Sunday, April 15, 2012


shearing day was fantastic with full sun, a light breeze
and temps in the 60's.
our shearer, Andy Rice, arrived with his new border collie pup, Meg.
she is 10 weeks cute and cheerful. while Andy set up
Luna and Meg got acquainted.
Luna was sooooo excited at the hope of a
playful companion. Kalie, our other sheltie
is not the playful sort (yet).
Patty Blomgren of Centre Artisans came
to work with me to sort and skirt fleeces.
she and Luna had a moment together during set-up.
fleeces came to our skirting table
as fast as we could sort
Georgia got sheared,
a spotted wonder.
meanwhile under the skirting table Luna and Meg
had fallen in love.
they rolled, ran, woofed, chased, napped
and played some more.
for Meg it was great,
for Luna it was heaven.
it got hot and Meg found the extra
sheep water buckets and
thought they made a dandy swimming hole.
Patty kept the flow going at the table
Daphne's fleece
Charlotte's turn with the blades
shearings done and with the quirky dry and
above normal warm weather
I (and am sure the sheep) are glad to be gifted
with a handsome pool of fleece off their backs.
now I begin to re-sort fleeces to prep for
raw sales and what ships for yarn and spinning fibers.
it's a long day but a fleece farmer's
reward for a year well worked.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

the yin and yang of it

back home after the long trek from Australia.
 as Dorothy says "there's no place like home".
I walked into the kitchen in the early morning hours from the airport
to spy the box of ashes from our ewe, Jackie-O on the side table.
her tests (demanded by the state and here)
all came back negative, as I knew they would.
she died from natural causes
despite the frenzy to find a deeper reason.
although cremation for farm animals is over the top,
in this case I was not willing to have her 10 great years spent with us
 tossed into some firepit with all their other specimens.
so we took her ashes and spread them this week across the fields where she lived her days here.
and the last handful was spread near her old companion Ashley and another lost lamb. 
Luna has done it again...her gregarious, friendly self
met an abandoned barbed wire fence.
it is nasty and will take a month to truly heal at this writing.
I won't even dare to show the actual damage.
Luna is amazing. her heart is huge and her spirit soars.
she never complains and is always a happy soul.
she needs to teach me a few things!
but I do think she needs to find a part-time job
to help pay her vet bills
the composted manure has been tilled in for the 
Polygonum tinctorium (indigo) and Isatis tinctoria (woad) planting.
our planting timetable is still 7 weeks away 
but for now the manure and soil are
having a love fest.
our neighbors belted galloways have offered up a new calf
this week. it is a regular stop enroute to watch
him go from nursing to napping to sproinging.
our far field protected a family of goose gourds
all winter yet
showing their wear this week
I got the last round of sheep coats washed
and ready to mend before shearing next week.
ghastly job.
although the stones shift in these old walls
it usually goes unnoticed to the naked eye.
a century plus and here they are.
solid, stable, comforting.
and a spring sun sets beyond.
there is balance.