Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Possum


"Apparently my name is Possum.  The first time the people spotted me all they saw was a gray tail disappearing through the barn wall and the lady said "Kitty!" and the man said "No, I think it was a possum."  Then the smart alec neighbor started calling me "Possum", and now I guess that's my name*."

"Anyway, I thought I had it made here in this barn.  It was quiet and no one bothered me, not even the dogs.  And then the lady started feeding me cat food at night and I thought it was just about perfect.  That all changed last night when she trapped me in this cage and then took me someplace called "the vet' this morning and now I don't feel so good and I'm back locked up in this cage."

"I heard her tell someone that she didn't think I'd stick around once she turned me loose in a couple of days and she's probably right!  I haven't decided.  Just in case I split for a better home, the vet snipped the end of one of my ears off so I don't ever have to go through all this again.  I guess that's some sort of code for "been trapped and tortured."


* * * * *

I hope Possum sticks around, but even if she doesn't she's at least been tested, vaccinated and spayed.  She's not at all tame, but she will talk to me when I'm putting out food in the evening...and I kind of like that.  Hopefully the last couple of weeks of positive interactions will counteract the trauma of the "trap and torture".

* Corrected:  Tim actually named her Possum the first day we saw her.  The neighbor was just the first one to call her Possum...after she'd been named so.  The neighbor is still a smart alec though ;-).



Saturday, July 18, 2020

Like A Diamond In The Sky


I've spent the last several nights watching for the Comet NEOWISE.  I finally realized that I was probably missing it due to all the trees around our house, so last night I packed up the dogs and my camera (but forgot the bug repellent and my binoculars) and headed for the hill in the back field.

About the bug repellent...I really don't notice many bugs around the house and barn at night.  If the back porch light is on, then yes, but if not, they really aren't a problem.  Bug repellent never even crossed my mind.  The binoculars...never crossed my mind either but that's a mind issue, not an experience issue.

Turns out the bats are taking care of a LOT of bugs each night.  The back field was brutal.  Between not having any luck spotting the comet and knowing even if I did I wouldn't be able to see it very well without the binoculars and The Bugs, I finally bailed around 10:30 and headed back to the barn.  

As I drove through the gate next to the barn I looked up and just like finding a four leaf clover, there it was.  Right over the Wool House.  I took this picture with my iPhone.  I'll try again tonight to get a "big girl camera" shot...or maybe I'll just watch it through the binoculars and enjoy it.  

You can see it pretty well with just your naked eye, but the tail is really incredible with some zoom. Here's a link that might help you spot it.  Sounds like we have a couple more days of visibility.  Go out and find it.  Don't forget your binoculars...and your bug spray if you don't have a hard working bat colony.


Monday, July 13, 2020

So...


"Think we should go to the barn, Lancelot?"

"Yeah, maybe."

This was actually taken last week and I forgot to post it.  We didn't get any rain from that stormy sky, but did get a little rain from last night's sunny sky.


And a perfect rainbow :-).


Saturday, July 11, 2020

So Hot

Heat is much harder on sheep than cold. Yet another reason I know I'm a sheep.  We are all miserable...but hanging in there.


Woody


Maisie


Spud

I made the mistake of sharing the following video with Saint Tim and a couple friends.  Now whenever I complain about the heat they all say (very melodramatically) "Oh, it's so hot.  So, so hot."  I'm glad I still think it's funny.  Mostly ;-).


Enjoy :-D


Friday, July 10, 2020

Monarchs!

Well, one. One monarch. But more are surely coming!  


How could they resist this buffet :-D. 


Last year I planted milkweed seeds in two of the raised beds and my cousin and I transplanted 10 plants from the back field into the lavender garden.  Nine of the 10 plants came back this year with extras on the side and one of the raised beds is so packed with milkweed plants that I haven't even had to weed it all summer.


I also planted plenty of buckwheat and scattered several packets of seed mixes for butterflies, bees and birds.  There are still a few lavender plants left after three years of way too wet winters and a few volunteer sunflowers have popped up as well.  I'm just now seeing some mixed flowers and I can't wait until the whole garden is blooming!


