Friday, December 30, 2011

Recommended Reading

A fellow Shetland breeder posted an article on his blog that I feel is worth reading. 
The information explains many of the reasons that I am raising the type of sheep and fleece that I do...
only the author expresses his ideas so much better than I could.  :)

A huge THANK YOU to Rich Johnson at
for writing such an elegant article.

and just incase the above link doesn't work, here is the complete url:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Felted Junco - Female

This evening I created a little brown mate for the male junco from yesterday.   It may not be clear in the photo, but the brown lines are actually thin wisps of moorit yarn. 

I used a completely different photograph to guide had more detail...which I think I tried too hard to represent.  I think the tail was more accurate on the male.  
Oh, well. I'm having so much fun.  :)

Felted Junco - Male

Needle felting is fast becoming one of my favorite crafts.
Last night I was stuck for inspiration when Clancy suggested a bird.  So I got out the field guide and settled on the male junco since it has a soft rounded shape without too many details.  It took me about two hours to make the bird and then the little nest with eggs.
Note of inaccuracy: male juncos do not incubate the eggs, only the females do.

The hardest part for me was getting the eyes to look realistic.  I'm not 100% pleased with them...but I decided to stop before I really messed them up.

In my opinion, this little felted bird looks the most realistic from the underside.  Unfortunately, I've seen a few juncos hit the window glass, or get offered up by the resident cat.

I had so much fun with this little bird, and I'll definitely try to do more.  I would like to get some black wire to make little feet in the future.

In the meantime, this little guy will have to snuggle into the nest I made for him.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Felted Flower

Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to make felt for the first time.  I had only a vague idea of how to do this based on some other blogs I had read.  And except for the wool, water, and soap, I didn't have any of the "supplies" that supposedly make the process easier.  Bubble wrap is somehow involved, but I substituted a strange crinkly cellophane from my wrapping paper stash.  Then there was the plastic trash sack spread out on the counter top.  And a bakers rack to lift the felt out of the water and dry it on.  As it turned out, most of the felting ended up happening in the sink, since it was a small batch....only one bat's worth of wool.

In the spirit of Red Green's "any tool can be the right tool" I forged ahead, trusting hot water and agitation to do most of the work.  And it did, though I could have "agitated" it all a bit longer, I think.  In the end I had an uneven sheet of loose felt about the size of a regular sheet of paper.  Hurray!

Because it was so thin and loose, the felt dried quickly.  So I grabbed the scissors and started cutting up flower petals.  Some needle felting and pale yarn accents was all it took to create this 7 inch diameter flower. 

My first attempt at a three-dimensional felted object isn't quite what I hoped it would be.  The gray lamb's wool wasn't blended well on the carder so it sort of resembles dryer lint.  And I had to bolster the wet-felting process a tad here and there with needle-felting.  But all in all, it was easy, quick, and fun....and it does actually resemble a flower.  :)

As I always tell folks that are curious about working with wool:  "Just go for it!"  Wool is incredibly forgiving.  The most inexperienced spinner can still make chunky-fun yarn that knits up wonderfully.  And needle-felting seems to be able to fix what a novice's wet-felting process lacks. 
I can't wait to try more projects with the lambs wool I harvested this fall!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bright Sunday

It is 43 degrees F outside today.  Unreal!  Hardly a trace of snow.  Not a typical December...but Clancy is  getting lots of outdoor work done.  Sort of the winter equivalent of "make hay while the sun shines."

Because it has just been too long since I've taken any sheep pictures, here are a few.  Sorry about the harsh lighting...

River Oaks Lana.

Lana's ewe lamb by LittleRedOak Ash: Penelope.  I still can't touch Pen.  But she is coming in much closer now, as long as other sheep are crowded around me.  I think this eweling is so beautiful and just drives me nuts that she is not tame yet.  I so want to get my hands on her fleece again.

The last two pictures are of Sian's twins by Ash.  They have scadder around their necks like their dam and grand-dam, Rachel, did.  None of the other lambs this year had it.  I don't mind it...though I wouldn't select for it.  When I get back into breeding again, I will see if aiming for finer fleece and/or the polled gene eliminates this trait.  I'm really hoping these two girls got some polled genetics from their sire.  Sian had horned genetics...but she had a non-fading fleece, a nice shape, good feet, and a hardiness about her that I liked.  I'm fond of my original Rachel these little sweety pies will hopefully carry that forward into a polled generation.



