Well, I had a great time at Jefferson! I rode over with Kim Nikolai and Terri Drimel. First stop was Terri's place where I got to see her flock of sheep and llamas. Then it was on to Kim's after dropping off my son at his friend's place. We got a good look Kim's cute little puppies and her flock. We arrived in Jefferson around 8 p.m. and stopped in the Shetland barn. It was nice to see all the Shetland folks that night. I finally got to met Shelley Gooch. Above you see a photo of her Jacob ram Mederic. Look at those horns! I'm glad I don't have to deal with anything like that!
I didn't bring my sheep after all. There were several runny noses in my flock last week. I didn't want to be "the one" to spread any sickness to the other sheep at the show. I brought my Shetland Mules to the vet on Thursday night and he said it was just a mild seasonal upper respiratory thing (the temps went from VERY hot and humid to VERY cool and crisp), but the stress of a 6-hour ride and being away from home probably would not be in their best interest. Knowing that Laura Matthews had agreed to bring her Shetland Mules for the display, I was relieved. Hopefully next year I will remember this and I won't even ENTER any sheep in the shows.
It's always a hard choice though, because they look so good and I'd really like other Shetland people to see them. But then I get paranoid about any little cough, crusty eyes or anything like that. In looking at the sheep that people did bring to Jefferson, there were plenty with crusty eyes and coughing, so other people must not be as concerned about it as I am.
We have been feeding dusty hay, long story, but our good stuff is in the back of the barn where we can't get at it. I have to talk to our hay guy about putting our good stuff in the front and his dusty stuff in the back because sheep just can't eat that dusty hay. Before I left I told Stan not to feed the dusty stuff and sure enough, I came home to no runny noses and no coughing. :-)
Anyway, when I saw how they judged the Mule Show without the aid of halters, I was VERY glad I didn't bring my ewes! My yearling mule is a good size and she's pretty strong. I don't know if I could have held on to her for the line up.
Below, Judge David Cruikshank of the UK looks over the BFL rams and their Mule offspring.
Below, he feels the shoulders of a Scotch Mule ewe lamb.
It was such a blast getting together with all the Shetland people again. If only we had a good place to meet on Saturday night and tip a few, we could catch up better. There were so many things to do, I was on the go the whole time! I only briefly stopped in on one producer's seminar, usually I attend several and am never disappointed. But this year I attended the used equipment auction with Terri Drimel. She's one shrewd bidder! I was beginning to wonder if we would have room in the truck on the way home for all our purchases! She bought Laura's two beautiful Shetland Mules. They were very low priced. She got a great deal!
I picked up my BFL roving from Carol Wagner at Hidden Valley Woolen Mill and she did a great job on it. I only had to ship one box, so I saved there. The fiber is so soft, I spun up a sample skein of the natural colored roving and decided I need to make myself a BFL sweater.
I traded some of the white to Kim for gas $$ and she wants to make a sweater too. So it looks like I will only keep about 4 ounces of the white for myself. I have lots of other BFL fiber to hand-process here at home.
On the way home from Jefferson, we stopped at Cynthia's place in Wisconsin. The countryside was so beautiful there. And she lives on a hill top with a fabulous view. Below is a photo of her rams, two Shetlands and a Wensleydale/Lincoln cross (I think that's what it was), and their guard llama. The young black ram LOVES that llama. It was so cute to see him snuggling up to it.
Cynthia has a solid sided gulmoget ram, he's in the foreground. She says the solid sided gulmogets are not easy to come by only about one in 20 lambs... So it's a good thing I decided to keep my little solid sided Lana here and see what she can produce.
Last night I got a call from the sheriff's office wondering if I was missing a sheep. Apparently a sheep had camped out on someone's deck fairly close by and they wondered if it was mine. I wasn't missing any sheep, so I called a friend who lives closer to place where they found the sheep and she ran over and caught it in the dark last night. She thinks it's a Shetland, I'm going to take a look at it shortly. It's a ewe and she may have fallen off a truck because her face is bruised and she's covered with burrs. She and another sheep were seen on the highway a few days ago. My old neighbor is willing to take her in if we can't find her owners. I only hope the other sheep surfaces soon...will post photos later.