Thursday, April 29, 2010

Crazy Days

Been seeing a lot of this...

Not getting a lot of this...

Did pick up another one of these...

And most of them were cooperative and followed the sheet into the box...

But there were some mean ones (a clue - I hope - as to which hive they swarmed from!) that tried to get through the holes in my jeans.

I'm not sure if duct tape is a step up or a step down from my usual Tractor Supply Company fashion statement.

I still haven't had time to spin my yarn for the skein competition. I did get Ford's fleece rolled and into a clear bag. I'm sure I have some photographs for the photo contest...if I just had time to get them matted.

How about you local folks? Are you ready for the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Can Has Greenhouse?

Well, not that you can find it on the their (glammed up, commercial filled) site anymore, but Eli looks just like the original cheezburger cat.

"I love sleeping in this big cat bed dad built in the greenhouse for me."

"It's so warm and comfy I can't stop yawning."

Are you yawning now?

"Wat you mean I haz to moov out?"

"Stupid Comby's in my chair. He should know that even though I haven't been sleeping here lately that it's still. my. chair."

Comby: "Wow, this is just like having my own purrsonal (albeit a bit grumpy) Snuggie."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Green Thumbs Up

Saint Tim built these great "raised beds" inside our greenhouse. I was planning on taking pictures of them, but was distracted by the green and didn't end up with any shots. You'll have to trust me - they are cute and functional - perfect for potting, babysitting seedlings and growing greens throughout the upcoming fall and winter - maybe next time.

I love water drops (click to biggify).

I love the cute newspaper pots I made.

This is the handy tool I used to make them. All you do is cut some strips of newspaper from your recycle bin, wrap it around the wooden top leaving about an inch sticking off the bottom. I put a piece of tape on the top corner because I'm just like that (but you don't have to). Fold the bottom edges in and then crunch them into the lipped base. Ta-da!

I ordered this from Tellico Turnings and if there were such a thing, I'd give it a Punkin's Patch Seal of Approval. Or maybe a green thumbs up!

Like little seedlings could be any cuter... :-)

"Me! Me! Take my picture!"

Now that's a happy seedling, eh?

A not as happy little spindly guy, but with some cool reflections in his water droplets. He'll be happier in his new paper pot this afternoon.

Eli was also not so happy with the greenhouse situation...but that's a post for tomorrow.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bee TV

Also known as Hillbilly Geographic. Get that girl some speech therapy - yeesh!

A closer look.

This all transpired in mere minutes. First I saw them approaching the tree, then all over the tree and then into the cluster - in less than 10 minutes. The noise was just incredible.

Me and Stella, Saint Tim and another local beekeeper, Jane, put together a cardboard box with some screen wire on top for ventilation. Tim held some branches aside and while Jane and Stella held the box under the swarm, I gently brushed most of the bees off the branch and into the box.

Here are a couple of interesting notes. That cluster of bees was heavy. I'll try to weigh the box tomorrow when we move the bees into a hive (bad weather here this evening). You wouldn't believe how the air moves around all those vibrating wings. I could feel it on my face through my veil.

We got most of the bees in the box and left a small hole hoping the rest would follow. They did.

And Stella has her second hive of bees. This is our first swarm of the year and the third hive of bees we've successfully captured.

Who'd have ever 'thunk' it?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tag Team

I forgot to post this picture yesterday. Actually, as crazy busy as things are around here right now with normal spring work and working on the new fiber festival, it's probably a miracle I posted what I did and posted it to the right blog. Whew!

We have a border collie, Iris, who feels she does many things to help out around here. Honestly, the most important job she does is security. Nothing goes on without Iris' approval. This truly is helpful as she lets us know about neighbor dogs, strangers headed up to Stella's, that time when Hank grabbed a chicken... However, when it comes to moving sheep from the night paddocks to day paddocks, I've learned to just carry a feed scoop.

As the sheep go through whichever gate I trick them through, I set the feed scoop on the gate post. I like to walk out with them for a few minutes and make sure everyone seems okay, check grass levels, play with Hank... I frequently forget about the scoop. Hank and Graham Lamb never do.

Graham Lamb climbs up on the fence, grabs the scoop, sets it on the ground, figures out if there are any food crumbs left inside, gives up and turns it over to Hank. Who thinks it's a great chew toy. We now have two scoops (both chewed on) so that surely we can always find at least one. I found this one back behind the arena where I took the video the other day.

You'd think I'd learn...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Nose For It

This would definitely be Hank's "saintly glow". While we were all back by the Frog Pond yesterday morning, Hank heard something. His ears are incredibly sharp. I expected that.

The sense that really surprised me though was his nose. Bloodhounds ain't got nothin' on Hank. His first order of business each day - after running up to tell me good morning - is to head out back with his nose on the ground.

He checks everything - fence rows, trees, the ponds...