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tales of Fiber: Part Two

No Advisory Caution Required
The indoor part of this story follows.  It concerns only the handling of safe, clean wool...complete with photos.   (Aren't you glad I didn't take pictures for Part One?)

Dedicated to Amanda

Sometimes someone gives you a gift that you never allowed yourself to even wish for...
That was how I felt when Clancy's mom gave me an antique (working!) spinning wheel out of the blue.  It is such a treasure.
And a couple of summers ago Amanda, a friend from high school, offered me all the spinning equipment and roving her late mother had left behind.  Little did I know she meant bags and bags of silk and merino blend rovings and this Pat Green drum in the box...complete with two separate drums for fine and extra fine fibres.

To say I was overwhelmed with surprise and gratitude would be an understatement.  For the longest time I didn't even have the courage to take it out of the box and assemble it.  And I usually spin in the grease so I never wanted to get this grand tool dirty.  But with all the clean wool that Mary had helped me harvest recently just sitting around, it seemed like the right time to conquer my hesitation and produce some bats/roving.   

It took about 5 minutes of turning the crank on the drum carder for me to loose my inhibitions and start imagining all the exciting projects and blends I could create with it.  In the past week I have carded up all of Ian's moorit katmoget lambs wool (not pictured) and January's longer cream colored fleece (not pictured).  Now I've started in on Sextant's lambs wool (above/below).  He was a black katmoget with gorgeous crimp and dark color.

As you can see, the staple length is quite short.  The lambs were only 6 months old when I sent them to the processor.  By spring their staples would have been 4-5 inches....but I couldn't hold on to them that long.  So I am experimenting with what I got from them.

After flicking and drum carding the wool, I just had to spin a bit of it.  I wanted to determine whether it had a long enough staple for this inexperienced spinner to spin on her drop spindle...or whether it was destined for felting projects.  Truthfully, I didn't mind spinning it a bit.  But I knitted up this little swatch anyway...just to see how it responded.  It is nice and soft.  I brought it to church today and I asked two little children to tell me what they thought of it.  After rubbing it all over their faces, ears, and necks, they declared it soft enough for a hat or scarf.  That is not scientific...but I do trust little people to be honest about the "scratch factor."  :)  So I think I will attempt a small garment with this fleece.

I also finished plying the last of my Rachel singles this week.  One was spun from washed locks and one was spun in the grease.  Really had no idea if that was going to affect much when I washed the skein.  It didn't seem too.  Shown above are two similar Rachel yarns (gray) and two very small Zora yarns (light gray).  I plan to make another Rachel scarf and add the Zora to the ends as an accent.

Last but not least...some of the roving Amanda gave to me...a beautiful shimmery gray.  I've been spinning it a little at a time for over a year now.  At this rate that ball of roving is going to last me a lifetime.  :)  That is partly why I like to spin on little the one shown above that I made out of a yo-yo kit.  A small spindle fills up faster and then I get to unwind it or Andean ply it.  Keeps me from getting too bored with a single thing.  I tend to leap frog around from project to project, depending on how much time and space I have.  So it is not realistic to think that huge ball of roving is going to shrink anytime soon.  For now, it is my goal to get the rest of the lamb fleeces carded up so I can get the drum carder off my dining room table before Christmas.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tales of Fiber: Part One

The following story may be viewed by some as gory. 
Do not read if you are uncomfortable with dead sheep and the women who are grateful for them.
Dedicated to Mary
It seems natural to work with fiber in Autumn and Winter...when the short days give a person more time in the house. Thanks to the amazing, dry, clear, warm weather we had right up until this week when it snowed....and also thanks to my dear friend, efforts with wool have been more ambitious this season than they ever have been before!

This story begins a few weeks ago when Mary and I were discussing the trip our ram lambs were scheduled to make to the processor. She had the clever idea to harvest the wool off her hides and invited me to join in the fun. Another friend, Gail, had told me how she washes the whole hide in an old washing machine, and then deals with the wool after it is dry. So that was the plan. Mary had a heated garage, and an old washer hooked up to cold water just outside. Once all the hides were gathered from the processor, we started in.

Little did I know...until Mary warned me...that the hides came back with legs, tails, and heads still attached. Think of those toddler blankies with little stuffed animal heads and legs that stores sell in the baby department...only bloody. I thanked God for small mercies, like the fact that none of my lamb customers wanted the tongues packaged up in their orders. Mary showed me how to take a utility knife and slice off the bony bits. These got thrown in a big garbage sack, which later had to be half unpacked when we realized we had filled it too full of sheep parts to lift.

