Blackflies have landed

Hiding out from the blackflies
Hiding out from the blackflies

Or Mayflies, if you want.  They are still small, but as pesky as the adult variety.  They drive the animals and the humans crazy!    With all the ‘off the ocean’ breezes (or heavy-duty winds) that we have had recently, why have they forsaken us now?  It’s the only fix for  blackfly aggravation.

Elf and Zelda the goats hide out in the greenhouse
Elf and Zelda the goats hide out in the greenhouse

Oh well.  It also means that it is warming up, and I think that it is about time. As we wait on our goat kid babies, it’s nice to be able to enjoy the warmth.

Another wool dyeing weekend

Sock yarn
Sock yarn

P1000962In an effort to try and get some stuff together for the Maine Fiber Frolic coming right up in early June, I have taken advantage of the good weather to do some dyeing.  The wind has been consistently strong here on the coast, so I am continuing to steam my skeins in the oven.  (Not only is the flame on the lobster cooker a little bit dangerous in the wind, but the cooker also got a little smashed over the winter and it needs to be fixed).

Trying to be more creative with my colors.  Space-dyeing is a lot of fun and not easy to  replicate, but many of the combinations I use seem to reflect what I have done before.  Of course, I only ever seem to have a limited number of colors on hand, so that may have something to do with it!  Hopefully other folks will enjoy them as much as I do.

Now, back to work.  Or maybe a trip up to visit with the lambs first :*)

 

Great weather, nothing much new

Lambie crowd at the hay feeder while Zelda the goat looks on
Lambie crowd at the hay feeder while Zelda the goat looks on

Really, the work week just flew by. The last few afternoons I have gotten home punctually and had the opportunity to really spend a lot of time with the babies out in the paddock.  The lambs are just at the stage where they have discovered hay and grain.  They are very serious about their space at the feeder for a short time after I put the feed out.  And then the playtime begins :*)

Ewe lamb #3133 on the alert for Henny Penny, aka Bad Chicken
Ewe lamb #3133 on the alert for Henny Penny, aka Bad Chicken

Our one and only ewe lamb showed up on Friday afternoon with her tail bobbed just like Bertie’s.  She is a beautiful ewe and I hope that she grows well.  She is not sure that she likes or trusts Henny Penny, however! She was riveted to the fence as Bad Chicken was clucking contentedly on the other side of the barrier.  So I got a chance to snap a couple of photos of her.  She still does not have an official name yet.  We are working on it.

We have tail touchdown!

Bertie with his new look
Bertie with his new look

The first lambie tail has dropped off.  Our earliest lamb, HoneyBea’s boy Bertie, lost it some time during the day today.  We band their tails with castration bands at 1-2 days old and the bottom part of the tail withers and falls off, usually in about 2 + weeks.  It’s definitely given him that “big boy” look! Handsome devil!

P1000952This afternoon I stumbled on it over by the big rock where the babies play.  Hate it when the children grow up so fast!

 

 

(Tail on the big rock)

Calmer days

After the weekend with an ailing lamb, things have more or less returned to normal.  Back to work on a sunny but cool day.  All the sheep and goats seem to be fine, for the moment.  The lambs are cavorting and the mamas are calling.  All’s right with the world for the moment!

A few photos of a relaxed day.

Lambs play tag around the feeder
Lambs play tag around the feeder
One of Esther's ram lambs
One of Esther’s ram lambs
Lambs in the creep
Lambs in the creep

Lamb recap

P1000890I thought I would insert a happy lamb photo or two here, as the outcome of our little spinal cord injury boy was not good.  Definitely not the result we were hoping for, but it was a pretty drastic injury.  In terms of the farm income, it’s also a fairly devastating loss, but there are no guarantees when you are dealing with livestock.

Well-deserved rest in the sun!
Well-deserved rest in the sun after playing hard!

The other lambs are enjoying the sun, playing hard, and resting hard as well.  And it is a gorgeous day for the last hurrah of April break.  I still have a lot of things on my ‘to do’ list, but maybe we can get some relaxing time in as well!

Another lamb mishap

 

Definitely little boy blue
Definitely little boy blue

We don’t know how it happened, but Etti’s white ram lamb is not in very good shape today.  When I went out to chores this morning I found him on the wrong side of the fence, over in with Jingle the Donkey, 2 goats and 3 ewes.  We didn’t hear any crazed calling during the night, so we really don’t know when it happened. The lamb was not chilled, so I am thinking sometime early morning.

It appears as though he may have a spinal cord injury, or may have broken his back.  We brought him inside, and he has been hanging out in the dining room by the table.  We were advised to give him an anti-inflammatory to see if that might take some swelling down.  Not a great prognosis, I am afraid.  But for now we will continue watching him and feeding him bottles, and I guess continue hoping for a miracle :*(

Frog central

Sweater in progress
Sweater in progress, colors are nicer than in the photo!

No peepers are involved here!  I am only speaking of the sweater I began knitting about a year ago.  Beautiful yarn from our flock that I had hand-dyed.  I have been working on this neck-down sweater for the past year, and I have gotten far enough that I believe I cannot go much farther. I dyed the skeins that I thought I would need, and  I think it was not enough.  I am not finished with the body of the sweater and there definitely is not enough yardage to knit the sleeves, even if I used a different yarn for the trim band.

And so I am thinking about frogging the project and knitting a lovely vest instead of a sweater!  It might be just the ticket.  I love, love love the yarn, so I guess that I can rip-it, rip-it, rip-it.  And move on.  Big sigh.

Monday lighthouse afternoon

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Yesterday on the spur of the moment I decided to take a ride down to the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park.  I wanted to take a little walk, and I also try and get down there at least once over the April break.  The breaking waves and the sound of the waves and the smell of the salt water is a very restorative thing.  It was a beautiful afternoon.  I know that I have posted photos many times of the lighthouse and the park, but I am going to add a few more here.  I didn’t hear about the bombing in Boston until I got home late in the afternoon.  Another unimaginable moment.  Nothing to say except that it boggles my mind that anyone can want to create such madness.  I am glad I was down at the park for the afternoon.  Nothing like the bombing makes sense at all to me.  But as so many others are saying, my thoughts are with the city of Boston and all of those families that were affected by this.

 

Sunny Monday, April break 2013

Etti and her babies take a milk bar break (can't see her little black ram under there)
Etti and her babies take a milk bar break (can’t see her little black ram under there)

It was a windy but gorgeous day yesterday, first day of April break.

As all the lambs are on the ground, I have needed to get going on creating a creep area for them (where they can get through a gate that the mamas cannot get through, to eat grain and hay free choice).  I couldn’t set one up until I had the two yearling ewes in the other group with Jingle the Donkey.  Two years ago we had a creep set up and one of our yearling ewes (Beezus) was not adult-sized but also was not baby-sized, and she got caught in the creep gate.  My husband got her freed from the gate after taking the whole thing apart, but she is the one who had the pre-pubic tendon rupture last year before her lambs were born, so I am thinking that her time forced halfway through the creep gate might have been a contributing factor.

Our beautiful one and only ewe lamb
Our beautiful one and only ewe lamb

Not wanting this situation to play itself out again, I decided to put off the creep until I could get the two yearling ewe lambs and Beezus the ewe out of that group and in with the donkey’s group.  This meant that I needed to get coats changed, and these three also needed their CD&T shots (which everyone else got at shearing in March).  That was our goal yesterday afternoon, and we got it done, I am thankful to say.

Lambs lounging
Lambs lounging