Sunday, August 15, 2010

Start Here

It is dawn. I've been up for awhile. I woke up at 3am and decided it was time to do my taxes. They're done now and I'm watching Renauld and Eclipse play tag with Zeus. It is a game for boys only, I guess because the ewes and ewe lambs never participate. Its a funny game. Eclipse started playing as soon as he was steady enough on his feet to play - even then, he was knocked flying the first few times. Zeus has learned how to not play too rough. Wool doesn't get torn out of hides any more. But Renauld does occasionally have a sore on his head from a stray tooth - it doesn't seem to dissuade him, though. The rams are usually the instigators - they paw at Zeus when he is laying down. It used to be a four-way game with Basil, too. But Basil is gone. Well.... not gone really. He's still here - just in the freezer, so he can't play. But that's another blog post...

I can't believe it has been so long since I have blogged. It bugs me. Bethany's beautiful skins are always an inspiration - I feel duty bound to blog when she has gone to all that trouble! In my mind, I have written dozens of posts. Somehow they never made it onto here. I took the pictures and everything. I'm going to try to complete some of them but in the meantime, I'm starting here.

This is what I wanted to tell you about this week. Phil was here. (no not that Phil, thank goodness!) Philip Copping, the sheep shearer. I always mean to document it every time but somehow I get caught up in catching sheep and stuffing bags with wool and no pictures get taken. To be honest, he was halfway done before I remembered and ran and got Rhiannon's camera.

Here he is almost done Blue - one of Draga's twins - the first one to come out.

And here is Draga being relieved of her fleece. Its true that sheep do not especially enjoy the process of being shorn. But they sure like it afterwards and run and leap like lambs.

Here's Draga's sleek, new look. I always think she looks a bit like a holstein when she is shorn.

These are the piles of fleeces accumulating on the cleanly swept basketball court. The little black piles are the lambs and the big white one is Eirina's.

Eirina and her lamb, Lifa are pretty hard to tell apart now. Eirina is only a little bigger with slightly longer horns. She has been a super mom. However, on sheering day, her and Lifa spent the whole day looking for each other - standing only feet apart, baaing and baaing. Lifa baaed so much she was hoarse by the end of the day. They just did not recognize each other without their fleece. Silly sheep. When I put them in the pen at the end of the day, they finally figured it out.

Renauld is always the most dramatic. He is the best wool grower - he is bigger than the ewes and he doesn't have to grow babies and then feed them milk. He can put all his energy into wool, which he does fairly well. He is now full grown at just over 2 years old. The shearer says he weighs almost 200 lbs now.

Here he is without his fleece.

Now I need to sell two of these lambs before it is mating season. Want a black and white ewe lamb?


Beth-a-knee said...

it has been FOREVER since you posted! I'm glad you finally did! Your lambs are cute. Renauld looked a little beefy. What are you going to do with all that wool?

Andrea said...

beefy? You're calling my ram beefy? Isn't that like species cross contamination or something? But I agree he is pretty substantial even without his wool these days.

Caroline said...

I'm glad to see you posted again too :0)