After we had amputated the appendages from each hide, we carried it outside to the washing machine. One of the most satisfying moments of dealing with each fleece was watching the first run of water being wrung out of the washer from hose that was strategically angled toward the lilac hedge. I'm predicting some mighty fine blossoms next spring. It was also quite satisfying to see how the fleece couldn't be felted with agitation because it was still attached to the hide. All those perfectly aligned locks...the stuff of dreams!

With each hide, Mary and I streamlined our methods, until we got quite good at hacking, stuffing, stirring, wringing, and hauling wet fleeces. I theorized that there were probably never very many real witches in history....just a lot of women burned at the stake because someone caught a glimpse of them laughing hysterically over cauldrons filled with bloody sheep hides. A theory born out even further when Mary and I tried to move the garbage bags full of offal to the back of my pickup box. Bent double with the strain of tugging those bags, a wide bloody smear followed us across the garage floor and the graveled driveway. How we hefted those dripping black amoebas up into the truck is beyond me. The anticipation of being rid of them once and for all supplied the adrenaline, no doubt.

After a pause for a scrumptious lunch of dill pickle chicken soup and Asian delicacies provided by Mary...of course we still had appetites...why wouldn't we?...we returned to the garage to find a couple of the hides dry enough to shear. I will never again mentally criticize my shearer for the minor amounts of second cuts he inevitably produces in my wool crop each spring. Equipped with Mary's shearing machine, I proceeded to mutilate the first fleece I worked on. My shearer can remove fleece from a thrashing, shifting, roundness of live Shetland. I struggled to remove fleece from a perfectly flat, deathly still hide. With Mary's guidance, I improved slightly by the end of the first one. By then it was time to go home, though, so we postponed the rest until the next day.

When I returned the following afternoon, Mary cautioned me that the smell in the garage had become quite strong. Apparently it had sent her brawny son-in-law reeling from the open doorway. She wasn't exaggerating...but it is amazing what a fiber enthusiast will endure to add to her stash. After a short time, I became indifferent to the odor of rancid tallow. The shears, however, were not cooperating that day, so I ended up using sharp scissors on the next fleece. The second hide took longer to finish, but I was infinitely more sure of myself, and not as worried about loosing a finger. Since I didn't have much time, I only got one fleece off the hide. I took my remaining three fleeces home where I draped them over the steel clothes line, said a prayer for their safekeeping, and gave the dogs a growly warning not to even think about it.

Throughout this adventure, the back of my truck was filled with bags, buckets, and tubs of appendages from about 9 sheep. Quite the cargo. I had volunteered my dear husband to dispose of it all far, far away. Turned out he was quite busy that week, though. The gore was temporarily transferred to the back of Clancy's old work truck, where it sat for about a week before he got around to dealing it. Meanwhile, the dogs had all they could do to fend off the coyotes that were lured into the yard by the overpowering stench of decomposing carcasses. Each night they barked with all their might, and each day they took turns sleeping as close to Clancy's truck as possible. So close, but yet so far.

Though he had stated quite clearly that he didn't appreciate being my offal boy, Clancy eventually did make time to dump the grisly remains on the far corner of our property. Bless his optimistic heart. It took all of 24 hours for the first sheep head to show up in the yard...the darling prize of a very proud Pooja. Day by day, our dogs rescued what they could from the ravages of the coyotes, ravens, and foxes. Night by night they barked their claim to the loot. It took about a week to exhaust the supply of wool, jawbones, and hooves. There was obviously a great deal of competition. But at last, there was nothing left to retrieve from the remote corner of our field, and Clancy threw the last bone into the outdoor stove.

During this battle of wills between Clancy and the dogs...the gory nightmare that just never seemed to end for my poor husband...I was scissoring the fleece off the last three hides. How I wish I could have held those ramlings over winter so their staple lengths would have been closer to four or five inches. But I was determined to make the most of what I could get. So once I had all the fleece harvested, I began washing it in hot water. The dry breezy weather dried the wool out quickly, and soon I was rewarded with five bags of gorgeous wool.

To be continued...

