturday. Happy she is! Thank you, Manise!

This is a friend, Nancy, from NH who stopped to buy some natural dyes. She is displaying two blankets she wove using natural dyes. She dyed the fiber last summer and wove the blankets over the winter months. The yellow was achieved with the weld extract, the red is madder and the blue, of course, indigo. Stunning pieces, Nancy!
Here is Margaret Wilson from Mostly Merino of Vermont nearing the end of Saturday. Reeelaxing!

A great big thank you to all who stopped to visit, shop and get immersed in the world of natural dyeing!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

DTKS cured

I have taken little time this spring for personal knitting and last week I suffered from DTKS (Desperate To Knit Syndrome)!

I found this cute little kit I had stashed away...don't all knitters have this place they go in their house to visit their stash?
It's a Rowen Scarf knit with two strands of Kidsilk Haze, lovely yarn to work with using 8 needles it just goes along and then I'll knit a funky 4 row border all around it...looks to be a good project to take to the NH Sheep and Wool Festival, for those quiet moments at my booth.
But if you'll come visit me I won't have time to knit! Okay, deal?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

All in a day's work

Jack and I took some time today to work on a few projects outside before the rain moves in on Sunday. It wasn't a beautiful day but at least it was somewhat dry and temperate...perfect for the tasks at hand.

We have umpteen (how many is that?) sugar maples around the house and they are a blessing on those hot summer days but otherwise continually shed branches and need trimming to let in the light.

Jack cut the branches and I did the lugging...took a couple hours to get the two areas cleared. Trailer loads with an ATV to the brush pile...next winter's bonfires in the making.

Regrettably, but perhaps thankfully, if it were to happen, our trusty manure spreader broke her drive chain on the last load this spring. Yes, at least it was the last load, and at that it was the last 1/4 load! So we got it back to the barn, got it cleaned out and tucked it away in the machinery barn til Jack can get a look at it to repair. We bought the spreader about 6 years ago, a Yankee deal....another words it didn't work! But Jack toiled and repaired the floorboards, reset the tracks and it has been marvelous for the past 4 years. And it will be again...just going to take a bit of Yankee ingenuity to get her up and running again....

We spent a good 7 hours just picking away at the list of things needing doing....Sidney is sacked out in front of the fire having exhausted himself walking back and forth from the back fields to the barns at least 40 times....we too made those treks and feel the fire calling.