Sunday, June 30, 2019

Are You Ready To Treadle?


The 2019 Tour de France/Tour de Fleece starts next Saturday, July 6.  As always, the Punkin's Patch team will be loosely following the schedule of the actual race and the primary purpose of this world wide spinning challenge is to have fun learning something new or doing something challenging, but mostly to Just Sit Down And Spin.  

Maisie is going to be our team captain this year.  Yes, Maisie :-o.  We would normally never put her in any position of leadership or authority, but she's been exceptionally agreeable lately so I think our wheels, spindles and wool should be safe...mostly ;-).

The main group will be checking in and cheerleading here (the best fun), but you can spin along with us without joining the online group and just shoot me an email to let me know you are spinning and what your goal is and how well you complete it by the end.  There will be prizes :-).

Ready to start peddling/treadling?


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Challenge Yourself.  
Spin.  
Have fun.
This year, the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday July 6 and runs until Sunday July 28th, 2019.
Guidelines (NOT RULES):
Spin every day the Tour rides, if 
possible. Saturday July 6 through 
Sunday July 28th. Days of rest: 
Tuesday, July 16th and Monday, July 
22nd. (Just like the actual tour.)
Spin something challenging on the challenge days (usually the toughest high mountain stage: this year, the first one is Stage 12, on Thursday July 18, when, Following the start in Toulouse the route travels flat to rolling roads for more than 120 kilometres before the first mountain appears. The Col de Peyresourde (15.2 kilometres at 6.1%) is crested at kilometre 138 and the riders plunge down to the valley. Up next is La Hourquette d’Ancizan, which is a 9.9 kilometres climb at 7.5%. . The second is stage 19, on Friday, July 26th, when the riders leave for Tignes on a short yet demanding route. Basically, the road goes up once the flag is dropped – not dramatically, but stoically. On rolling and constantly sloping terrain the riders reach MontΓ©e d’Aussois after almost 40 kilometres and following a short drop it continues like before. The route moves through Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis and tackles the Col d’Iseran, a climb of 32.9 kilometres with an average gradient of 4.2%. Sure, the sheer distance is a killer, but even more so are the last 3 kilometres with double digit ramps
Wear yellow on Sunday July 28th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all ‘race leaders’) Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie).


Friday, June 28, 2019

Gone To The Birds


"This place has completely gone to the birds."

In "25 words or less" I've been watching out for two barn swallow fledglings that left the nest too early and ended up on the barn floor and driveway.  Yesterday was a day of learning.  Today I felt like I had things much more under control.  Crazy birds.

I couldn't get to their actual nest to try to stick them back in.  It's somewhere above the roll up door.  Turns out both babies and parents seem to prefer this much roomier basket.  The babies had "so much more room for activities", the parents swooped in and out feeding them, sometimes perching on the handle and even carried droppings out to keep it clean.  

When the shade ran out this afternoon I tried to move the basket into the barn and the older fledgling flew away.  The younger one should be gone tomorrow.  In the meantime, I'm kind of enjoying having them around.












Note:  There are two videos below that will probably not show up if you are receiving the blog via email.  You will need to go to the actual site to view them.  I think.


Feeding


Practicing

P.S. This is one of my better baskets, not one I'd normally use to hold something messy like baby birds.  However, I couldn't get to my more everyday baskets in the garage...because a Carolina wren has nested on the basket shelf, yes, using one of my baskets.


Monday, June 24, 2019

Nothing To See Here


"Cheep, cheep. Nothing to see here."


"Nope, nothing at all."


"Nothing to see except maybe these pretty flowers.  Aren't they pretty?"


"I SAID...nothing to see here!"

I'm guessing by now you've seen it ;-).  This was the first of the Wool House robins to fledge.  The second one went yesterday late afternoon and the third this morning.  They always look to me like they should have waited one more day.  

