Monday, September 28, 2009

Look Ma...No Horns!

Forgive me for being too tired to tell a long story...
In short, Garrett picked up my new ram lamb, S'more Courante, from Tori Gygi at the Jefferson show. And just this Sunday I was able to get down to Perham to pick him up. Oh! is he ever beautiful. Just as gorgeous and solid as I was hoping for. Thank you, Tori!
Gail and I had also arranged to trade a ewe lamb and a ram, each. We met in a parking lot in Long Prairie for the exchange. Thank heavens a very sweet couple offered to help us with the switcheroo! We now know that it takes at least 4 people to switch 4 sheep around in a parking lot. I'm sure we would have managed...but I'm GLAD we didn't have to. :) Gail and Emily, I just love the way Ash and January look out there in my pens. What a bonus to my fledgling polled program to have two such lambs!
I actually stopped in at Garrett's after meeting up with Gail. Lovely, lovely fleeces and sheep! And terrific conversation, as usual! And I got to feed the corgi clan my organic carrots. I just adore those little dogs!

Made it back home in the pouring rain by 10:30pm and just left the sheep in the hauler; it's nice and big. This morning Clancy and I unloaded the new sheep and then off to work. All was well by the time I got home again. But I can't wait for a slice of nice weather and time to go sit with them and get acquainted with them. They are really nice sheep!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Love You...

...for sentimental reasons...
Remember that Nat King Cole song? It fits my view of these two lambs.
Darla Gay and Qdy are both Unicorn offspring, out of a mother/daughter pair of ewes; Dolce and Delyth. Dolce and Delyth live with Karen Byron now. With these two keeper lambs, I was finally reconciled to letting go of the parents.
But in a way, Darla and Qdy don't have a long-term future here in my flock. I doubt theyhave polled potential. I should have offered them for sale. But my son was only willing to give up his Delyth if he could keep her white Qdy. So Qdy stayed. And try as I might, I couldn't let go of Darla. I named her after my alter ego. And she truly LOVES me. So how could I let her go?
The best I can hope for is that these girls will give me keeper half-polled ewe lambs someday, and then I can move them on. But that just sounds too hard to contemplate right now. Too hard. My hard-hearted, bottom-line, sensible shepherd instinct knows this isn't the way to run an efficient farming operation. The mushy cuddle-bug little girl in me doesn't care. These two girls are precious. I'm holding on to them for sentimental reasons. At least for now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Guess What I Found?

I can't even describe how busy we've been around here lately. All good...I can honestly say boredom has not been an issue. Exhaustion has been, though. There hasn't been much time to relax.
Last Sunday Clancy carved out a bit of time to mow some of the rougher areas beyond the pastures and yard. We are fortunate to be able to borrow equipment like a Bobcat and attachments from my dad when we need them. Access to large equipment saves us lots of time and backbreaking labor.
The boys were at Grandma's that day and I found myself with the time to walk out and view Clancy's progress and visit the ewes. Just a few minutes after I took some photos, Clancy finished up and turned off the machine. Then he called out to me, "Guess what I found?" Living on a very old farmstead, one never knows what will turn up when the ground is worked.
As it happened, Clancy had discovered a cement foundation for a small building. A very old small building...probably an old that we had never known about. We already have four old foundations on our place, and now we have a fifth. It is so fascinating to think of how many people and buildings used to reside in this remote spot.
Clancy came over to the fence line where I was spending some time with the ewes. Within minutes all the girls had abandoned me to get their pets from the Unwilling Shepherd.
Nhu was the first to indulge herself with Clancy-time. Her little sister Vianne looks on.
Then Sian and her grey ewe lamb Leil took their turn. Sian has always been partial to Clancy. She seldom seeks my attention, but she always comes right up to Clancy. According to Clancy, with all of her naughtiness, Leil has earned the nickname of Stinkerbell!!!!. The minute the fencer is turned off Leil has to chew on the electronet or shove her head right through it to eat clover on the otherside. She has her own adgenda in life, that is for sure!
Finally the white Shetlands came forward...Darla, Lyneth, Niav, Nhu, Silvy, and Qdy. It is so nice to have friendly sheep!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Summer's End

I have a whole Saturday at home today. It seems ages since I've had a bit of free time. Today I'm going to rotate pastures, pull the quills out of Greta's nose. She got a porcupine all by herself sometime in the early morning. Then I'm going to get all the dogs groomed and also keep some laundry hanging on the line today. This past week has been full of sunshine!
Here are a few recent photos: I'm not angry in the first one, with my furrowed brow...just concentrating on pulling some VM out of Silvy's chest wool. See how stretched out she is with the scratches? Niav is pawing my back hoping for more attention. AnnaBelle and her daughter Lyneth are patiently waiting for their turns at the lovin'.
Dan was making a face a while back when I was near the fence line. He was actually sniffing the air...some ewe must have been in heat that day. This was when he was still with his dam in the ewe pen. He has since been moved to the ram pen with the big boys. He's such a masculine little ram! Friends at church with a couple of ewes are excited to use him this fall. He doesn't know how lucky he is yet. :)
And last, but not least, is old Rachel. She is such a good fine ewe. Because she was the first girl I ever brought home, she had the most evidence of the mineral deficiencies that the farm forage here provided. That problem has been successfully dealt with using a special mineral and Sel-Plex 2000. But I have gotten a little gun shy about breeding Rachel because of all the problems she had. And now she's about 10 years old. All the other ewes recovered so well I have hopes Rach did too. And yet I don't know if I should breed her again. I would love another keeper lamb out of her: her daughter Sian is one of my best ewes. But I am not sure what to do. Every time I see her out in the pasture I think and think. Perhaps if I just put it out of my mind, the right solution will present itself. Patience.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Two Good Ram Lambs

Boston Lake Farm is offering for sale it's two best ram lambs of the season.
Windswept Unicorn x Boston Lake Delyth
Bence is four square, he has a perfect tail, and lovely widespread horns. He carries one white pattern gene. He may carry moorit, and spots as well. He is reserved with people; very well mannered. Bence has lovely long intermediate wool with beautiful lustre.
Registered $200
Sheltrgpines Bombarde x Boston Lake Sian
Jchen is also four square with a perfect tail and good horns. He would be my keeper replacement for Bombarde if he was not fully horned. This is someones great chance to own a fully horned Bombarde son. Bombarde has amazing fleece! Jchen's dam is the best black ewe I have here. Jchen is exactly the type of Shetland I am breeding for. He has gorgeous soft, blue, crimpy fleece. I'm very proud of him. He carries moorit and has a significant krunet, so he also carries spots.
Registered $300
More photos and fleece samples available on request. Contact info at bottom of page. Thank you.