Sunday, January 31, 2010

Email and Website Down

Unfortunately, my server is experiencing difficulties and my website is down. My email associated with the website is also out of commission.  So if you are trying to contact me, please use riveroaksshetlands at yahoo dot com.
Sorry about the inconvenience, hopefully things will be back to normal soon.
This is our oldest ewe, Bramble Cordelia. She'll be 11 in March.  She's an F1 Minder, Ag Katmoget, one of a set of quadruplets. Her fleece is the longer wavy type, very nice.  Her micron tests for 2009 came back at 25.9 AFD, 5.7 SD, and 21.9 CV.
She's still quite a character and one of my favorites.  I kept both of the twins she raised last summer, Camille, an Ag gulmoget and Greyson, an Ag grey with 1" scurs.  She wasn't exposed to a ram this year. I will keep her in with unbred ewe lambs at lambing along with Shachah.  No lambs due here until the second week of April.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Busy!


Sorry to scare everyone with that last title. I've been so busy with all my volunteer activities and the excitement of LOTS of new arts grant funding here in Minnesota. So many things to consider and possibilities!
Life is pretty good with only 16 sheep here now (until Sebastian comes home) and lambing not due to start until April.  The ewes run and jump enjoying the cool weather.

Shachah and Ozzie are doing great, but the cats are driving me crazy again.  The young one gets stir crazy in the winter and bugs his poor old mom to no end.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Heartbreak and Disappointment

I wasn't going to get my hopes up this time. I knew it could go either way, all I really wanted was a respectable showing - not a blow out.  But when the Vikings had possession with under a minute left in the NFC Championship game, and all they needed was a field goal, I really thought they would win and be on their way to the Super Bowl.  And then came the 12 men in the huddle penalty and then even worse, the interception that put the game into overtime.  Oh yes, heartbroken again!  Thankfully there are lots of other exciting things in life to concentrate on until the sting goes away...

The disappointment in my title comes from Greyson's fleece.  I parted it a week or so ago and found the dreaded cream colored band at the base that is characteristic of his Ag genetics.  I can only hope that it's just a seasonal band and his fleece will retain at least some of his beautiful grey color as it grows out.  I know that is wishful thinking.  But I can hope.  Just like Vikings fans keep hoping that someday, maybe someday we will get to the big one and win it. :-)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Serendipitous Typo

It's another cold morning here in Mora (-17F), but things are finally supposed to warm up in the coming days - yay! 
I have to feed the sheep and then get on the road to my first Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers meeting, 116 miles away.
Just wanted to share what I found when I went to check my Gmail account for messages.  I inadvertently typed in gamil.com.  There I found a blog with wonderful cut paper art and a cool video. I love pop-up artwork - so this was like a treat from the universe to me. For those of you who never make typos, here's a link.  Enjoy!

http://www.gamil.com/

I'm adding it to my blog list. :-)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Welcome to 2010! Goodbye 2009

Well here we are at the start of a new year!  I always love New Year's Day because it's time to start over and get organized, clear out the clutter of  the previous year.  Time to start fresh.

BUT my goodness, it's COLD out there!  We had -22F this morning and we got up to +2F this afternoon, the forecast is for -26F tonight.  The sheep take it in stride, in fact the ewes have been kicking up their heels quite a bit lately.  So far the chickens and the geese are taking it well too. Last night was the first time I've closed up the chicken's barn all winter.

Diamond and Opal, two BFL/Shetland cross ewe lambs, left this afternoon to go live in Alexandria, MN -- it's even colder there!  Mabeline will join them on Thursday.  She's Opal's mother and Diamond's grandmother. I'm glad to see her go to a good home with other sheep in her line. She's my last white Shetland ewe. I always loved the fact that she rooed easily and carries spots and is an all around friendly sheep with great fleece. 
I'll probably be in the market for a polled white ram lamb next summer to use on my Shetland ewes next fall. Preferably one who carries moorit, modified genetics and spots and has a low micron 3-5" staple.  It goes without saying that he would need excellent conformation too.


I've got all my rams together again and I'm hoping Greyson (the Shetland ram lamb) will be okay.  We've still got open ewes cycling in another pasture and that makes the rams edgy.  Granite was really going nuts the other night.  I had him all alone for a few days but put Harwell in with him when the cold temps were setting in. Late in the afternoon of New Year's Eve Granite was really agitated.  So I decided to get Harwell out of there and let Granite cool his heels alone again.  Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans, it turned out that all the rams wound up together again. It was amazing how high Socks and Greyson leaped though the open gate to get in with Granite and Harwell. And little Greyson didn't back down from Granite this time around.  I've kept an eye on them and they seem to be getting along well now.  Finally! We have one more Shetland ram lamb to add to the group when he gets back from breeding ewes in Isanti, MN.  I'm not looking forward to that.

Shachah is doing well.  I've seen no sign of his arthritis acting up in this cold weather.  He stays with the ewes most of the time now.  I found out that he loves warm water on his dry dog food.  So usually he's happy to run to his calf hut while I follow with his food.  The blue moon we had this week made the nights so bright, I could see Shachah barking out in the moonlit, snow-covered pasture.  Not sure what he was barking at, but having him out with the ewes eases my mind.


I want to wish all my blog readers a peaceful and enlightening new year.  If you are a shepherd or an artist, I hope you create things that make YOU happy.  If your creations turn out to be what you are striving for and give you satisfaction, don't worry about what other people (or judges) think of your choices.  But always leave room to grow and change your mind as you gain experience and insight.  Life is not stagnant, it's a flowing stream.  We never know where it will take us.

Last New Year's Day I would have never imagined that we would have a big white LGD living at our house.  I would have never imagined that I would be the Secretary of the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers Association and the Treasurer of the Bluefaced Leicester Union of North America.  Yes, the year ahead is already full of new challenges for me, and who knows what else I'll manage to squeeze in there!  Here's a hint though, I'd really like to get some calves this spring. :-)


I'm sorry to say that I've had to enable comment moderation on this blog due to recent spamming.  I guess that's the way things go these days...