Friday, February 27, 2009

BFL Collection

A picture on Garrett's blog inspired this post. Here are some of the Bluefaced Leicester items I have collected over the years.
The top 3 photos are 2 sets of Border Fine Arts BFL familes, and the larger is a specially commissioned statue of a BFL ewe that was first offered for display and sale at the 2007 National Show.
The fourth picture is from the 1st National Show at Rhinebeck in 2007. They were table favors at the banquet. Inside the blue item is a bag of specially printed blue M&Ms.

Meet Celtic Hare Greylon

Meet Celtic Hare Greylon. He is a 4 month old lilac French Angora buck. I've decided to work with the dilute that has cropped up in my fawns, and also introduce chocolate to the fawns in an attempt to lessen their smutty faces and improve the clear golden color of the wool.
Greylon goes back to my lines, so I know his pedigree pretty well. In his litter were torts and REW, so that gives me some pretty good clues on his genetic color code. He is smallish for his age, and does not have the density of my fawns, but overall, I like him very much, and look forward to working with him. I know his line has good, intense color, and nice dark nails, which are 2 problems that dilutes can have.
He will have a date with both Voodoo and Vignette later this spring.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sexing Bunnies

Update on the bunnies. I have tenative sexes on the 3 week old SA litter:
Black buck (reserved)
Chocolate buck - hopefully my new herdsire
Broken red/fawn buck - a mismark, but if he has a good body, will make a nice breeding buck with nice clean color. I'm guessing he is a chocolate based. AabbCCD-ee
Broken chocolate doe
Broken chocolate tort doe
Tort doe
I wonder how many of these I have right. :^) Baby bunny parts are very small and hard to see.
What look like does sometimes change into bucks as they mature. Experienced rabbit breeders refer to this as "a visit from the sex-change fairie."

The illusive wild turkey. This is what we saw out the front door this AM. I count 40 birds, 6 of them displaying Toms. The hens were scurrying around, and you could hear them calling clearly across the valley.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Satin Angora Pictures

Broken chocolate, chocolate, black,tort(in back) broken fawn(mismark) and broken choc tort
And 2 second later: Tort, chocolate, broken chocolate,black, broken choc tort, and broken fawn. They all have their eyes open, and are looking like real rabbits. They were born 2-4, so they are now 2.5 weeks old.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Look what our neighbors brought us yesterday! Keeping the woodpile stocked in the winter is always a struggle. This time of year, the pile is dwindling, and its hard for Chuck to get into the woods to cut dead trees, either because of snow and ice, or mud. Lately, he's been working on some dead elms that he and Carl cut out of the fencerows, and Carl drug out to the road for him. This is a whole pickup load that Carl and Kathy loaded up and brought over last night. This AM, Chuck is splitting the trunk into usable pieces.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This is some roving I bought from my friend Jane. Its yellow Coopworth lambswool with something called silk sari mixed in. The silk is green, orange and purple. It is fun to spin, and has a nice, silky feel to the yarn.
I will have 4 skeins of the yarn available for sale - each around 3 oz, 45 yards.

Here is an updated picture of Mandalay's litter. The tort and broken chocolate tort have their eyes open. The rest are still closed, but I'm sure tomorrow everyone will have eyes. In the bottom left is the broken fawn that is a mismark. Then my favorites, the chocolate and broken chocolate. I n the back are the tort, black, and broken chocolate tort. The other two brokens have perfect markings. I've never seen a mismark like this one before, my French never had these. The only thing I've seen before are missing nose markings. This one is really pretty. The ear, eye and nose markings all blend together, just leaving an irregular white blaze. It has a white chest with irregular edges to the white, too.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Yes, I know this picture has nothing to do with a valentine, but I wanted to express the sentiment, just the same. :^)
The picture is of some roving I have available. Its called Seascape. Its 1/3 Corriedale wool, 1/3 Alpaca, and 1/3 mohair. Its aquamarine with sapphire and emerald streaks throughout. I have 3.5# total and its $28 per pound, or $1.75 per oz plus shipping.
I also have a couple skeins of it available for you knitters - they are 65 yards, 3.6 oz, in a chunky weight 2 ply. I think it would make a great hat!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2 Woolers to good home

EDITED 2-13: Rubicon has a new home. I've reconsidered giving Sun City away, deciding that she deserves another shot at breeding for me. I'd forgotten I'd only given her one try, and thought she was older than she is. Wish her luck! I'd really like her nice, clear bright color in my fawn line if possible.
Sun City (2 year old French Angora doe) and Rubicon (red French type) are looking for a new home with someone who knows angoras and can care for them properly. Please contact me if you are interested. This is an old picture of Rubicon - he is redder than the picture shows.
Last night, the last of the ice in front of the barn was melted. This after 5 days in the 50s and 60s. The ice has been there since the ice storm a couple weeks ago - a sheet 4-6inches thick and 15 feet wide. So now if I fall down, its just my normal clumsiness at fault. :^)

We had strong thunderstorms move through last night, with quite a lightning show for a short time. Long enough to make the lights go out briefly. Then the winds started. At about 11PM, the electricity went out, then came back on around 2AM. Thank you to all the people who work in such conditions to restore our power!

