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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Done Shearing

Done shearing! Woohooo! 45 head of sheep are now slick and clean and naaaaaked.....I see spots and markings and all sorts of colors now, what fun! I see who is pregnant and who isn't...and I see lambs running all around the place too. Had 6 born today. No registered lambs yet registered sheep are holding out on me - ha! They don't want to work for a living, they would prefer to be pampered pretty girls. Oh well, at least most are pregnant and we'll see if any of my Alaskan born ewes carry the recessive for spots, since that group of 6 are all bred to Barbados, my Moorit Smirslet Yuglet Flecket ram with the nice horns. He is bred to 2 Moorits, 3 blacks, and 1 Musket. We shall see.....aniticipation!!!

Hope you had a great Sunday!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Photos from today

A few fleeces...a Musket front left, Flecket front right...
the pics were taken in the bright sun, sorry it washed out the Musket fleece!

A snapshot of Fairy Slipper and Captain Hook....

Can you see it?? It's in my right eye!! Look closer, will you?!

Hope you had a nice Friday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lambs for sale?

Who has lambs for sale? You? If you do or you will, how nice to see those lamb photos on your website or Blog! Can you please put them on there? How about prices too? Or at least a price range?

How I LOVE to look for that special lamb or two to add to my flock!

How I look forward to seeing those lambs, looking at them, thinking - gee, I could add just THAT one, I'm sure of it!

If you don't have photos, and you don't put a price range at all on there, how are you to sell your lambs? Especially in this economy??

Surely structure is evident at a few days old, so is fleece type. Must you wait until they are 8, 12, or even 16 weeks old to announce your ewe lambs which will be for sale? I imagine you want a few of course to keep for yourself....that is wonderful! Even putting them on there and saying perhaps you will keep this one and that one yourself would be nice, and even saying you're not sure that she will be for sale but perhaps she will....that is wonderful! And if you don't know if you want to sell any of them, then certainly you should just say that too!

Notice that I said 'SHE'....of course you must watch your ram lambs longer, see how those horns are looking.....I am talking only of the girls now.

There are some people who have been waiting MANY months now to start buying lambs again, and for those people's sanity who are looking through every blog and every website, please tell them who is for sale and a price range at least.

I am lucky, I already know who I am getting this year, so this isn't for me. It's just a thought for all those other people out there who are sooooooooo happy you finally have lambs that may be for sale!

Am I wrong to ask for this? Maybe I am, if so, you will tell me........ that's ok, I like to hear your opinions too. It makes us smile to share Shepherd opinions, yes?

Hmmmm........ no lambs for sale at our farm. Lambs born in May will be for sale tho, and I will post the May lambs as they come, complete with price ranges too. March and April lambs will be staying here to bring up our flock numbers.

I'm looking forward to seeing your lambs! If my girls every have any more lamb here, since I am STILL waiting for most of them to lamb, I will post their photos here for you too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Just some thoughts....James Herriot

Spring is a bold time of year. Here, where I live in Alaska, spring is very long. Not the spring I remember of youth, but several months of melting show interspersed with rain or snow showers, some days of sun, some days of 60MPH+ winds...everything mother nature wants to throw at you so that once summer does actually arrive, you are GRATEFUL for it. Sunburns and windburns now. Shearing sheep, a half dozen or more a day, as the weather and time allows. My shearer is older than I, so we both take our time rather than making it an all-day affair of pain and agony.
Visiting Jenny's blog in the UK reminded me of something.....those wonderful books all of us animal lovers have read - James Herriot. Could there be a better set of books in which to understand the people who raise and care for animals, the animals themselves, and the often desperate plight of the caregiver when something goes wrong, including the poor vet stuck in the middle of instant decision making?
Perhaps with spring being so long, it would be a good time to re-visit an old friend, maybe pick up The Lord God Made Them All, and sit down in between spring's furious moments and it's quiet read and remember we are not alone in our joy and our grief, our urge to forge ahead and our conflicting delight to stay put.
A cup of tea and a James Herriot book - what better way to settle down all those personal dilemnas that spring brings, yes??

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Twin Ewe Lambs above, note the different fleece types.....

Above, head study while she was chewing....really, no overbite there just snapped at the wrong moment!

Lovely tight crimp.....

Easter Lambs - well, almost. They were born earlier this week, but it was nice to get outside and take pics of lambs on Easter while the sun was still shining for a brief half hour. I like taking pictures but often I don't remember to take my camera with me, especially when going out to do chores. So, heck with chores, I just took the camera out, snapped a few, and now I'm here, sharing them with you. I hope you enjoy seeing lambs, spring will happen soon in Alaska....maybe another month or so perhaps???

Happy Easter!

Oh, doesn't purple feel like it's the right color for Easter??

Saturday, March 22, 2008

TADAHH! Here are the boys now!

The boys! Well, you see I got 3 handsome spotted boys from BoPeep last summer. They flew in their crates for thousands of miles to get here. Some would like to see how they've grown up so far, so, I finally got my butt out there WITH a camera this time and took their photos. Nothing great about my photo taking efforts, but now at least you can see "The Boys".
Topple 1st
Barbados 2nd
Captain 3rd (2007 Alaska State Fair 1st place Shetland)


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shearing time!

It's shearing time! We started shearing last week in anticipation of lambing. Our first lambs showed up this year on Tuesday, March 18th, 2008 - twin ewe lambs! How lucky we were too! A beautiful black ewe lamb with a huge Krunet that 'drips' down her forehead, and a dark Moorit ewe lamb with a white dot on the top of her head. Mom and babies are doing wonderful.

A friend took a photo of the girls, some just sheared. Most of the flock is full or 7/8ths Shetland, a few are 3/4 at best. Bet you can tell who's who in the photo!

Here's a photo of a sample of fleece one gal took for me too. It's 5 inches long.

And a photo of a few of the fleeces too.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

It's March and I've been in hibernation

Oh my, have I been sleeping long?
It seems more than 3 months have passed since I've been here and typed. That happens here. In the winter the days are shorter, the demands are determined by the weather. If it stays in the 10's and 20's, the animals don't need as much of my time. When the cold snaps hit, they need me to be very observant, to be near them, to help them cope. No time to worry about the Shepherd, only the flock. We had an incredibly long, arduous cold snap in February. It lasted for 3 weeks. That is very rare here. 3 days, 5 days, a week and a half - that is all they stay for, then move on to Canada and the midwest. No, every morning for 3 weeks we woke up to at least -20, many mornings it was -25. Most days never got to zero. Yes, Farenheit. It was very hard on all of the 2 and 4 legged creatures here. Nothing much moved if it didn't have too. It was amazing tho that no one lost ear tips this time. Then it took another week for people and animals to return to semi-normal. Friends lamented on the phone. Faces left exposed felt burned, much like memories of laying in the sun too long. The skin gets tight and then it aches. Who needs dermabrasion?! Now I am back, the ewes look like wooly blimps. I've already lined up my wonderful shearer to come in a few weeks and we will start shearing time again. Since we are both over 50, it is better if we only shear 12 -14 a day tho, our backs have timers on them at this point in life that send out warning bells if you don't want to walk like a sailor just off a long ship voyage the next day. So now I wait for lambs. I see udders. I think of beautiful lambs arriving, of taking photos once again, and waiting for the return of robins. It won't be long, another 2 months and we'll see gree grass here everyone once again. 2 months is not long when you've already been hibernating for more than 3.
Lambs, oh my I can't wait for lambs and fun and running and playing and head butting and LAMBS!!

Good to see you again, I'm glad you're back too!