I was worried these babies wouldn't make it.  The momma kept getting so stressed about people up around the Wool House and garage that I thought on two occasions she'd abandoned the nest.  I'd have thought after her first set of babies that she'd be used to us by now.

Surely she's done for the summer.  Right?  

There's a new puzzle for you :-).  Enjoy!


Friday, June 21, 2019

The Endlessly Fascinating Maisie


Last night, as I did the final barn check, Hank started barking out behind the barn.  Maisie immediately jumped up to go see a. what was going on b. if Hank needed help c. if she needed to relay a message to the rest of the sheep d.....  I'm not exactly sure.  

What I do know is no one else consistently watches out the back of the barn like she does.  No one else jumps up and goes running to see what is going on when Hank barks.  I'm not sure if she's just a busy body or if she is part of the protection team or is just Hank's friend and is worried about him or...

What I do believe is she understands something more about Hank's relationship to the flock than I think anyone else does.  And I find that crazy sheep endlessly fascinating.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wool In A Bird Nest

Or a Wool-li-am bird nest :-D.


Do you see him/her?


How about now?

I've seen lots of wool in bird nests over the years, but I've never seen a bird go straight to the source ;-).  

This little bird fledged this morning.  I'm not sure where it started, but it ended up hopping around in Easy Breezy.  It panicked when it saw me and jumped into Woolliam's curls.  I was worried it might get smushed or tangled up so I moved it back into the straw where the parents could find him.

The house robins started fledging yesterday.  The Wool House robins are still a couple days away.  I'm not sure where Peep's family lives, but I'm wondering if they are in the wisteria out front.  I have a nest of teeny tiny wrens living in the garage.  Sigh...

Stay safe little ones!


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Friday, June 14, 2019

Frankie Trots

Disclaimer:  These pictures would be much better if I'd remembered to wear my helmet.  While I never ride without one, it didn't dawn on me that I'd forgotten it for driving this afternoon until I was almost finished :-/.  

When I adopted Frankie I knew he was bred to pace and had been trained as a pacer.  I knew he preferred to trot under saddle and on the lunge line, but I also understood I was taking a chance with driving.  I really liked him though and decided to gamble on developing a trot in harness.

The first day I drove him I asked him to trot just to see what he'd do.  He mostly wanted to pace at first, but acted like he might be willing to learn to trot.  Since then I've only asked him to walk while he develops strength and fitness.  

Interestingly, one day last week I decided to lunge him in his full harness rather that just a surcingle.  With the britching (the butt straps) touching him, he tried to pace.  As he hadn't done that before, and I hadn't used the full harness before, I can only assume the straps felt like racing harness...

Yesterday, after a few days off due to rain, I rigged him up the same way.  This time he marched around the circle and gave me some very nice trot work.  I decided to ask him to trot a little with the cart this afternoon.

You can see by my smile how well he did :-D.  He struggled a bit to get started and couldn't hold himself together for more than a few strides at a time, but boy, when he did put himself together, he felt really, really nice.  We'll continue to take things slow as he gains condition, but I am really excited!


We also drove some cones, mostly at a walk, but did trot through a set or two.



Just a little something to keep him from getting bored with just walking.



With his bright dressage future, early aptitude for cones and the fact that he's been negotiating a driving "hazard" (maneuvering through two offset gates to get into the arena ;-) since day one, I may have to consider un-retiring and begin working towards competing at a combined driving event (like ridden three day eventing, but with a carriage) next year.

A big thank you to my cousin Karen for taking such great pictures of Frankie this afternoon.  I think she's a natural.  Now if she could have just made me look young and thin... ;-)


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Do These Ears Look Familiar?

They might not if you weren't following Lamb Camp on Instagram/Facebook.


This ought to help identify him ;-).  


We kindly referred to him as "Big Moose" and his eyes and ears stay perpetually "bugged out" even when he's just goofing around.

What about this handsome boy?


Look at that cute cuddly body :-).


