Thursday, November 29, 2012

Adventures In Photography

Ugh. Poor Maisie, with no good baby pictures. I should have changed my white balance setting before I handed the camera to Tim this evening, but...sigh. Maybe tomorrow. I've "fixed" these as much as I know how.


She's getting better at napping.  I think it's so important for lambs to take really good naps, especially lambs that are stressed by not feeling good or missing their mommas...  She slept for a few minutes and then started back with the dosing, look up, dosing, look around, head flop down, back up...


Sometimes you can rub her head and ears and help her go back to sleep, but tonight it wasn't working.


I tried and tried and then thought, hmmm, I'm kinda chilly.  I wonder if she is too and flipped the end of her fleece blankie across her back and bingo, sound asleep.

She's ready for her next baba and I'm ready for bed.  For a few hours ;-).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Maisie

Just finished reading Sheepish (very good) by Catherine Friend and at the start of one chapter describing raising sheep she referenced a quote from Cullen Hightower, "We experience moments absolutely free from worry.  These brief respites are called panic."

Amen.

Little Maisie is a tough little lambie.  Having never raised a young'un this tiny, I overestimated what she should eat and gave her a tummy ache.  I think we've got her headed back the right direction, but I had one of those glorious days free from worry today.

However, the sun came out nice and warm this afternoon and I bundled her up and we ventured out for a few minutes.  

"The light is too bright.  Something's blowing in my ears.  Why are we out here?"

I sheltered her away from the sun and mild breeze and carried her up to the barn.  The sheep were all out back so we just hung out in front of the Wool House.  It didn't take but a couple minutes and she wanted down.


"What is this stuff?"


Staying close by.


But setting her sights on down the road I think.


Getting more comfortable.


Yep.


She loves Iris and Tilly.  Both dogs have made it exceptionally clear they are not babysitting any more lambs thank you very much.


And that gate ain't gonna be stoppin' her for quite a while ;-).

Saint Tim came up with the name Maisie.  As in The Amazing Maisie.  I think it suits her.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Wee One

Okay, sorry for no big pictures.  Between the low light in the house in general and the red light from her heat lamp, I've not taken a single good shot of her today.  I have caught a few cute ones with my phone though which I posted to Twitter throughout the day, but for anyone not checking the Twitter feed, here are my favorites.


When I picked her up on Monday.  So tiny. 

She was an unplanned lambie and was born smack in the middle of the stock dog trial, early Sunday morning.  Her momma did a good job getting her and her two siblings cleaned up, but this lamb was small and weak and too cramped up in utero so her legs were wonky and when a guest's puppy got loose and ran through the whole flock early that morning she was unable to get up and run away with her momma :-(. 

One of the triplets was able to keep up but by the time they found the other two lambs, one was dead and this lamb was very close.  Annmarie scooped her up and ran her to the house and got her warmed up, tube fed her some colostrum and hoped for the best.

She wasn't able to stand on her own much when I saw her that afternoon, but she definitely looked like a fighter and was giving it all a go.  Annmarie kept her that first night to make sure she wasn't going to crash and burn and I picked her up the next day.


By then she was able to walk around if you helped her up and her back legs, which had been very weak were much, much better.  Her front legs were getting straighter - they'd been a little knuckled over - and by early this morning they were getting her up all by herself :-).  Now she's trying to run and hop about.  And no surprise, her first stop was the stuffed sheep.


She's not a sound sleeper, which I find odd and a bit worrisome.  She's pretty cashed out here but the slightest noise will wake her right up.  I had to change my cell phone ring from it's normal flock of sheep ring because it upsets her when she hears it.  I could be wrong, but I'm afraid when the dog chased all the sheep, that her momma probably called and called for her and not being able to follow...


While winter is not a great time to host a house sheep, our kitchen is the perfect set up.  All linoleum, the large dog crate fits right in next to stove, there's a baby gate in the doorway to the rest of the house and a large island in the middle that is perfect to chase Tilly around ;-). 

Monday, November 26, 2012

And So It Goes


And we find ourselves sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace at the end of November with a tiny three pound bottle lamb...


In Living Color

I love good black and white photographs, especially of people. However, life on a farm is colorful (sometimes too colorful) and I like my photographs to look like what I see. My vision is probably just limited though and I should use that as a challenge to work on my black and white eye. The photographs used in the the Ken Burns film The Dust Bowl are stunning.  The entire film was stunning...and not in a good way.  Wow.






A colorful fall morning.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

What On Earth?



I heard the oddest sound this afternoon. I could tell it was a lot of birds. Big birds making a trilling/cooing/yodeling sound that I'd not heard before. My first thought was wild turkeys and started searching Stella's neighboring corn field, but the sound was coming from above me. Way above me.


My next thought, due to what they looked like, was geese. But it was a large group and they were not even remotely lined up in a V. They were swirling all over the sky, around and around as they moved overhead. And again, a totally foreign sound.


I ran in and grabbed the camera and caught a few pictures as they flew by. I am completely stumped. The only thing (to me) remotely possible was a White Fronted Goose...but the calls I listened to online don't really sound the same, I can't find anything that mentions a weird flight pattern and it didn't sound like they'd be in our area (central Kentucky). 