"Hey, you frog out there! Anything happen out here last night I need to know about?"

Hank is locked up near the barn with the sheep at night. I wonder about that - whether it's better for him to be in with the sheep to take care of something that might get in or if he should be out back patrolling to keep predators away...

Regardless, give him a little time in the morning sun and that wet, dirty coat will be sparkly clean. A few naps during the day and he's ready to report for duty each night.

Thanks Hanks!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Walking The Straight And Narrow

The focal point here should be the barely visible five inch wide path most of the sheep are walking on and not the obvious fact that our chain drag is sitting out in the field where someone could step in it...

Anyway, an orderly walk to the back to graze, rapidly turned into this:

Keebs is the white sheep bounding towards the camera. Rebecca Boone is the goofy gray sheep and Petunia is the brown sheep with some real hops. The limping sheep is ancient Miss Ewenice, not someone who got hung up in the drag ;-).

The video was taken with my D300s and not the actual video camera. The way I understand it, it only focuses once, so when the sheep get further away, they are a little blurry, but I surely don't care - too fun. By the way, the snarfling noise is not a bear getting ready to eat me, but Hank. I have a neat picture of him to post tomorrow.

Wanna see some more? Woolliam (really fat white sheep) joins in...for a little bit.

Well, I'd like to say the main focus here is the contrast between super black Boudreaux the Biter and white Popcorn PeePee Pants, but it's sure hard not to think "yeesh, those are some chunks..." (okay any grammar police out there, do I put a period after the quote marks?)

Henrietta, Rebecca Boone and Annabelly.

RB and Henri's fleeces are both outstanding this year. My friend Julie was over yesterday, helping me sort through all the washed fleeces. I can't wait to take them to the mill! Both will be for sale at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival...unless I can't bear to let them go.

You know how to make a small fortune in the sheep business? Start with a large one... We have/had neither, but I've always loved that "horse business" quote and if you don't sell your fleeces... Just sayin' ;-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bee Belly

Mid flight. Not as easy as it would seem, so I'm pretty happy with this shot.

The lilacs have been outstanding this year. We can smell them all the way to the house! The bees have been pretty happy with them, too. Check out the loaded pollen baskets on this hard worker.

Now look closely at this picture - biggify, of course. Is what I'm seeing on the back legs just the start of pollen collection or is it the actual location of the pollen basket?

And look - a bee belly! Anna Belly, Billy Belly, Baby Belly, Clover Belly, Caspar Belly, Bee Belly. It almost sounds like Emily has added someone else to flock. It's happened before.


A pretty pair.

Graham Lamb's birthday will continue through Wednesday, although after Rebecca Boone bit (accidentally) the tip of my finger last night so hard it cracked the nail, I'm not sure we are going to eat cookies every night until then.


Monday, April 19, 2010


"Hey, today's MY birthday!"

It's hard to believe that gangly lamb grew into this handsome guy.

Oh yeah, this looks more like it.

Eating a spiky thistle? Yep, that's our boy.

Keebler: I knew from the beginning he wasn't quite "right" but no one would listen to me.

This is one of my favorite memories of little Grammy. He used to love to use me as a pillow. Oh, those cute babies grow up so fast.

Graham has always had a special interest in cats, especially Comby.

Graham still loves kitties.

And dogs. Especially Hank. Or should I say Hank's food (yeah, we don't really want to go there...).

While I have to admit that Graham Lamb is finally growing up to be a real "sheep", deep down I'm not so sure he won't always think he's a dog. Or maybe a cat.

For Graham Lamb's birthday we are again going to have a farm-iversally popular nilla wafer party. We are also going to donate a dollar for every "Happy Birthday Graham Lamb" comment - this time to help care for Graham's cats and dogs at our local Harrison County Humane Society.

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Happy Birthday Grammy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Stills - Potluck

This past Sunday I went out on the river with Saint Tim. It was a beautiful spring day and we enjoyed the peaceful quiet of early morning. We were not far from town and could hear one of the downtown church's bells ringing out favorite hymns for almost an hour and it brought a new depth to "river church".

This is a click to biggify shot. I was trying to capture the water drops zinging off his line as he cast. I like the bokeh behind the tiny droplets.

I like the line in this shot, but am not crazy about the glare.** Good practice though and I'll know what to work on next time. Again, fun to biggify.

I'd just been wondering what animal(s) used the paths all along the river when I spotted this fox. Interesting markings with the black legs and white on his or her face. Wish this were sharper, but still glad to have it. A fox is always a good catch.

A reflective turtle.

A coot? Again, not a great background (could I complain any more about my pictures?!?), but a bird we'd like to remember. And how could you really complain about such a nice way to start a day.

For more Sunday Stills...

** When I showed these pictures to Tim he popped off with "That's my saintly glow, not often captured in photographs."

See what I have to live with???


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