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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cold - from November 19th

This was supposed to be posted on the 19th...well my computer had a fart. Can I say that publicly? And now I've just found the draft (didn't know this thing saved stuff when my computer farts). So here it is!

Ok, I haven't been typing much since I'm frozen like a popsicle! We hit -10 and -15 by the end of last week and this week hasn't gotten much better either. So, when it's cold and you spend hours outside working, the fingers don't feel much like typing! HA! The sheep are fine and today they had their vit/min/salt concentrates replenished. They are eating well and enjoying themselves with their warm wool coats keeping them safe. I'm still not convinced that the short, crimpy-type would be as warm as the intermediate. Of course it could be, but it just doesn't make sense to me that it is. I'm thinking of snowfalls and cold weather like we're having now. Perhaps the short coat is more like a boiled wool sweater, the longer like a mohair sweater. I just know that I want my sheep comfortable and the Shetlands always seem comfortable up here, and they are almost all of the intermediate wool type. I believe most of them are bred now too. I hope to pull rams by the first week of December this year, then I won' t have to worry about late-arriving lambs in May. Nothing worse than babies calling for moms who've left to go down to the herding arena!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dog Shows

we went off to the dog show yesterday with our single entry, Flyer. Flyer had a good time. He's completed his AKC Puppy STAR program and had a good time at puppy classes. Almost 7 months old, he thought the show scene was ok... a few new things had him wondering about things now and then, but overall he had a great experience. There was only 1 other entered, a girl, so there weren't any points, but we took Best of Winners and Best of Breed and hung around for the experience of going into the Group competition too. A good day. We'll post his photo when it comes back, and hope it was a good one.
Here's a photo of Flyer with Rick as a puppy...
yes, he's gotten much bigger since then! LOL!


Our lovely Roisin... she's our Irish girl and a blast in the house! Here's her favorite 'outsider'....our family friend Cliff who often comes over to help Rick with the bigger farm projects here. Roisin loves her Uncle Cliff. Here she's getting a lift and hug.

YAY! Snow!

Worth noting this morning........we've had one of the longest falls in many years up here with the ground finally freezing solid for the winter a few weeks ago. But, right here anyways, we haven't had any snow at all.

Now, to some people that might be wonderful, but we know the snow has many benefits and it's necessary. The longer it's below freezing without the snow's insulating properties, the deeper the frost goes. The deeper the frost goes, the more likely water lines freeze and break, and the longer it will take in the spring for the ground to thaw for planting. In this area, the frost line has gone as deep as 16 feet in some years! Yes, no shallow water lines here!

So the snow is a welcomed cover. The latest snowfall in Anchorage nearby was November 13th - we came close to breaking that record. Bare ground can create a dustbowl too. We've had several high wind events with gusts up to 70mph this fall in some areas, and the dust and silt blew everywhere. Last Wednesday we had some good gusts and we were pelted with thick dust several times while herding down at the arena. Humans and livestock alike had gunk in the corner of their eyes from all the junk in the winds.

Now, we finally hav a good 3 inches of snow. The sheep are very very happy....they love eating snow. I can put a warm bucket of water out for them when there's fresh snow and they walk away, going back to the snow. Evidently the snow tastes better to them than the fresh warm water. The snow is good for the house more tracks of dust or mud coming in the door, only clean fresh snow. THAT I can live with for house maintenance! HA! The goats won't mind the snow as they all have solid cover over their pens so no snow on the ground for them to plod through during their daytime out in the sun and fresh air.

Yay! Snow! And just enough of it too.