Monday, June 29, 2020

The Plan...There's Always A Plan

I am spinning three Shave 'Em to Save 'Em breed wools for my Tour de Fleece challenge this year.  

The Livestock Conservancy has a five breed incentive challenge that I am going to try to complete.  I've covered Jacob and Cotswold.  Kaala, as a Clun Forest, was an obvious next pick.  The Tunis roving came from Woolhalla Tunis and the Leicester Longwool locks came from Flock and Forge, fellow SESE farms I follow on Instagram.

I've started spinning the Tunis and it's lovely.  The Clun Forest needs to be washed and carded before spinning.  The Leicester locks...I'm going to comb some and maybe keep a few set aside to use as an edging or trim.  They are so pretty I'm enjoying just looking at them :-).   

Wool is beautiful.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Titan

There has been a group of sheep here over the years that I've considered titans.  Buddy, Woolliam, Ewen McTeagle, Jester, Marcel, Keebler, Graham Lamb...  Big in stature...and personality.  Count Chocula was The Titan.  

We've been trying to fight through a bladder stone attack for a week.  He patiently tolerated everything we tried and we tried pretty much everything.  I finally had to call it. 

I will sure miss seeing you standing in your doorway.  Thank you for one final classic picture last night.  You were a good sheep.  The bravest Titan of them all.

May 2013 - June 26, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The 2020 Tour de Fleece

The 2020 Tour de Fleece starts this Saturday.  I've had my plan set for months...but I'm not ready.  It's been a rough year.  It's been a rough week.  I'm going to need some cheerleaders to keep me in the race.  To get me to the starting line.

Obviously Early would have lead the Cheeto and B. Willard have stepped in.  They are wearing hand knit wool crowns that were gifted to me and Auntie Reg.  We had planned to wear them at the spring fiber festival...but Cheeto and B. Willard have stepped in.

For anyone not familiar with the Tour de Fleece, it is a spinning challenge that usually follows the Tour de France, but this year the actual bike race has been rescheduled to a later date I believe.  

Here are the specs from the main Tour de Fleece group on Ravelry

Challenge Yourself.
Have fun.
This year, the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday June 27 and runs until Sunday July 19, 2020.
Guidelines (NOT RULES):
Spin every day the Tour rides, if
possible. Saturday June 27 through
Sunday July 19th. Days of rest:
Monday, July 6th and Monday, July
13th. (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 9, on Sunday July 5, when the mountainous program of the day starts with the discovery of the Col de la Hourcère which will immediately precede the climb to the Col de Soudet. For the seventh time since the beginning of the Tour, the riders will ride at an altitude of over 1,500m. They will then battle it out on the extremely steep climb up to the Col de Marie Blanque before heading back down to Laruns. The second is stage 18, on Thursday, July 15th, when the course of the day is made for the most enduring climbers. Indeed over 4,000m of climbing will be on the menu. In the following order, the peloton will lead up to the Cormet de Roselend, then the Col des Saisies followed by Les Aravis and finally the Plateau des Glières, a key location of the French Resistance, before continuing towards La Roche-sur-Foron.
Wear yellow on Sunday July 19th 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).

You do not have to be a member of Ravelry to spin with the Punkin's Patch team.  That's where most of the daily fun happens, but feel free to spin on your own and challenge yourself.  Drop me an email or leave a comment if you'd like to keep us posted :-).

I'll try to get some fleece pictures tomorrow later today and outline my goal, but for now I'm headed to bed.  How did it get to be Wednesday already?!?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Good Morning!

We've had some beautifully cool weather the last few days.  Makes for a pretty, foggy sunrise.  This is a fun puzzle :-).

Monday, June 15, 2020


I opened the gate to let the main flock graze the side field over the weekend.  I do this fairly frequently.  We don't follow an actual rotational grazing plan, but when a paddock needs to be grazed down a little, the sheep are willing partners.

During an afternoon barn check I found Big Moose hanging out with his mom in the Easy Breezy stall.  He hasn't shown any interest in her in months.  I guess those were his independent teen age months.  Looks like they had a lot to catch up on.  She was really happy to see him :-).

