Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Last of the Fleece

I finally finished skirting all of this year's fleece Sunday. Its washed and on the screens to dry. Here are the colors that will be blended into my latest roving - teal, spruce, saphire, and kelly green. I plan to have it blended thoroughly so the different colors will just give depth to the finished yarns. I have not decided on a name yet - I'll wait to see the finished product.

The only wool I have in the house now is a grocery bag full of tiny pencil locks I will wash and then dye in multiple colors and then bag up to sell as locks.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Here are a couple pictures of the lambs after we weaned yesterday. They all seem in good health. Some of them are really, really big! They are calling loudly for their mothers but that does not seem to stop them from mowing through two big hay feeders. We'll get them started on a grain/pellet mix soon. I put out a scoop last night, and 4 walked right over, said "hey look, food!" and started eating it.

More roadside flowers

I took a drive around the "block" last night. I always find this road sign amusing..... Sharon is the name of a tiny town nearby, and there is a stone quarry on this road called Sharon Stone.
T Ridge is the inspired name one of our township trustees came up with when our road needed to be named for our new 911 service. Wish they had asked for suggestions - I would have called it Still Hollow, after our 90+ year old twin bachelor neighbors.
I like these "weeds". There is a frittiary butterfly just swooping in from the left upper corner.
Not sure what this is - I'll have to do some research - or do you know?
This is button bush. Its normally found in wet areas, so there must be a spring coming out of the hill above the road.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Saturday is the day

So the plan is to bring in the BFLs, wean the lambs, FAMACHA check the ewes and worm if necessary. There are 3 ewes that will be sold once their udders dry off, so they will be sorted out and penned up for a couple weeks and fed hay. We have a shed with a big outdoor exercise area for them.
I can hardly wait to really "see" the lambs and start evaluating them, selecting the ewe lambs to keep. On paper, there are 2 ram lambs I really want to keep and use for breeding this fall. I've already got a list of ewes to breed them to. Seems silly in a way when these guys are only 2-2.5 months old. :^)

Monday, June 22, 2009

BFL yearling rams for sale

I've decided to sell the 2 yearling rams we used for breeding last year - SHF Lanark AI, and SHF Lockerbie, AI. There are pictures and more information on our website.
Above is a closeup of Lanark's fleece. Click on the photo to "biggify"it. This fleece has been growing in since late March.
Lanark's dam is an AI daughter of Beeston Loyalty, and his sire is Carryhouse R1 E+, so he is 75% UK breeding. He was born a twin, and has grown well over the winter. Overall, I am quite pleased with him. He has good fleece coverage and lock formation. His topline is level, his pasterns and feet are strong, and he has good rear angulation with no tendency toward being postlegged. He is just a nicely balance ram. His lambs were nice sized (12-14#) and vigorous at birth, with no birthing problems, and no need to assist the lamb. The lambs are similar in appearance and very upheaded, with good roman noses and long, upright ears. Lanark's dam has been a very productive member of the flock, and has a lovely udder with small, wellplaced teats. He is $500.00

Lockerbie's dam carries Gwystedd Jamie blood, and his sire is Barlaes Titus E+, making him 63% UK breeding. He is a single, and will be a large, tall ram. His fleece is very dense and heavy with fine lock structure. He has good feet and legs. He is in a gangly stage where he is all elbows and knees and ears, but I think he will finish into a fine looking ram. His lambs were large at birth, 14-18#. All were born easily and were up and nursing in minutes. In general, they are very blue, and the most eye-catching lambs in the flock. He is $450.00

Both rams are registered, and suitable for using in a purebred flock.
This is Sri Lanka, a chocolate agouti SA doe. She is just now 3 months old.
Trieste's kits are 2.5 weeks old now. Starting on the left: fawn, 2 chocolate agoutis, the chocolate, and the red. First guess is the the chocolate is a buck, and the fawn is a doe. They were VERY hard to keep in a group long enough to photograph. You can probably tell that the big chocolate agouti and the red are poised to take off.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Beautiful Day

This is the view out my window as I sit at the computer right now. I love tiger lilies. These were here when we moved into the farmhouse. A hummingbird frequents them, and I enjoy the sound of his wings.
We had a big thunderstorm yesterday that dumped over an inch of rain in less than a half hour. It was VERY humid the rest of the day, and then during the night we kept waking to the sound of thunder. Today, the sky is clear and the air is clean, and there is a strong breeze that gusts through the house, blowing papers around. I can hear Chuck's windchimes on the front porch.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Nothin' cuter than a baby skunk....

