Tuesday, October 30, 2018

2018 Hug A Sheep Day Party

We could have had better weather, but we sure couldn't have had better sheep and sheep friends and a good time was had by all :-D.  

We'd like to thank everyone who braved the rain to come and hang out in the barn with us and the sheep would like to thank everyone for all the cookies and crackers.  Even the dogs and cats made out like bandits!

A huge thanks to Amy who once again came down to take beautiful pictures for us.  She's posted a gallery with more great pictures and even has it set up for prints if anyone would like a souvenir picture.  I've already picked out my favorite :-).

Enjoy!






















Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bring Out Your Wool


"Hey, 20, what are you doing?"


"I'm trying to decide which sweater I'm going to wear to the Hug a Sheep Day farm party on Saturday."


"I wish this awesome fall weather would last all year, but it's supposed to be cloudy and kind of cold on Saturday.  We are all going to need to wear wool, especially me since I just got sheared at the Kentucky Wool Festival*.  I found my Ford sweater, B. Willard's sweater and Jester's, but I couldn't find Baaxter's Carbeth."

"It's at the house.  I took it to New York last week.  Um, could I wear your Ford sweater this year?"


"If I can wear your Carbeth!"

"Deal!"

Don't forget this Saturday, October 27th, is National Hug a Sheep Day!  We are once again having our Open Farm Day from 1:00 to 4:00 that afternoon.  Dress warm, because as of right now it's looking a bit chilly, but you never know with the weather.  If I could order up a day like the last few we've had...well, I'd be pretty popular, eh?  ;-D

As always, there will be sheep to hug, sheep to feed cookies and crackers to (but not too many cookies, please!), some dogs to feed (VERY few cookies to :-o), hot cider and snacks, a bonfire, some spinners and knitters (bring your current projects!) and I'm sure another very heated game of Lego Sheep Shearing.  We are also happy to talk sheep, sheep care, answer questions if we can...

If you need more information or directions, please shoot me an email.  Hope to see you on Saturday!

*If you missed the video of Bill shearing 20 at the Kentucky Wool Festival, you will want to go watch it.  Just follow the link above.


Saturday, October 20, 2018

All We Need Is Some (Leaf) Color



Lots of color in the flock though.



I think Bullwinkle is a little sweet on Muffin ;-).


How about a new puzzle.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Fine Fall Day

We've had a couple stunner days this week.  Twice I sat down out in the barn and just enjoyed it.  Both days Muffin laid down, curled up next to me.  Treasured memories for sure.

"Spend the afternoon.  You can't take it with you."  Annie Dillard


Rebecca Boone


Tavia


Burrnie


Spud


The little darlin' ;-)


Pretty Petunia


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Butterflies, Part Two

Or actually, this should be Part One now that I think about it, because without this part, we wouldn't have had yesterday's post :-).  Some shots from the butterfly nursery:


This tiny caterpillar is actually a couple days old.  I thought I'd posted a picture of an egg somewhere, but I can't find it, but in looking for it, I found a picture of a just hatched caterpillar.  Oh my goodness, teeny tiny!  So, yes, the one in this picture is a couple days old at this point.


A day or so older and the big one at the bottom is maybe four or five days old.


They eat and eat and eat and eat and then one day they stop, find a spot they like, attach themselves at the back end and let the front end hang down in a "J" and they hang there for a day or so and then, if you are lucky, you may notice some movement and before your eyes they'll turn into a chrysalis.  Literally before your eyes.  A matter of minutes.


Or you'll more likely walk out of the house and just find a beautiful green pendant.  They start just plain solid green but with a bright gold "necklace" and over the next 10 or so days you can start seeing a hint of the wings forming.


And then one day you'll notice the green turning black and then you'll see the brightly colored wing markings and wonder how on earth a big butterfly could be packaged up in there!


Here's a closer look.


And then, if you are lucky, right before your eyes the shell will crack open and a butterfly will drop out and hopefully grabs onto the shell as it falls.  If he or she falls to the ground, quickly grab a leg and hold it up in the air until the wings fully open.  They can't open up on the ground and if the wings don't open, the butterfly will die.


And how do those tiny crumbled up wings open into a full size butterfly?  Notice the fat abdomen.


They pump the fluid from there into their wings and you can watch that happen, again, just a matter of minutes!


Almost done.


The gold "necklace" remains on the chrysalis shell.


Once the wings are fully extended, they hang on for another hour or two depending on the weather and will periodically open and shut, or fan, their wings to fully dry them off and I'm assuming gather some strength for flying and then poof, they're up, up and away :-).

It was sure nice to see so many butterflies this year.  I'm thinking it was just a good bug year (there were more of everything, good like fireflies, and bad like all the nasty biting bugs that chewed on me all summer), but maybe it is a sign that everyone's efforts to protect the monarch butterflies is paying off.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - The Butterflies

Now that it appears I may have safely lived through one of my worst summers (worst summers so FAR - insert hysterical, as in she's lost her mind, laughter :-o), I am going to try to catch the blog up with at least some of the actually good parts from the past few months.  

I hate that I let the blog slip so far away.  I did keep the Instagram feed running all summer and I'm extremely thankful for that, but I'd much rather have the higher quality photographs from the "big girl camera" and more stories.  Even sad stories deserved to be told.

That being said, these next few posts may be more letting the pictures tell the stories, just in an effort to get them posted, but hopefully, as I get back into the routine of blogging, the rest will come back as well.  

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - The Butterflies

I think it was around mid July when I first heard about looking for and bringing in monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars and raising them in a secure location away from mowers, chemical sprays, even predatory birds and other insects. 

It took some practice to spot them, but as the summer progressed, I got pretty good at it and ended up setting up a pretty big butterfly nursery on the back porch.  I lost track of how many I helped hatch, but there are a ton of pictures of the nursery and hatching butterflies on my Instagram feed.  

Watching eggs hatch into teeny tiny caterpillars who then grew and grew into big caterpillars who then transformed into the most beautiful green and gold chrysalises and finally hatched into beautiful butterflies never got old.  

The first to hatch here were actually brought in when Robin and Julie came to visit in August.  Three hatched the first morning they were here.  We gave them several hours to dry off and gather strength and then released them out by the Frog Pond.




This is a female.  You can tell by the two thick black diagonal lines and the clean lines on the lower wing patterning.




This is a male.  The diagonal lines are not as thick and there are two dots on the lower wing patterning.



The very next day, my first butterfly hatched :-).


It was very excited to get out and immediately flew up into a tree.


Is this a male or a female?

This is one of my favorite videos from the butterfly posts.  See, it wasn't all bad, Sara :-).



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