Red Barn Reflections

I was in the right place at the right time for these shots. I can’t decide which I like best. Well, I think I have it narrowed to three or four…or six. I haven’t edited much other than straightening and a little cropping. I could do a lot with the color, but I hesitate to change things to what doesn’t look as natural to me. I’d love to hear what you think. Do you have a favorite?

DSC_8677-2DSC_8685-2DSC_8719-2DSC_8720-2DSC_8732-2DSC_8734-2DSC_8737-218068-2-2DSC_8894-2DSC_8902-2

I could have also titled this “One of these things is not like the other.” Did you see it?

I’ll be working with these photos more and will do some editing to see how that goes.

Advertisements

Breeding Season Starts

October 1 – breeding season starts. Count 148 days more or less and there will be lambs. I know where I’ll be February 26. Farm Club came to help sort sheep.

IMG_2465

There were four breeding groups to sort–ewes that would go to three Jacob rams and Peyton, the BFL. There is also a non-breeding group. I juggled which ewe lambs to not breed–I want to have some to show next spring (maybe take to MSWF to sell?) and to show at State Fair. I debated which ewes to put with Peyton. Obviously those won’t produce purebred Jacob lambs, but the crossbred lambs grow fast and are valuable for market lambs. IMG_2484

We got the rams out and trimmed their feet.

IMG_2482

We got the marking harnesses ready. I use the same color in all of the harnesses. The breeding groups are all in separate places so I’m not trying to sort which ram bred which ewes. If they were all together I’d have fighting rams and still wouldn’t know the sires because there would be multiple breedings. I will change the color in about two weeks. Then I’ll know that all the blue marks are from the first two weeks of breeding and if the ewes are marked with the next color they were bred in the next two weeks.17008 head

This is ewe lamb, Hollyhock. The dirty face and dirty wool is a result of the tall dallisgrass that is now sticky. As a result the sheep are covered with dirt and with dallisgrass seeds.

17059 left horn

I this opportunity to take close-up photos of the ewe lambs that I need to register.

Peyton-2

Here is the main event. Rams working working overtime with their mouths open and tongues out. Uh, Peyton, that’s a wether.

Catalyst

The ewes that are in heat will hang around the ram. Sheena and Shelby were the two who were interested in Catalyst. If Catalyst showed interest in one the other started beating him up.

IMG_2542

This gives new meaning to Fall Colors.

Shearing Day Revisited

Shearing Day here was way back in early February. I wrote a post about shearing the rams, but never got to the rest of it.

As I went through my photos I realized that a lot of them are of people, not sheep. But that is what makes Shearing Day here so fun–my fabulous Farm Club. The Fiber members chose their fleeces this day, but other members were here too. Everyone has a job and it makes the day go so smoothly.

DSC_1913

The star of the show is our shearer, John.

IMG_6772

John’s shearing shoes.

IMG_6703-2

Stephany and Gynna…

IMG_6760

…and Brenda were sheep wranglers, never letting John run out of sheep.

IMG_6739-2

Deborah and Lorrian  pushed sheep to the shearing pen.

IMG_6730-2

Kathleen weighed fleeces.

aDSC_6024

Amy worked the gate in where the sheep left after being shorn.

DSC_5989

Mike swept.

With all these other people working…IMG_6750-2

…I could just lounge.

15584 Hallie

Here is Hallie after shearing…

IMG_6726-2

…and this is the beautiful result.

IMG_6717-2

Trista: “Does this shearing job make my head look big?”

Baa-ble hat-1

Speaking of heads several of us wore our Baa-ble hats.

Baa-ble hat-2

DSC_6056

Some people left before we took these last photos, but there was still quite a crew for this photo.

 

 

Sheep on the Road

This is a blog post that I meant to write a few months ago following our summer Road Trip to Colorado. While traveling I took photos of sheep I saw along the way. I forgot about this until I was going through photos tonight for another project.

dsc_0754

This was a band of sheep on the way to Bodie, a ghost town in Mono County, California. There are more photos of them in the post that is linked above.