This little guy was sauntering around in the neighbor's yard. A sibling was nearby. This one got within 10 feet of my car, so I snapped his picture. He paid me no mind. Neither were bigger than an 8 week old kitten.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trieste's Litter

All five babies were out of the nestbox this morning, huddled together to keep warm. I popped them all back in their nest where they belong! They are opening their eyes now, and getting chubby. 1 chocolate, 2 chocolate agoutis, 1 red, and one that I think is a fawn, since its a golden color rather than the intense red of its sibling. It will probably look like its grandmother, Shiraz.


This is Cyrenaica, a broken chocolate tort Satin Angora doe. She is 4 months old. I clipped her baby coat off about 6 weeks ago, so its short, but really growing in nicely, with wonderful sheen and a good texture. Although the broken SA is not showable, I decided to keep her for breeding because she has such a terrific body. Bred to a solid buck, 50% of the kits should be solid, without carrying the broken pattern. So she can be used in my breeding program to pass on her nice smooth, muscular body and improve my show line. Her sire is from Joan Hastings, and is a broken black. Joan holds the COD for the broken SA, and is working to get them recognized by ARBA.

Update on Voodoo's kits

Voodoo's kits are nearly 3 months old now, and really starting to look like French Angoras. This is Bacalou, a REW buck. He is a really promising looking fellow, and I look forward to the day when we can start using him for breeding.
This is Ti Malice, a broken blue tort doe. She is the most outgoing, friendly one of the group.

This is Marinette, a cream doe. Although Ti has nicer texture to her wool, Marinette has them all beaten on density. Ti has done some trimming on her sister's coat, so it looks sorta choppy and uneven. Think of it as the equivalent of a toddler cutting off all their bangs with the scissors. :^)
Aunt Vignette did the same thing to Voodoo when they were little......

Friday, June 12, 2009

2 month old Satin Angora does for sale

aThese 2 young does are for sale. One is a chocolate, and the other a wideband chocolate agouti with a lot of rufus coloring. They were born 3-29-09. These are the last of the solid Somerhill pedigreed youngsters I will have for a while, since I've done some outcrosses with some nice rabbits from Joan Hastings and am using two bucks from those outcrosses right now.
Since these 2 girls are smaller framed than what I'm breeding for in SAs, they are for sale as woolers. They do come with pedigrees and ear tattooes. $30 each.


I finally managed to get her from under my feet for a picture. I was trying to tattoo bunnies, and she was busy too; kicking me in the back of the leg, tugging on my pantleg, chewing on the trashcan, trying to pull the tattoo box off the stand.....in frustration, I sent her outside the barn to play with Chuck. She is finally starting to be interested in the grass. She is nearly weaned from the bottle, and eating about 2# of pellets per day, plus drinking water out of a bucket and eating hay. She won't be 2 months old for another week.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Trieste's new babies

This morning we welcome Somerhill Trieste's (red) new kits, sired by Somerhill Timbuktu. (choc agouti) Trieste had 6 kits - 2 chocolate agouti, 1 chocolate, and 3 reds. One of the reds was DOA, so we have 5 little ones. I cleaned up the nestbox and gave Trieste a "thank you" treat before work this morning. These are her first. Her sister Miramar's kits are just turning 2 months old. She also had 6 kits.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Look at this cool contraption that is in the window of a downtown Cambridge (OH) antique mall. They have it labeled a "gatherer". Its obviously for spinning, and clamps on a surface and the middle wheel is hand cranked. If it wasn't $340, it would be at my house by now! Anybody know what its called and what the history behind the tool might be?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Water water

I seem to be drawn to water lately.  This is the Tuscarawas, one of 5 rivers in our county.  The others are the Walhonding, Mohican, Kokos...