This picture shows how many milkweeds are packed in the raised bed just outside the lavender, now known as the butterflies, birds and bees garden.


This picture maybe better shows how tall they are.

I tried (once again) to plant some vegetables this spring, Victory Garden style, and (once again) in the event of a zombie apocalypse, we're going to be some of the first folks out.  But, hey, we'll have lots of pretty flowers ;-).

Here's a new puzzle that ought to keep you busy for awhile.  Enjoy!


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Tour de Fleece Check In


"You still spinning every day?"

I haven't missed a day of the Tour this year.  On a couple days I only spun for 10-15 minutes, but that's better than the zero minutes I was spinning before :-).  

I've got all the Tunis spun and am working on chain plying it.  Chain plying is taking your spun single and making a really long looped crochet stitch with it and then adding your ply twist and winding it on the bobbin.  Make a loop, add twist, wind on the bobbin.  Make a loop, add twist...  You start with one strand of yarn and end up with basically a three ply yarn.


I washed Kaala's fleece yesterday...and my washing machine died on the final rinse (thanks, 2020 :-/).  At least it was the final rinse.  I'm hoping it can be fixed because the newfangled washing machines are not useful for washing wool and the old ones are hard to find.  Kaala should be dry today and I'll start carding it.  I'm planning on spinning six ounces.

The Leicester Longwool curls are also sitting out ready for some attention.  I'm still trying to decide exactly what I want to do with them.  There are four ounces of curls.

There's still a decent risk of a photo finish for the end of the Tour, but I'm hopeful I can complete my challenge before the end.  

Keep spinning!


Monday, July 6, 2020

"Y'all Come!"

Summer is always trying. This summer seems to be trying extra hard.  

The latest trouble, skipping over several things, was a stray dog coming on the farm Saturday.  He made a run at the horses in the morning.  I chased him away.  He appeared back in the evening and came in on the sheep.  We tried to catch him that time, but he got spooked by some fireworks and bolted away.

Without a good guardian like Hank, we are going to have to take extra measures to try to keep our sheep safe until a time when we can find a new dog.  And finding a new dog may be nearly impossible because of a situation with the new house built right on our front field fence line.  I set up a camp.


The first thing we did was lock the sheep up in the secure paddocks near the barn.  A dog or coyote could still get in if they really worked at it, but hopefully it would be too much trouble or at least slow them down enough to give me a chance to intervene.  We put the tent on a clean(ish) patch of level gravel.


Big Moose was immediately involved so we moved the tent back  to straddle the short fence and took two jug panels and built a wall around the front half.


He is so silly.  I just love this sheep :-).


From there it deteriorated, because you can either laugh or cry, and Biscuit is ready to welcome everyone to the Equinox Farm Vacation B&B.  The sunsets over the barn roof are stunning!


You can have an up close and probably personal encounter with Maisie.  What a face, eh?  (Click to biggify)


You can watch the full moon rise and travel over the farm.  Definitely a highlight!


A slightly better picture, but not much.  The moon was so big and so bright.  A cell phone just can't capture it.  I never needed a flashlight and as it reached it's peak height over my tent, maybe 2:00, it was so bright that every time I woke up and looked across the barn lot, I could see everyone and everything.  So much better than fireworks.  

I thought of Hank off and on throughout the night.  He and I would often sit together on the hill and watch the farm on bright nights.  It was one of my very favorite things, even in the winter.  The last picture I took of him was him resting next to me under a bright full moon.  I wish I'd thought to camp out with him all night, even just once.


The next morning I woke to the sound of Petunia's bell and turned over to see the sheep grazing in the arena.  They'd quietly tiptoed past me and let me sleep in.


Good morning! (new puzzle :-)

I watched for the dog on Sunday and did not see him again.  That evening a neighbor found a promising post in the missing pets group on FB.  I contacted the owner to make sure it was indeed the same dog, now safely at home and back in his electric fenced yard.  It had been scared by fireworks.  Fingers crossed we never see him again.

Other than the gorgeous full moon and the fun of sleeping in the sheep yard (which was actually fun even with the bugs and hot weather), the best story from all of this was what Rocky and Jared did to try to protect their flock.  I told it on an IG video post last night.  You should be able to follow along.



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