So not all hardly any of the sheep I saw were alive. That doesn’t mean they weren’t impressive however.

img_2633

A bighorn ram outside the visitor center at Arches National Park.

img_2634

Another ram inside the gift store.

dsc_0919Petroglyphs seen on one of our hikes in the park…

dsc_0965

…and  a license plate in the parking lot (not a sheep, but I thought a mountain goat was cool anyway).

img_2690

After hiking all day in the park we stopped at the visitor center to fill up our water jugs and spent a little time with this ewe and lamb.

dsc_1001

Maybe it is a stretch but this is a photo of Sheep Mountain on the way to Leadville, Colorado.

img_2712

One of the old buildings in Leadville. OK, so it’s not sheep, but it’s fiber related, right?

img_2713

Also on a street in Leadville.

img_2714

In the restaurant where we had lunch (another mountain goat)…

img_2767

…and in one of the old hotels on the main street.

img_2765

I’d sure love to have brought home this ram…

img_2766

…but that price tag on his leg says $2900 (marked down from $4770).

img_2724

This print was on the wall of our motel room in Leadville.

dsc_1059

Somewhere on the road after leaving Leadville.

dsc_1083

On the way home we saw sheep and some other fiber animals in a few places but I was always too late with the camera. I barely caught these yaks. With the exception of the first day, this was not a sheep-watching trip (at least not live sheep). The last sheep photo I got was one that Dan pointed out to me:

dsc_1585

An anticlimactic photo of sheep on the road.

Shearing at Other Farms

A few weeks ago two of my friends did their fall shearing. Since I didn’t have to do any work I just visited and took photos.

dsc_4081

I don’t know which is which but this is one of Jackie’s Herdwick sheep, either Heddy or Hazel.

dsc_4083

I do know this ewe because she lived here for many years. This is Diamond who is now almost 17 years old.

dsc_4084

Lucy is Diamond’s granddaughter. She is almost 10. dsc_4102

Camelids are not my favorite animals but they can be photogenic. Jackie’s llama is named Peridot…

dsc_4109

…and her alpaca is Evangeline.

dsc_4114

Jackie’s flock after shearing. Jackie shears twice a year because many of her sheep are long-wools and benefit from twice/year shearing. The Jacob sheep will be shorn in the spring.

The next shearing location was Colleen’s place. dsc_4130

This is Colleen’s older ram, Razor,…

dsc_4133

…and her younger ram, Thor.

dsc_0243

When doing anything with the rams at Colleen’s farm you have to deal with the Goose. (Thanks, Dona for this photo.) The Goose is bonded with and protective of Razor (as if he needs protecting) but has a sincere dislike of Thor. Thor usually has to live separately to keep the goose from continually harassing him.

DSC_4145-2.jpg

Razor is about as big as John, the shearer, and probably weighs more.

dsc_4156

Velvet, the cat, enjoying the sun and the smell of lanolin.

dsc_4164

Colleen raises Romeldale and CVM sheep that have very fine wool…

dsc_4163

…and the unique “badger” face pattern.

dsc_4165

dsc_4207

After shearing we enjoyed surprise birthday cupcakes (mine–yes, I chose to spend my birthday watching sheep shearing) at Colleen’s outdoor table. Velvet joined us.

 

One More State Fair Post

Before I get back to my Road Trip blogs I have a few more photos to share. No big surprises in this post like there were in the last one, but Dona sent me the great photos that she had taken of the show. And since I’m writing another fair post I’ll include a few others as well.

I didn’t see much of the fair besides the livestock area but I walked around briefly. Here is what caught my eye.

IMG_3122

On the wall of the livestock office.

IMG_3147

Another longhorn, this time with not-so-symmetrical horns.

IMG_3141

A “corn-box” for children.

IMG_3142-2

This seems like a good idea for kids but I think I’d want it far from my house. It’s hard to tell in the photo but there are metal bars hanging at each station for banging “music making”.

IMG_3159

I always like walking through “The Farm” to get ideas for my garden. I like these bricks that made the corners of the raised beds. It would be easy to change the location of the beds.

DSC_8141

Back to the show ring. Rotor was sometimes reluctant at moving around the ring.

DSC_8168

Here he is at the head of the class of Shetlands and Karakuls.

DSC_8216

This is the Primitive Breeds Champion judging.

DSC_8218

DSC_8248

None of my other sheep did as well as Rotor. The judge preferred his fleece over that of my other sheep, although I think they are just fine. Meridian Honey, shown by my husband, had won Champion Jacob ewe at Black Sheep Gathering in June, but she was last in this class. That is part of showing any livestock, especially Jacob sheep. There is such a wide variety in acceptable traits in our sheep that it may not really be appropriate to judge them against each other. That is why Jacobs used to be judged by “card-grading”. Each sheep would get a “grade” based on the characteristics–not putting one of a similar grade above another. But that’s not how it’s done in traditional livestock shows.

DSC_8258

These are my two yearling ewes, Meridian Honey and Meridian Zinnia.

DSC_8319

This is the Jacob portion of the Primitive Breeds ewe lamb class. The two lambs without much color have a bit more on the other side. They are sisters and my friend, Mary, has bought one of them.

DSC_8362

Here is our Flock entry in the Primitive Breeds Division.

DSC_8380

Rotor’s debut on the photo stage after winning this show. See the previous blog for his other winning photos.