It's Mini Moose :-D.




You've seen this ewe before as well.  She's become one of my all time favorites.  And she's Big Moose's mom :-D.

The ewes and lambs were going "through the chutes" at Final Frontier Farm yesterday getting dewormed and their feet trimmed if they needed it.  I ran over see everyone and take some pictures. I even caught the two Mooses and picked them up.






If anyone is contemplating a starter flock - commercial, wool or dual purpose - there are some great choices over there this year.  Shoot me an email and I'll give you Kathy's contact information.

No need asking.  The two Mooses are already sold ;-).


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Best Friend Day



I started out taking a picture of flock dog Stella sitting at the door of the lambing barn at Final Frontier Farm and then noticed the two ewes and changed my focus.  I wish I'd have thought to position myself to better include both sheep and dog.  

I remember that I checked the tags on both ewes to see if they were related.  Same color tags with consecutive numbers would have suggested sisters.  Their tags were different, so maybe mother and daughter?  I forgot to go check the flock book and now I'm not sure if I made a note of the numbers.

Happy National Best Friend Day.  Like most holidays, best celebrated every day :-).


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I was getting ready to add a link and a note that I'd made a new puzzle out of one of the pictures and see that my puzzle from the other day got chosen as a Featured Puzzle.  How fun is that! :-D

Enjoy!




Friday, June 7, 2019

Friday Flashback - Lamb Camp

Yep, there are still Lamb Camp pictures in the stacks.  It's okay to post some, right? ;-)


I am pretty sure this is See Through when she was born.


In case you don't know who See Through is...


I was able to catch her for about a week and then she got too fast and wily for me.  Remind you of anyone?


I think this might be one of Krista's lambs.






"Did you have a good nap, baby?"

That should be a fun puzzle :-).

Final Frontier Farm, Paris, Kentucky


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Yarn Along - June

I decided if I was going to get back to normal regular blogging, I'd better have something ready for the June Yarn Along.  That and I'd picked up a skein of Rhapsody in Hue's Equinox Farm yarn at the fiber festival and I was dying to try it out ;-).




Melanie did a spring and fall colorway and I picked spring.  I'm not sure why, as I much prefer fall, but I was probably feeling sentimental about the redbuds, which were as beautiful this spring as they were when this picture was taken several years ago.




The redbud blooms might be gone, but the yarn still looks right at home with a backdrop of Johnny Jump Ups on the Wool House porch.


My knitting mascot for this project is Silke, a super sweet lamb from Little Cotton Rabbits.  I've been trying to purchase one for several years and finally got lucky (they sell out in a minute when she lists them!) last fall...winter...?  If I'd kept the blog current I'd know for sure :-/.  Anyway, she took the first frogging with great courage and luckily we haven't had any more trouble.


Melanie did half the skeins with Merino and half with Blue Faced Leicester.  I chose the BFL since I'm...all together now...a coarse wool girl and I thought it might suit me better than merino, but it's not coarse.  It's very soft and smooth...and I'll be happy to get back to some good old Texel or Jacob when I'm finished ;-).  


The colors are really pretty though and I'm having fun working with it.  I think she may have a few skeins left from the festival if case you are interested in knitting along :-).  The pattern I'm knitting is Taina by Eeva Kesakuu.

For my book...well, I listened to some really good ones over the winter and during the Iknitarod/Iknitaredux.  I actually have some Friday Flashback pictures to post from the epic journey, so I'll share that list then.  

For this spring?  Meh... I've only listened to one book that I've really enjoyed.  But I really enjoyed it.  It's the final book in a series of three.  I've listened to them all and loved all three.  They are The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect and The Rosie Result, but Graeme Simsion.  

I think you could listen to just the last one and not be lost, but why.  Start at the beginning and fall in love with all the characters and the last one will be just that much better.  They are cute and funny and the last one really makes you think.  Just brilliant.

Joining in with Ginny.



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