Sunday, April 13, 2008
A Lull in Lambing...
I took some photos of the lambs this morning, Elsa's white ewe lambs are so photogenic.
Gosh, they are all SO cute and SO friendly! What fun to see them run and bounce as only lambs can do. They love being petted and having chin scratches. Oh the fleeces feel soft too. Below is a photo of Hannah's mioget ram lamb. He's built like a brick house. You can see his horns are coming in now.
We suffered through a nasty snowstorm here this week. I had to lock the girls inside the barn for two days. The wind was coming from the east and blowing right into the ewe and lamb area. We only got about 6 inches of heavy wet snow, but the winds were awful and the temps plummeted. It was like being in February again - very depressing. School was closed too. Things are really starting to melt today and the wind has died down. The girls were glad to be able to go outside again yesterday, even if there is just snow and no grass. The forecast is for 60 degree temps this week. I hope that comes true!
I had to supplement one of Elsa's twins who had a difficult time locating the teat. She's the one in the sunbeam photos above - so cute, but blonde I'm afraid. She finally managed to nurse on her own at the ripe old age of a day and a half. Being part BFL, she was looking way up high for the teat. And Elsa, being a Shetland, has a huge bag so the teats were very low.
Here is a shot of her twin sister taken this afternoon...these girls so much fun to photograph.
Thank goodness all ended well with that lamb figuring out how to nurse. But it wasn't until after I ordered myself an Udderly EZ Milker. I have wanted one since they first came out, but they are quite expensive. I think it will help in emergency situations. I still plan to improve my hand-milking technique since long-term use of the EZ Milker isn't supposed to be all that good for udder health. It's a good thing I didn't need it right away, because I still haven't gotten it. Maybe the snowstorm slowed down UPS a bit. It should be here tomorrow for sure. Anyway, I will be ready if I need it for the BFLs or the mules. They are all first timers, and I just don't know how good they will be as mothers. Fingers are crossed here!
We've had a lull in lambing activity for four and a half days now. I'm getting the urge for a lamb fix again. I've pulled myself back together and cleaned the house, washed clothes and fleece and have been cooking nutritious meals for the family. Being unemployed has allowed me to totally immerse myself in all things sheep. At least when I had a job I would get away and concentrate on other things for a while.
In an effort to widen my scope, I will let you know about some other exciting things that have been developing around here.
I am all signed up to go to the Midwest Felting Symposium this July in Madison, WI. I am really excited about it. There will be felters from all over the world in attendance. I'll be taking a hat class from a Scottish felter, Ewa Kuniczak and taking "Botanical Felt" class with Leslie Samson. I'm SO grateful to Nancy Hoerner for inviting me to go along with her and encouraging me to enter something in the art show too. Now I just have to get going on creating another piece!
Last week I ordered "Uniquely Felt" by Christine White. It's a great book on felting which includes lots of the newer techniques such as nuno felting and cobweb felting. There are so many things to be done with felt. I just happen to have come into the possession of some BFL cross fiber that is super soft and felts almost immediately. I plan to use that for cobweb felt scarves. I'm drumcarding it into batts now. I wish I knew what the cross was. I washed my own crosses' fleece this week and can't wait to try felting that too.
I also ordered my aunt Kathy's latest murder mystery, "The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies". From reading the jacket cover, this looks like a good one. It is her fourth in a series of murder mysteries featuring her main character, John McIntire, a town constable in Michigan's upper peninsula. I'm not a fast reader, so I'm letting Stan be the first to read this while I get through lambing and the felting book.
Nancy Hoerner has a new book, "Felt Inlays", coming out in July. I want to get that too.