Monday, October 31, 2011

October Ewes

I've been letting the ewe flock out of the electronet every day so they can roam far and wide for the remaining green grass and brush.  They love this, of course.  And I enjoy watching the flock move as it would "in the wild".
Francesca, curious as ever.  (Ash x Sian)

All my Bramble AnnaBelle daughters together:
Lyneth & Carys (back).  Vianne & Nhu  (front).
(Bombarde x AnnaBelle)

Esyllt  (Arvada x January)

Poor little Justina.  I must have hit a nerve or something when I tagged her ear because it has drooped ever since.
(Courante x Hannah)

Some of the girls are spending time by Courante's fence line.  Since I don't plan to do any breedings for the next two years, I'm hoping that fence holds.  AND that the lady that is buying Courante will come collect him soon.  I have mixed feelings about stalling my breeding program (fine fleece, polled).  But now that I've committed to it and eliminated all the other ram lambs I don't want any "accidents" to happen.  Especially not this early in the fall!  Keeping my fingers crossed until the last ram is gone.  :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Once again, it is time to post one of my birthday photos from waaaaaayyyyyy back.
This one was taken the year I turned three!  hahaha.
Auntie Helen made the cake, which I adored because it was a horse.  It was covered in Lifesavers and had licorice whips for the bridle and tail.  If I remember right, it was also covered in coconut flake.
This was October 1975...before we had carpet on the floor...
and before my little sister was born.

Well, I'm not three anymore...I'm entering the last year of my thirties!
I took a bike ride today...something I haven't done since the boys were little munchkins in the pull behind trailers.  It felt great. 
One thing I can say for having children while I was still quite young:  now that they are starting to wander farther from home and needing me less...I'm still young enough to enjoy a lot of the hobbies I put on hold.  Maybe some moms don't put their lives on the back burner the way I did...but I found motherhood a bit overwhelming and it took all I had just to cope the first several years.  So now I'm teaching myself how to count myself into the equation.  It's all new again.  :) 
Looking forward to another good trip around the sun!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Thank you to Lorie and Lance K. of Nebraska for giving Trans Am a great home.
I hope he gives you many terrific lambs!
I had Trans Am earmarked for a particular situation, but that did not come to fruition.  I know it is last minute, but TA is available as a breeding ram lamb immediately.  I am not overwintering any male sheep for the next two I can't keep him.  And I DO have a butcher lamb customer waiting for him if I can't sell him for breeding.  The processor date is October not much time.

Trans Am is a spotted (head,two socks, tail) black katmoget that carries moorit and solid. 
S'more Courante x RiverOaks Hannah.
Can be registered.
He has absolutely excellent conformation, tail, wide hindquarters, and super terrific soft crimpy fleece.  His parents micron data can be found on my Fleece Page and my Flock Page.
Trans Am has round profile horns that clear his head.  He very much has a British look to his horns...I am guessing he carries a poll gene from one of his parents.
Mouth and testes are very proper.
Just an all around super ram lamb.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Never Too Old... turn a chore into play.
Asa (green), Isaac (blue), & Leif (red)

The beginning of a wrestling match...

I'm glad they still know how to have fun!  :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pooja's Happy Story

Sweet Pooja wants a belly rub.

So much has happened with the two new LGD's that I brought in this August.  However, the main point of recent events is that Pooja has stayed here at our farm and Capone left last Saturday to live on a farm in Hines, MN (only 15 miles from here).  I just talked to his new owner today and she said he is adjusting well to her farm, her livestock, and her three other Great Pyrs.  Yay for Capone!

And yay for Pooja!  She was whiney and lonely the first few days after Capone left.  But as hoped for, she soon began seeking the companionship of our other dogs.  Without her brother to back her up, she lost her aggression towards Shachah.  And Shachah let go of his rigid defenses toward her.

On Tuesday I let her be off leash with me in the ewe pasture for two hours.  At first she fretted on how to get out.  Then she settled down to watch me move electro-net.  Then she euphorically rolled in some sheep manure.  And finally, Pooja walked into the long grass where the ewes were grazing and flumped down to take a nap.  The lambs came up to sniff her and she just wagged her tail.  This was the first time I had ever seen Pooja relax since she has been here.

On Wednesday I took her into the vet to be fixed.  Yesterday I brought her home.  My main worry was how to keep her subdued during her recovery.  Every time she was kennelled she paced, whined, dug, and tried to climb over the panels.  So I took the chance and just left her off-leash yesterday.  Praise God she showed no interest in running off.  In fact she seemed to finally LIKE her new home. 

Pooja was by the back door this morning and she even helped me visit the sheep.  She and Shachah frolicked up and down the driveway together, and then they settled in for their morning naps.

I'm so glad this has finally worked out!  She is such a lovey dog, and I know she is good at her guardian job.

Welcome Home, Pooja!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October Morning

The weather has been so mild...and the morning light is just golden with all the trees decked out in Autumn colors.  It has been a while since I posted...but it has been just too nice to stay inside!

