Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring is happening!

Wait a minute!  Are you a sheep?

Spring is beginning to happen around here, which means things are speeding up!  We now have three sets of twins and two singles in our flock, all of them 'black'! (...and don't forget Daisy!)  I spent time this weekend setting up our rotational fencing and getting the lambs trained to it on pasture.  It's too early for grazing much, so I have designated space where the flock can be out, get a little grass, but not be in a place that will ruin summer grazing.  This is a big fenced in area, where the lambs can run and play.  I've already noticed cars stopping on the road to watch the lambs play!  They are great advertising!

This weekend was such unbelievable warm weather, it was really nice!  We were around low 70's both days, with calm winds and lots of sunshine.  I actually got some vegetables planted, and spent two hours pruning out those thorny, brambly summer raspberries!  I hate that job, but it's worth it.  The grass is greening up and will soon be growing!  Oh, how sweet that sounds!!!!!  We also spent quite a bit of time cleaning up downed limbs from that terrible ice storm we had.  The ground is now finally firm enough in most places to get out there without ruining the grass.  Glad that job is done!

And guess what?  I finished my Wooly Bear sweater!  It's all blocked and everything already...well...I do have to sew my buttons on yet, but I don't have the right kind of thread.  I'll post pictures of it soon!  And I named Mona's lambs Wheely Wooly Moorwyn and Wheely Wooly Mousa!  Mousa is an island in the Shetland Islands, known for it's rich diversity of herby plants and grasses.  Mousa apparently means in Old Norse, or Norwegian "mossy" or "moss-like".  The island is about 15 miles south of the port of Lerwick, off the southeast coast of Shetland.  It is treeless, and well used for grazing sheep.  It also has the highest broch (fortified tower) around, thought to be more than 2,000 years old!!!!  

Tomorrow, the sheep are going onto new pasture adjacent to the one they've been on this weekend.  I'll try to get nice pictures of them out there so you can meet Maggie Mae, Lark, Rapport, Rapunzel, Gansey, Peerie, Moorwyn and Mousa!  I'm hoping a nice, gentle rain will come along and wash their fleeces of spring mud season dust!

And I almost forgot to mention...there was a black bear attack just a bear's stroll to the north of here!  It attacked a mini-donkey.  I don't know the outcome for the donkey, but the bear, not scaring away, was shot during the attack apparently.   It is thought that the bears are crankier than normal years due to our late spring.  Seems food is harder to find.  Yikes!  I'm still thinking a zip line to the barn is the thing for me!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope everyone got to enjoy the beauty of this weekend and here's to a good week ahead!

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