Any thoughts?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Over The Creek...

...and through the farms, down The Legacy Trail to the Cracker Barrel we go.

The weather has been outstanding these last few days.  And since it's really hard to prepare a nice Thanksgiving dinner yourself without breaking the no-more-than-three-ingredients rule (my gold standard for appropriate cooking), my friend Susan and I* picked fun, friends and someone else cooking and cleaning up as our three ingredients and met in Lexington to ride our bikes down The Legacy Trail.

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This beautiful trail was put in a couple years ago and opened just before the WEG.  We picked it up just outside the Kentucky Horse Park and headed towards downtown.

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It runs through much of UK's ag farm(s) and cuts back and forth over the Cane Run Watershed.  The bridges are fantastic, all different.

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And scattered throughout were beautiful street paintings.

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This doesn't really show up well, but inside each net/web box is a beautiful evergreen tree.  I'm not sure what they're researching, but it was interesting to see and think on.

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The trail passes under the interstate.

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And through a variety of farms.  This is a tobacco barn.  Look closely.  See the two green(ish) clumps near the top of the middle tree?  Do you know what that is?

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We cut off the trail and rode up Newtown Pike for a short way.

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And ended up at a Cracker Barrel.  Ate a Thanksgiving meal that couldn't be beat and then we rode back.

A Happy Thanksgiving :-D. 

Every day!

* Saint Tim enjoyed a home cooked meal with his family in Illinois.  I stayed home to take care of the farm and help out at the dog trial this weekend at The Training Center.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gray On Gray

So I finally finished a big custom spinning order.  I'm never going to get caught up...but I guess I'll never be bored either.  Anyway, I washed the 1100 yards of Border Leicester (one of B. Willard's cousins) lamb fleece yarn and hung it to dry on the Wool House porch.  I'd saved a handful of raw wool and and handful of roving to send along with the yarn and set it next to the yarn to take a picture.


Let me back track a few days.  If you look closely, you can see a small scar on Eli's head, just above his right eye.  That's just one of several holes in his head.  That abscessed out in an oh so lovely way last week and I hauled him to the vet.

"Well, looks like he picked a fight with the wrong cat."

"Oh, no sir, Eli isn't a fighter.  He doesn't fight with anyone."

Right.  He came home and promptly picked several fights right in front of me.  One with a stray cat who showed up on the porch one night (most likely how he got injured) and jumped Betsy a couple times. 

He's been a big pain in the butt to take care of - think oral antibiotics and wound care.  Finally we've reached the end.  I guess he's figured that out and has decided to make up for lost time, having missed out on much attention while trying to avoid being caught for the last seven days.  I couldn't shake him all afternoon.


You can sort of see the fleece, roving and yarn here.


A gray on gray photo bomb.

"So Eli, why don't you show everyone your shaved off, Frankenstein head."


"Stick it, lady." 

Yeah, that's more like it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

No Dogs Were Harmed During Filming

While normally you'd never let any dog, especially a guardian dog "play" with your sheep, after years, literally years, of watching Hank display nothing but exemplary behavior towards sheep who completely disrespect him and show no gratitude for his loyal service, night after night and even all throughout the day, I've stopped feeling sorry for them and have taken to booting a few butts myself.  Well, actually just two butts - Woolliam and Rebecca Boone.

Woolliam is still pretty dirty about trying to punch on Hank.  He waits until Hank's back is turned or Hank's otherwise distracted by getting his ears rubbed or looking at something and then he tries to sucker punch him.  Keep in mind that I'm here all day.  I know Hank's never done anything to Woolliam to incite this bad behavior.  For the last year or so, if I can get to him quickly enough, Woolliam gets it right back.  Rebecca Boone too. 

Lately though I've seen Hank trying to play with RB.  He bounces around her, ducking and weaving.  She jumps at him.  He scoots to the other side, she turns to face him and jumps at him.  He crouches down and bounces back to the other side.  She lowers her head and bounces back at him.  At first I put a stop to this. 

"Hank, buddy, she's not playing with you.  She just wants to punch you."

"No, we're playing.  She wants to play with me."

"Um, no.  I don't think she's playing."

"No, no, really, she loves to play with me."

"Hank.  She hates you.  She just wants to beat you up.  You know that."

But the more this happens, the less I think that.  I think they really are just playing now.  She never seems upset (not that Rebecca Boone would ever be upset by anything anyway ;-), she usually instigates it herself and not in the mean, underhanded way Woolliam does and when it's over she's just as liable to let Hank snarful her face and ears as just calmly walk away.

Rebecca Boone is a sheep of great character.  Sometimes a little too much character...but the kind of character you kind of wish would rub off on you a bit.  I was going to subtitle these pictures, but if you watch her face and ears, there's no need ;-).  And I love how everyone gathers to watch this morning.














A couple years ago I labeled her fleece with "Rebecca Boone rode home from NY in the middle of winter in the back of our car with a Great Wheel. She is a "sheep with confidence" who walked up to Hank (our new LGD) and popped him one right off the bat to let him know who was boss. Not only is her fleece gorgeous, but I feel like it's probably infused with something that will "give shy people the courage to do what's needed" ;-) Like cables or knit a whole sweater." 

Yep, that's probably right.

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