This morning, we had pieces of slate in the backyard, and an area about 3x4 on the house roof that had damaged or missing slates. Chuck thinks he can fix it himself, and I won't pitch a fit about it since its on the lower corner of the roof, reachable from a ladder. I don't like him crawling around on the roof anymore.
Its still quite blustery - like a March day. Looks like the temperatures will continue to slide downward over the nest few days, toward more normal for February. I guess this was our January thaw - just a little later than normal.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sure Sign of Spring!

I forgot to say - last night on the way home from a board meeting, I smelled the first and most absolutely sure sign that spring is on the way. SKUNK!
Rest assured, spring is just around the corner.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

These are Shiraz and Fletch (a SA buck from Joan Hastings) babies. They were born Dec 1st, so are 2 months old. 2 bucks and a doe; Timbuktu, Tripoli, and Tanzania.

More baby bunny pictures

Here is Mandalay's litter at five days old. I can't believe how much they changed in the 36 hours I was gone. Their coat colors are so brilliant now, and they are twice the size they were. They are milk fat, and so active its hard to get a picture!
Right now, I'm thinking black, 2 broken fawns, tort, chocolate, and broken chocolate (??) The one fawn is a mismark - its almost all color, with only a little bit of white pattern on it. All the wool part will be bright golden orange.

PA State Convention and UARC Specialty

Annette and I left for Pennsylvania on Friday PM. We had a great time on the way - talking all the time. :^) We arrived at the showroom before dark, got unloaded and looked around a bit. Then we had dinner at Ruby Tuesdays with Amy, her mom, & Julie. We got settle into our rooms in the Quality Inn Lebanon by around 9PM.
The next morning, we registered, and I starting grooming the 2 FA and 1 SA I had entered while Annette looked for the people she was meeting to look at rabbits.
The show was busy with 3 judges juggling the 4 breeds for 2 different shows. Lots of running around to get to the right table at the right time, and still get to watch some of the show for the Giants and English. I wrote for some of the judging, and also sat with Annette while she learned - just for moral support.
Bill Patrick judged the French open show. My Vidal got BOS, which give his his 3rd leg and his championship. Just in tim, too, because I want to run down to the barn later today and cut off that coat. Its starting to web, and took a lot of work to get it looking good for the show.
Dr Chris Hayhow judged the specialty show for all 4 breeds. My Shiraz got BOB. I had sold her before the show, and her new owner was thrilled. That would be Shiraz 7th leg. :^) I am keeping 4 of her daughters and a son, so she will move on to improve another show herd. What a beauty she is, and so sweet and gentle.
We headed home after the BIS judging (went to Amy and her French) and talked all the way home. :^) I got into the house at about 10PM, and I think Annette made it to her place around 11PM. It was a great trip, with lots of fun talking to friends, meeting new ones, and enjoying a break in the weather. Beautiful, sunny, and warm. It was 60 degrees here on Saturday!

That's me and Shiraz on the left, with Amy and her BOB French, Linda with her English, and Terry with her Giant.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I've added pictures of the litters to their birth announcements.
Took them quick - it was -7 degrees this AM. Both litters are active, sleek looking, and growing fur.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

PA State Convention trip!

Looks like the trip to Lebanon, PA for the state rabbit convention show is a go! My friend, Annette and I are going together on Friday, staying overnight, and then attending the open show and UARC Angora Specialty show on Saturday. We'll come home Saturday evening.

I can hardly wait!

2-4-09 Birth Announcement

Somerhill Mandalay must have just delivered when I went in to feed this AM. One kit was in the nest and sorta cold, but still moving. The rest were in the front of the box and all wet and bloody and sticky. Some were cool, some were still warm and slippery wet. Lots of placentas and a couple small, limp kits. She has 6 live, healthy looking if somewhat cold ones. I cleaned up the mess, put them all in the nest, and covered them up well. When I put my hand down in the fluff, I could feel heat developing, so I decided to let the group warm themselves. I think they are more efficient and its safer than trying to use a hairdryer. There is a red, broken red, chocolate agouti, a tort, a black, and one broken with blackish markings.(these colors are subject to change) I did not want to take any time examining them since they were cold. I'm glad that it appears only two are broken - it gives me more to choose from when I decide which to keep. Mandy got a thorough body rub and a snack, and I congratulated Mr Spots. I've officially named him HH Hastings for pedigrees. :^)

2-3-09 Birth Announcement

Miss HH Sierra Leone and Mr Somerhill Camaroon announce the birth of their first litter of 8 (does this sound like its right out of the headlines - hehe) All 8 are healthy looking, dry and warm.Looks like she had just had them in the late PM, since when I checked at 5:30, the blood in the nest was still bright red, and a couple of the kits were still a little sticky. She pulled lots of wool. Had them in 2 piles, so I cleaned out the wet spot, rearranged the bedding to my liking, and then counted heads and combined them. I think they are all either reds or torts.

I'll add a photo later; I forgot the camera this morning with all the other stuff I lug around, plus getting the snow studs strapped onto my shoes to test out on the ice. They work really well, BTW.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Adagio and Rowan waiting for dinner. That's Cadence's profile between "Dodgie's" ears. Cadence is a BIG, tall ewe. She is for sale, bred to a Carryhouse R1/Beeston Loyalty bloodline ram.

Somerhill Lanark - 10 month old ram lamb - sired by Carryhouse R1 E+, out of a Beeston Loyalty daughter.

Oh great - some new hosta eaters have arrived

The new fawns are starting to arrive.    We have a love/hate relationship going.  The deer love to eat our flowers, and we hate it.  L...