Today was the day! Our assigned piglets are 8 weeks old and were ready for pickup. So we saddled up the truck with some crates, and headed up. Of course, today we were having another deluge of rain, with chances of street flooding. At least the temps are nice and cool, so we didn’t have to worry about the piglets overheating on the way home, which made things a little easier.
This year our piggies came from a purebred Red Wattle litter. Needless to say, they are cuter than cute. 2 barrows and a gilt. (Barrows are castrated males and a gilt is a female who has never been bred or farrowed). They have a lot of green stuff to eat and a nice piggie hut, so hopefully they will be happy here. It always feels like just one more thing to organize, but once they are here, we enjoy them immensely. Great animals with wonderful personalities. The Red Wattles are supposed to be very docile and gentle in nature, and if our last year’s pigs are anything to judge by, I would agree (they were crossbred Red Wattles). I hope they settle in well. They are in a nicely shaded area which is good, since tomorrow the heat and humidity are due back into the area. Ugh!
Rain again, and a lot of it! At least the temperatures have gone down in the past 24 hours. Out in the squishy wet paddocks this morning I was totally surprised by some new growth. Mushrooms! I don’t know what kind, I should really get out the book, but in all the beaten dirt in the pens, it was delightful to stumble over them.
It feels as though someone hit the ‘hot’ switch and now we are having a week of the hot and humids. It is almost July, after all, so what can we expect!
This morning it was Jingle the Donkey’s turn to get some pampering. We had an appointment with Farrier Fred, and so after I fed all the sheep and the goats, I took Jingle out of the paddock, haltered her, and took her to a nice grazing area near one of the greenhouses. She got a little bit of shade there, and while she munched, I finished grooming what was left of her winter coat off of her. She loves to be groomed, and I don’t do it enough. This should be the last time this season that I need to comb her for shedding, though! So she was ready for the farrier. He came on time, as usual, and they worked in the shade of the driveway. She is good to go until late August, so that is another thing off my summer list!
We had some little breezes blowing through the house earlier today, and other than cleaning out some long overdue items from the fridge, I have not done that much. It’s in the ’90s outside, and I am guzzling ice water until it’s time to go to the grocery. Not in the mood for anything hot tonight, so we are going to put our leftover steak onto salads. I think that’s about all we may be up for :*)
And Tesser has even given up sleeping in her sunny windowsill and has taken up her napping position on top of one of our shorn fleeces in the corner. I am sure she was not happy to find out that the windowsill was even too hot for a naked little chihuahua belly!
Another weekend and week has come and gone and I have not gotten a blog post out. I am still battling back issues and trying to get into summer mode. A lot of things around here are wanting accomplishment, so yesterday I continued trying to get the ‘fiber loft’ in order. Reorganizing books and back issues of magazines had me happily engaged for a few hours. The fiber stash needs a lot more organizing, however!
This past Saturday marked the third of our Bristol Farmer’s Markets for this summer. This year we are installed right in the middle of Bristol Mills at Ellingwood Park, instead of being farther down the peninsula. It’s a great spot, and because of the area, our booths are closer together and it’s a little cozier.
Our little goatie boy is growing like a weed. We don’t usually disbud (or dehorn) bucklings here as they are mostly destined to go for meat. This little one is showing his hornbuds now and is getting to be the class clown of the paddock. He excels at teasing the lambs and then running away. He is like greased lightning, and unlike his mother SnowPea, is definitely not interested in interacting with me!
Getting ready today for the incoming high humidity and heat. We can’t complain too much, we have been having very cool weather up until the past week or so. This will mark the beginning of ‘real summer!”
It’s been a long one, that’s for sure. Still gimping around, although my back is very slowly getting better. I can mostly walk up the driveway without too much trouble, but still no lifting at all, and I need lots of rests in between. I took over milking SnowPea but can’t carry the bucket back up to the house, so I must depend on John for that. I think the massage that nearly killed me on Monday definitely loosened things up!
It’s now almost the summer solstice already and today was absolutely one of the most gorgeous days we have had. 70s with a little breeze accompanied by sun all day. It was a pleasure even when I was resting inside. Our friends from down the peninsula came this afternoon to pick up the two lambs they are buying from us and it had to have been a record for lamb-capture! (I usually pen everyone in a small area so that we can just pluck the lucky ones out, but I couldn’t set up a pen because of my back. That meant that all the sheep and goats were just milling about in the whole area.) Mike and I walked into the paddock and as Fern’s white ram ambled past him, I told him that was one of them and he had him in a heartbeat. While Mike was getting the ram settled in the car, I showed his wife where the other one was (hiding under a flap of the greenhouse to get away from the bugs), and she just stood next to him and when he began to get up, she had him. We didn’t need to get the grain bucket out, but we also didn’t get to have a little bit of a chat, the boys were in their car so quickly! I am sure that they are settling in well in their new home. Big boys both of them. They will grow well and I am glad they have found a good home. And, it’s two less mouths for us to feed :*)
Last week and a half of school and it has been a wild ride. Lots to finish up, lots of evening activities, and I am exhausted. I have been trying to get our sheep and goats out and around the paddock areas to eat up the grass and scrub as a preliminary to getting the ewes down to the field.
But of course, there is a fly in the ointment. Early on Wednesday morning I apparently tore some muscles in my lower left back and around into my leg (just cruising through the living room getting ready for work, and bending over to scoop a bag off the floor). Not fun. So painful I even went to the doctor. I have no patience for long healing issues, but I guess I don’t have any choice here. Luckily I have not often experienced pain so bad that it could make me throw up. John has been doing chores, bless him, as I can’t even make it halfway up the driveway yet. Hopefully the doctor is correct that it should feel a lot better in 4 or 5 days and within a few weeks, much much better! It’s killing me not getting up there to interact with my babies.
Today’s goal: practice standing up straight without too many #$&*%s! Aargh.
The only photos I have here are from earlier in the week, when the sun was actually out :*)
The Fiber Frolic went well, even allowing for the nasty, humid hot weather. I don’t believe that we had as many visitors coming through, but it was enjoyable catching up with old friends and folks I don’t see as often as I would like.
On another note, our little bucky boy is doing well. I was kind of concerned in the beginning that he was not getting enough milk from Mama SnowPea. Her teats are extremely large and they hang very low. I can see him walking up to them, butting, and then not latching on. But he is pooping and peeing regularly and he is a perky little pete. I finally got a chance to see him in action: SnowPea gets down on her front knees and tilts her udder up to him and he gets on from behind! What a hoot! What a good mama! And today I actually saw him grab hold from the front for a few seconds. He is already nibbling on hay, and now that they are on the side of the fence with the lambs, he will have the creep feed to snack on as well. That will be good.
Another interesting thing: the lambs don’t know what to do with him! They follow him around, but they don’t mess with him. Maybe SnowPea has already given the mother’s warning! Don’t mess with my baby :*) His auntie, Pippi, is being a wonderful caregiver as well. She allows him to nibble on her beard and jump all over her! When I went out this morning, he was sleeping between her and SnowPea. How much better can it get.
It couldn’t have been more hot and humid if it had tried! Not too many people were very interested in cuddling wool, but our goat milk soaps were a big hit. The heat and humidity was so bad it made me feel sick. Luckily there was a breeze coming through our building, so if I stood in the aisle, I could feel it.
The booth came together quite nicely, and I got one photo of it at some point during a lull in the traffic.
In spite of the heat, it was still a great time. Got to see a lot of friendly faces, bumped into some old friends I have not seen in quite awhile, and met many new people as well. It’s always good!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!