Saturday, March 27, 2010

Down to keeping up

Okay, so its been awhile. Lots of stuff going on, getting done, and arriving - including lambs. Last weekend, I went shopping for nursery stuff with Ryan and Angie and her parents. Being creative is always a mind stretching experience, but coordinating thoughts with others is even harder. But we had fun. Then Sunday I finished up the wool order, and we took it to town. After the washing, dyeing and carding, I still have Jody in mind. Not that I mind the work, but it takes time I could be using for other work. And now the former paint clients are calling. Got to stay focused, and get down to keeping up.

Last Sunday was also an exciting day with 'flock development - we came home from town to find our first black lamb, and a ewe lamb at that! We named her Ruby, after the lady we bought the black ram from. Actually, Ruby was her maiden name, and is on his papers in the ranch name. She's a real cutie. Then Wed. we had another black lamb, a buck this time. We don't need a buck, but he is sure to be barter or saleable, or maybe we'll just keep him as a whether to raise fleece. And, we still have several potential black candidates, including the CVM and the Coopworth.

The full moon or the cold front inspired the ewes yesterday. We had 4 sets of twins and 3 singles in 24 hrs. Today, nothing so far. But I have my eye on a crossbred ewe that is miserably big, and bred to the black ram.

While on Ewe Watch, I have dyed 7 scarves. Am thinking of design use for the 5 sweaters I found at the thrift shop. Several were already felted for me. Some of the best ones are in the 'small' bin, even though the tag may read 'XLRG'. Even some Cashmere and angora. Thanks for the accidents.

I havent got used to the pink glow of the grow light which is now hanging over the flats of newly planted seeds in the sunroom. It was an unsettling back light all evening, and I noticed this morning as it wasn't quite light outside. But I hope the little seeds will appreciate the extra light. And the gardening has officially begun - Don planted potatoes too. I checked out the yard and beds for signs of life. Which there were many, but hours of cleanup are needed before they are very evident. We seldom have to rake much, but the early snow packed down the pin oak leaves before they could blow away this year. Since they dont make good compost, I can already smell the smoke.

Well, back to the scarves, which should be dry by now.

Friday, March 19, 2010

On birth and dyeing - its March 19th

It happened again this year. The first lamb of the season was born on March 19th. It has been the case for many years. Strangely, because while we intend to lamb about the same time every year, (hoping for better weather), it doesn't seem to matter what day we turn the Bucks out, because the first lamb always seems to be born on the 19th.

This year, we'll blame the spring snow. Hopefully, what will be the last of the season. The long awaited preview of spring was short lived - 2 days - and, as predicted, the sky turned gray late yesterday afternoon, the wind turned cold and damp this morning, and sleet and snow followed shortly after. The first lamb hit the ground about the same time.

A nice buck lamb. A single, but we'll keep him. Not one of the hoped for candidates to be colored. And not the predicted first birth either. There surely will be more soon. Several of the girls have had that miserable look about them the last few days. And maybe thats why we had to play a rousing game of 'Who's the Mama?'. the little guy appeared to have nursed, and there were at least 4 ewes playing midwife, and had him cleaned up nicely. One insisted he belonged to her, but I've been at this long enough to know better. It took a few rounds through the bellowing throng before I spotted her. The real mother had to be 782. I finally managed to sort her off, and she was mildly interested in the baby. But he had already taken to the ewe who had offered him lunch. This may take an adjustment.