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 8, 2013

What we don't have...YET :)

I was looking back through some photos from last year, a year in which spring came extremely early.  Last March was full of 70 degree plus days and lots of warm sunshine.  This year is so much different from that!  Our warmest day since last December was last week, when we got up to 52 degrees.  That only lasted one day!  All other days have been in the 20's and 30's with this week finally getting into the 40's.  But guess what?  SNOW is in the forecast for us mid week!  That's just when my lambing window opens! 

 Wheely Wooly Starlight
Notice the warm, bright sun and green, growing grass?

We've had very little warm, bright sun this spring, and the grass is still under snow in some areas.  Frost is still in the ground, and the grass showing is still mushed from the weight of the winter's snow and still very, very brown.  It's fun and encouraging to see these photos of growing, green grass and sun-warmed lambs!  The color and brightness are a real shock to barren, winter-brown eyes.  If all goes well, that's what we'll have in the weeks to come.

It is a joy, however, to see the geese out there in the pouring rain and foggy skies!  They think it's heaven out there!  Splashing around in the puddles, strolling through the mud, and grazing ANY grass at all is just what they most desire!  It's fun to watch them from the windows.  They spend a lot of their time preening and shining up those lovely, bright white feathers.  And Hyssop takes breaks now and then to neaten up her nest and lay an egg. Speaking of rain, I do love the sound of raindrops on the windows...the sweetest music of spring there is!
More farmhouse decor

...and more farmhouse decor! lol
Wilbur's fleece, freshly sheared, washed, and drying

Our shearing season has begun here on Wheely Wooly Farm.  I started with Claire, who's an East Friesian.  Friesians can be sheared anytime, and I usually do her in late February or early March, but with the very cold, late spring we've had this year, I waited until last week.  Her fleece is sheared, washed, and well spun already on the wheel.  Fun!  I also sheared Wilbur two days after Claire (the time it takes for a fleece to air dry in our farmhouse).  He had an outstanding fleece last year, only to have it felt on his back after a wicked, super heavy downpour one night that knocked out power and flooded everything!  This year, I'm not waiting around and taking any chances!  He is a BFL cross, and most likely to "roo himself" through the fence to graze blades of grass that somehow look greener than the ones inside the fence look!  He is such a piece of cake to shear!  He's a good, easy sheep to start the year with...but then again, so is Claire.  They both stand really nice, and their fleeces are very easy to shear. 

That's our update!  Have a great Monday everyone!  

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