Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Queen Returns

Yesterday, Queen Uma returned to her kingdom. She left in November to visit with a handsome knight at nearby Spinnakees' Farm.
Though she visited the knight last year, she did not produce any heirs. So, being the mighty queen that she is, she returned for an extended stay.:)

It sure is nice to have her back! With any luck, she is carrying a few little goatie babies for me to love in April.

Here is a little sheep porn. These pregnant girls were "crotched" ( sheared around udders, back legs and vulvas ) last week as it is too cold to completely shear them. This allows me to watch udders grow, keep an eye out for prolapse, and yes ...look at their hoochies.
A few days before lambing, they will look very swollen and almost purple. If the fleece is left on, it is harder to see what is going on down there. It also is very hard for lambs to nurse, especially if the ewes are longwool breeds such as Romneys, Border Leicester, or Leicester Longwools.

These ewes are Columbias, the largest white faced sheep. As I was feeding them tonight, I checked them for lice. I did not see any, but I was ooooooing and ahhhhhhing over their fine, white fleeces.

Oh my gosh....where did he come from? Well .... that is what I said to my husband when he discovered this bunny in the basement last night. :)

My good friend Betty Stover gave him to me yesterday. If you are looking for a beautiful German Angora, you must talk to Betty of Spinnakees' Farm.
This beauty tentatively named Mellow Yellow by my daughter, is almost ready to be clipped. He will blend nicely with Alice, my grey Angora.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Thankfully the week has come to an end here in freezing-cold Maine. Temps dropped on Tuesday night and continued to fall until we hit 21 below last night. Ole' Mom Nature was good enough to let the winds subside so that the comfort level was a bit better. The sheep take it in stride, but mt heart goes out to the chickens, ducks and ponies who must long for summer sun and warm breezes.

This week was the Maine Agricultural Show in Augusta. The turn out was incredible. We shared our Maine Sheep Breeders Association booth with the Wildlife Services folks. I enjoyed their company, but the poor men must have thought that my jaws were hinged in the middle. I talked to so many people for so long that I should not have a voice today. It is one of my favorite events to be a part of.

Sally made an appearance as well this year and thankfully her head stayed on throughout the many oooooooooohhhs and aaaaaaaaahhhs and touching. She is becoming a bit of a fixture at the Ag Show, as it was requested that she attend watch over our booth.

Udders are beginning to fill on Laverne and Shirley. Shirley seems to be in the lead, and a bit smaller belly-wise, although we know that that does not clue us into how many lambs have taken up residence in her womb. Poor Judy looks like and aircraft carrier a few weeks before she lambs, but always has average sized twins. I am happy to have given her a year off from having babies and nursing, she has grown beautiful fleece and has a healthy weight.

I took my wheel to the show as well, it was nice to spin again. My knitting phase has passed and I am ready to begin spinning up some beautiful hand-spun yarns for the shop this summer. I have a surprise fiber to add to the mix this year which should make for an interesting blend.

Hope you all are staying warm and dreaming of isn't that far away!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Slow and Steady

Today was a day of longing. After a cool start to the day, it warmed up enough for the snow to melt ... drip, drip, dripping off the roof. The sweet little birds who flitter and dance around the feeders all shook their heads in agreement when I told them I wish I could fill my window boxes with bright, colorful flowers, and herbs. My garden is blanketed with snow and ice, not a sign of life is left, not even a frozen stalk or seed pod survived the sheep who I allowed to graze down the remains of the season.

I am thankful for these days though, I scrubbed out all water buckets, raked up a bit, sat in the barn when the sun was warming the milk crate I sometimes use as a seat, and observed....
Observed what you ask??? Well seems that my short little ram, stood on his tip toes sometime in early September and whispered sweet nothings in two of my ewes ears.

I saw a little "action" in the paddock and sort of laughed it off. I must admit it was a bit of an experiment to see if her could actually reach the tall girls. He is a determined little bugger... and I say MARVELOUS! They combination of fleece qualities should make for some lovely little lambs! The barn is ready, deeply bedded with straw and stalled off. Butts and bellies are sheared, now we wait ...slow and steady we wait.