I have news about the sheep and the new Great Pyrenees dogs...but it will have to wait.
I need some sleep!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

SOLD-Pair of Working LGD's

 POOJA & CAPONE (called Bannon at our farm)

SOLD: a working pair of Livestock Guardian Dogs.
A brother-sister pair. Very bonded to each other.  4.5 years old. Great Pyrenees.
Male is neutered. Female is not spayed.

These two dogs are friendly with their humans but will bark at strangers. They were raised guarding alpacas and they have been fine around my sheep. They have shown zero aggression towards our 2 house dogs (indoor/outdoor border collie and chow/boxer mix) or our cat.

They have been fully groomed of all mats and burs. Current on shots as of May 2011, including three-year rabies shots.

Serious enquiries only. 
Please call 218-556-zero86two
for more information including price.
Please be prepared to answer questions about the home you would like to offer these working dogs. 
Do not call if you have no experience with, or understanding of, LGD's and the work they do.  These dogs are unique and display specific behaviors because of their instinct to be must know what that entails. 



To those of you that follow my blog:
Over the past few weeks it has become more and more clear that Bannon & Pooja & Shachah do not intend to get along.  Our first commitment is to Shachah, and so we must find a good working home for the new pair we brought in.  If you know of someone that needs an excellent working pair of LGD's, please send them to my blog.  Personal references are much appreciated.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Progress of a Sort

Bannon and Pooja (her original name, Fuji is a nickname the boys gave her) have lived with us for 9 full days now. 
I've used that time to finish their grooming for the season.  Bannon now has a trimmed rear like Pooja.
I've also been working with them on some dominance issues.  They are good, gentle dogs, but this is new territory, and they are testing me as well as their new canine pack.
They have used their time to explore the farm.
Shachah has used that time to completely ignore them unless they get too close to the hole under the porch that is the domain of his napping activities.
Megan and Greta have learned to accept the newcomers, for the most part, and to steer clear of them during scuffles about hierarchy for the other part.

The only aggression I have witnessed is between Pooja and Bannon.  I get the impression that she has ruled over him completely in the past...and she doesn't appreciate him possibly obtaining a new position in the pack.  I'm making sure Bannon gets a little time each day to be separate from her.  He usually uses this time to eat...I think Pooja's dominance could be the reason he is quite thin at the moment...he may have not had ample opportunity at the feed dish when he previously shared it with her. 
Bannon, in all his shining white glory.

Pooja, contemplating a little explore.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guess What's New?

If you guessed fur of the canine are right!

Two more Great Pyrenees came to live with us on Saturday.  They came from Tim and Kim's alpaca farm down in LeSeuer, MN.  A female, Fuji  front, and her neutered litter mate, Bannon  back.  They are 4.5 years old and have been guarding alpacas for the greater portion of their lives.  My goal is to have them adjust to guarding Shetland sheep and learn to love living here on Boston Lake.

But first I have to get them past the stress of moving to a new farm.  I also need to finish grooming Bannon's backside.  As you can see, Fuji has already been trimmed. She looks like a white lion now!  Then Shachah has to accept them.  He doesn't seem to mind the fixed male at all.  He won't let the female come near the house though, unless she is on the leash with us.  All Shachah does is bark to keep her just beyond the car park area.  He doesn't seem to mind if she wanders all around the rest of the farm.  So the aggression isn't very intense.  I am hoping that more time...and getting Fuji spayed...will help.

For now we are rotating the new dogs through the kennel, on the assumption that they are so bonded that they will not leave the other one behind.  This has been working...with the exception of Bannon following Clancy to the mill yard this morning. (about a mile away)  I had to walk him home from the mill.  So tomorrow morning, Bannon will have to be in the kennel when Clancy drives away.  We learned early on that they will not stay in electronet.  Dang! that worked so well for Shachah when he first came here.

I admit, introducing adult dogs is more difficult than introducing puppies to adult dogs.  And introducing very instinctual working/guardian/territorial breeds is harder still.  I am trying my best to rise to this occasion.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sudden New Friend

 (LRO Ash x RiverOaks Lana)
Thanks to a mad flock-wide rush to the grain treat being served, I was able to catch this wary little ewe lamb and get her coat on her.  She is incredibly soft.

This is Penelope's dam, Lana.  Lana came to live here about a year ago, and I have never had such a flighty ewe in my flock before.  I couldn't tempt her to come near me.  She kept the flock between herself and me at all times.  She was shy about coming up for grain.  She would climb the walls when I entered her lambing jug this spring.  Nothing seemed to ever reassure her that I wanted to be nice and gentle to her.

