'Twas Shearing Day
It was a busy day at CMF. Our shearer, Marcia arrived at 9:00 am.. and we got right to work.
but before she arrived, I snapped a quick picture of my Iris that just popped open today :-)
(that's for Amanda) Check out her fascinating blog about the fleur-de-lis.
The animals were already confined by K - and they stood in the corner, as if to say... no, no, not me today!
Our Shetland rams were the first. They look so huge with their fleeces on. Apollo (the black/grey one) is a handfull ! Normally, we chase him around for 20 mintues or so before he is caught. Today, with the help of a neighbor, Caesar, he was captured right away.
Marcia, our shearer - is a gem! She'll croon a soft tune to the animals while she's shearing, to calm them and reassure them. so sweet. Normally, after the first year they have been shorn, the process does not scare them. They 'suffer the indignity' with calm surrender.
Apollo and Merlin were quickly done. The male goats were shorn standing since they were so large.
Merlin peeked his head thru K's legs, as if to say.. "oh, the embarassment of it all". Still he looks regal - even with no fleece!
The Shetland rams don't look nearly as intimidating without all that fiber on! Emo even stuck his tongue out at me while I took his picture (oh mom.. don't take a picture of me looking like this!)
Once all the boys were completed, we moved on to the girls.They were bleating and hollaring (their babies had "escaped" thru the large hog panel-fence and were prancing merrily around the pasture while the mama's awaited shearing. "Bleh to this shearing business" pouted Iris - one of the Shetland Mamas :-)
The fleeces turned out to be difficult to shear - perhaps the rainy extremes of last January - perhaps the urgent moving of them from the flooding pastures - whatever it was, Marcia really had to work this time. The sheep had begun to "rue" (which means to try and shed their fleece on their own) and it was a tough go to even get her shears through the fleeces.
The shetlands are such tiny sheep - so sweet and so dear. They love to have their chins rubbed - and will almost get hypnotized by this.
All the tiny baby shetlands were jumping around. One got very very curious about Marcia's tool box.
They lined up and seemed to almost pose for me - perking their ears.. what's goin' on Mom?
Here's a picture of a shetland Mama after shearing. they're so tiny!.. Little teddy bears on four legs!
And then we have a couple of no-brand (we call them 'heinz 57 mix) sheep.. humongo girls..
This one is called "Easter" (since she was born on Easter three years ago). Here she is pre-shearing..
and getting her hooves trimmed.. and then
after. She has amazing fleece.
I will now pick through it and see if her fleece was also damaged by the heavy winter rains.
The rest of the damaged fleeces will be dumped on the rocks and dirt on our hillside.. and next year we'll have incredible grass :-) It is truly fun that there is absolutely no waste at all in this fiber industry! Our hillside will look a little "wooly" to our neighbors for a time - but it's great fertilizer!
Last but not least - this is a sky photo for Sandy... can you see the whale in the clouds?