Saturday, June 13, 2020

One Good Thing About The Pandemic

20's happy he doesn't have to worry about kids sticking their fingers up his nose anymore! Auntie Reg made him his own mask.  The store bought masks were just a little bit too small ;-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

A Sheep Treat

If you use Instagram and love sheep and aren't already following aswissshepherdswife, go give her a follow right now.  If you aren't on IG, this would be a great time to give it a try. This is a gorgeous feed throughout the year, but their spring and fall transhumance is an incredible treat. 

Transhumance is the seasonal moving of livestock, usually from low country to high and back again and again and again and is done many places in the world.  This family happens to be in the Swiss Alps.  It's even prettier than you could ever imagine.

While the still pictures are worth the visit on their own, what you really want to watch is her video"stories".  Once you follow her, you'll see any time she's posted a video update by watching the circles at the top of your own main page or by clicking the circle on the top left of her most recent post.

Remember that these stories only last 24 hours, so don't think "Oh, I'll catch up on this over the weekend."  You will miss out.  Some abbreviated stories will save on her main account page later, but you will want to watch them all, all the way through.  I promise.

Monday, June 8, 2020

The Fourth Picture

The first picture was good, but the fourth picture was better ;-).  Less distracting sunburst and better composition.

Evening light is my favorite.  Evening in general is my favorite.  Everything seems to take a deep breath and slowly exhale.  Some days it's the nice end to a good day.  Some days it's just a we made it to the end.  One of the few good parts of summer is the soft evening light after a long, too bright day.  

The trick to these pictures is waiting until the sunlight is perfect.  Or happening to notice the sun is perfect and grabbing your camera and running out.  It doesn't stay perfect for long.  The Golden Hour doesn't last quite an hour I've found.

Once the sunlight is perfect, you still need to work a bit.  It helps to filter the bright light through some trees.  Move around and watch how your camera reacts.  If it's too blown out, change your angle just a little.  Too dark?  Again, move around, put the sun behind a bigger tree...

If you want to get more technical, read up on metering so you'll better understand how your camera is thinking.  I also set my white balance to cloudy.  White balance and exposure compensation are two very basic camera tools everyone should learn to use.  Read your manual or look online.

The always photogenic Count Chocula.

This is too sunset-y, but I like the composition.  Daniel, Liddy, Kaala.

Muuufin :-)

This is Baaxter with the sun shining from the side...

...and now shining from behind.  I like the little bit more definition of the first picture, but the soft light of the second picture.  The background of the second picture is more interesting as well.

And this was my favorite picture of the evening.  Kaala with the light balanced just right behind the filtering trees.  It's also a new puzzle :-).

Saturday, June 6, 2020

The First Picture Tonight

I took a bunch of sunset picture this evening. This happens to be the first one. I like it. It might not be the best one...but it might be. I'll look at the rest tomorrow.  In the meantime, enjoy a new puzzle :-).

Friday, June 5, 2020

So Hot. So Humid.

It was this hot and humid yesterday.

It's going to be even hotter next week!

Big Moose has the craziest eyes.  Always perpetually startled.  They make him easy to spot, but you don't need to see his eyes to find him.  He's always right in front of you :-).

Thursday, June 4, 2020

The First Picture

Just a random observation and probably of no interest to anyone but me, but it includes a sweet picture of Kate and B. Willard, so I'll share.  This is something that almost always happens and I think it's interesting.  

When I see something that is a potentially good photo, I take the picture and then take several more trying to make it a better picture.  I move around a little or adjust the aperture or exposure or what I'm focusing on...  I come in with a camera card full of pictures to choose from...and almost always pick the first shot I took.

I wish I'd had a different lens attached so I could have zoomed out a little more to include more of what Willard and Kate were looking at...but I probably would have still picked this one ;-).

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Captain Obvious

I've been trying to put up a blog post for a week.  I couldn't think of anything to write.  I couldn't find any pictures in any recent files that I wanted to share.  I actually looked at the camera (twice) and thought "I wish there was something good on there to download."  

Um, how about you try putting something ON the camera.

So I took a picture of Maisie.  She's always good for a photo op...and a new puzzle :-).


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