Then Clancy and I caught all the girls a few days ago to put coats on them.  Lana freaked out when we caught her diving in at the grain pan, and she struggled while we wrestled with her coat.  But we didn't just let her bolt as soon as we finished.  We held her gently and rubbed her chest and scratched her ears for a moment while we softly let go of her, and then she trotted off as soon as she realized she was free. 

Later that day, I visited the pasture to take some pictures.  Without any sort of warning, Lana walked right up to me and put her head in my lap.  I was stunned...even more so when she didn't flinch as I raised my hand and began scratching her ears.  After a nice long lovey session, I was the one to move away first.  And ever since then, Lana has come straight up to me for pets as soon as I enter the pasture.

I treasure miracles such as unexpected and precious!  It might be only a matter of time now before Lana's bewildered, flighty eweling, Penelope, decides to come in close enough with her mother that I can pet her too.  I'm hoping.  :) 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Late Summer Ram Lambs

Ta-Da! The inspiring Trans Am!
I never get tired of photographing this boy.

Tucker's head.  Just minutes before he broke off one of his button scurs.  Wish all my ram lambs had so little horn material!  Tucker has improved in his attitude.  He is seldom even interested in me anymore, and when he does come forward, he sniffs and walks away again.  I never did get him banded.  So I am impressed that he seems to have outgrown his shenanigans.  Tucker is my second largest ram lamb, recessive for moorit, and carrying solid.
Nhu's twin ram lambs, Gwilym & Ian.  Both have gorgeous fleece.  I'm showing their back ends because the moorit was born with what appeared to be a long hairy tail.  It was so out of line with his parentage.  But look at him now...a very small and proper tail!  How these lambs can surprise me.

Here is Nhu's moorit, Ian, from the front.  One of his scurs broke early on, the other is it's original length.  This boy had a spotted forehead at birth.  And I'll be coating him as soon as I get out the needle and thread to repair one more C coat.

Monday, August 8, 2011

August Already... can that be?
Boston Lake Esyllt ('10) & Sextant ('11)
(both wearing size D coats)
We have been having a hot and humid summer with ample (too much!) rain so the pastures have been as lush as can be.  It has almost been hard keeping up with them, but the sheep are doing their best.

Boston Lake Lyneth
Yesterday, Clancy helped me put coats on the ewe/lamb flock.  I wish it hadn't taken me this long to get that accomplished.  At least they have been on pasture since shearing this spring.  No hay feeding without the coats on is my rule around here.

RiverOaks Hannah
All of the ewes are looking good except for Nhu.  She still has her twin ramlings with her, so that might be part of it.  She also tends toward the thin/narrow type.  But I gave her some Valbazen de-wormer anyway.

Boston Lake Trans Am
(S'more Courante x River Oaks Hannah)
Even the lambs were coated.  Most are in a size C coat now.  But Trans's twin, Justina, is still in a B; and Sextant is in a D!  He will be a nice butcher lamb this fall.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tree Placemark

This post is for my benefit: like a bookmark in time so I can look back and see how things were...

My favorite tree died this spring.  An elm that succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease.  It was right in front of the house, so beautiful and shady.  Years ago Clancy and I decided where to build the house based on the placement of that elm tree.  We knew it would likely die from DED before it got too old, but I was hopeful.  I thanked God every year that tree leafed out in the spring... and I mourn its loss.  But we have plans to remove the dead tree and plant another tree in about the same spot next spring.
Below is the other elm tree that was located right outside our back door.  It also gave us lovely shade.  Again, we expected to loose it eventually to disease, but storms took it first.  It lost a huge portion of its top last year in a severe storm, and just the other day it lost another significant portion.  It will be removed this winter.  We'll plant something else there, but put it a little farther away than this one was.
Here is my favorite walnut tree that a friend gave us as a seedling.  We must have put it in the perfect spot because it has grown by leaps and bounds.
Here is the other walnut sapling we planted at the same time.  It was a bit smaller to begin with, but it is in a very shady spot and I think it might need more sun to really take off.
Last, but not least, our great old white pines along the shore.  Most of these trees are doing very well.  The oldest and biggest one (far left) is dying off quite dramatically at the top.  It is a common problem in white pine.  So I also thank God for every year I have with this grand old giant.
My other tree photos wouldn't load today so I will post a sequel soon.