It’s been a stressful, hectic week, and I don’t have one clear story to tell like usual. All I have are a few random snapshots taken during the few calm moments. Several are of some animals that haven’t made the blog in a while, so I decided to post them anyway.
“This grass is wet. I don’t like it.”
Sandy’s been a bit more energetic than usual this week, which is nice to see. He’s in remarkably good shape for 16 years old, but I do sometimes miss his younger days when he ruled the farm with an iron fist.
“What’re you laughing at, ShepherdPerson?”
Bran with a vampire milk mouth. He was a bit worried about being singled out and having his picture taken, but I couldn’t resist.
“Great, the lamb’s not here! Let’s play!”
Poor Watcher has been terribly neglected since Mira was born. He’s happy that she’s spending most of her time out with the other sheep now.
Mira will keep getting bottles for a few more weeks, but she’s too big for the house. She spent the night outside for the first time last night, and it went much more smoothly than I expected. She’s very well integrated into the flock for a bottle lamb; I think she’s going to be fine.
“If I stand exactly here the sun doesn’t get in my eyes. Why’s the sun up already, anyway? Didn’t morning used to be later in the day?”
Barney, the grumpy puppy dog. There’s probably an official name for his sugar-and-cinnamon coloring, but since he’s a Shetland the name is probably in old Norse and hard to spell, so I just think of him as red roan, like a horse.
“Why does Neo get more crunchies than I do? I want crunchies too!”
Liam has decided being a spoiled pet like Neo and Barney and getting lots of treats and attention sounds like more fun than being a breeding ram. Since one cannot safely be both a pet and a ram, I’m planning on having him wethered at the same time as Bran, probably near the end of this month or early May.
I’m going to leave Will and Johnny intact for a few weeks more since they’re so much younger and smaller, but Bran needs to be done soon and I might as well have Liam done while I’m at it. The life of a wether isn’t so bad, after all. It’s pretty much sleep, graze, eat crunchies, and occasionally get a haircut and pedicure. Doesn’t get much better than that if you’re a sheep.
I borrowed a set of wool combs from thecrazysheeplady, and the Liam top is turning out wonderfully! It’s so soft it feels like running your fingers through water, except not wet. I spun up a small sample on my wheel (for purely scientific purposes) and was equally pleased with the yarn. Less pleased with my white-wool photography skills. I’d just about mastered taking pictures of dark wool, and now I have to figure out completely different camera settings that don’t bleach out the white.
The yarn surprised me a bit. It’s much smoother than the first sample, which I expected, but I’d always heard that worsted yarn (combed top spun with a short forward draw, like this sample) was denser and heavier than woolen yarn (carded rolags spun with a long backwards draw, like the first sample), and this yarn is the lightest, airiest yarn I’ve ever spun. I can’t wait to finish combing and start spinning it “for real”.
Hopefully things will stay calm for a while, and I can get caught up. If such a state as “caught up” actually exists. I’m starting to think it doesn’t. Oh well, I’m sure it’s better to have too much to do than too little!