Sunday, July 29, 2007

SERENDIPITY......

ser·en·dip·i·ty (srn-dp-t)
n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties
1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
3. An instance of making such a discovery.

ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Noun 1. serendipity - good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries
fluke, good fortune, good luck - a stroke of luck

Meet "Little Red Oak Serendipity" Sera came home to live in the Bluff Country yesterday. She is exquisite. I purchased her from Gail VonBargen and Gail let me choose her name. I gave it a lot of thought because I want the name to somehow symbolize all that has happened in the past few months and the new beginning that is about to take place at Bluff Country Shetlands.

Sera didn't make the trip alone... If I'm "starting over", I need a new ram. Don't cha think??? This handsome fellow is "Kimberwood Hunter". Hunter was bred by Kim Nikolai, of Kimberwood Shetlands and traces back to my lines. Alice is his great-grand dam! Hunter is a fawn or mioget, HST who has the most luscious fleece and is just a sweetie!

Sera and Hunter will spend some time in "quarantine" before mingling with my flock. That also gives me time to befriend Sera (Hunter is already a charmer) and halter train them both.
DREAM says.... ..."Good Luck with that, Mom! We all know those 'brown factored' lambs are a little slow to learn....."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Halter Lessons and a SURPRISE....

It seems that each year, I have one ewe lamb who remains very shy and does NOT want to make friends. It is usually Alice's daughter. This year, it is Sheltering Pine Diva's gorgeous, little "DILEMMA". The little turd will NOT let me touch her. I've managed to catch her a couple of times and held her and petted her ~ just to prove that I wouldn't hurt her, but she is not impressed. Wild child. So, I decided that it was time for little Dilemma to have her first halter lesson. I am WAY behind on halter lessons this year. As one would expect, Dilemma was not particularly thrilled with the idea of having a rope connecting her to me. She did the usual throwing herself about and acrobatic leaps and rolls. Dilemma was SO dramatic that eventually, Dream became concerned and came over to reassure her. (that's my Dreamer!)
If you've read of my halter training exploits before, you may remember how most of the lambs start out in hysterics but quickly settle down and follow me obediently for cookies. Not Dilemma.

She would EAT a cookie, when I held it by her mouth, but she would NOT take one single step to get it. As soon as I removed her halter, Dilemma raced back to her mother and I have not touched her since. We'll have to work on this one...
;-)

In the meantime: guess what I may be doing...That is NOT Dilemma. It is a beautiful, little, moorit & white, HST ewe lamb at Gail VonBargen's , in central Minnesota. I'm going to be paying Gail a visit this weekend....

It really is looking like I'm going to be keeping my home. Which means that BLUFF COUNTRY SHETLANDS WILL STAY IN BUSINESS! To celebrate, I'm thinking I really do NEED a new moorit and white, HST ewe lamb. Don't you agree???

DREAM says.... ..."I don't know, Mom. The one you've got doesn't seem like the brightest bulb in the chandelier....."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hand Shearing Zodiak & Zest...

It's that time of year again. Time for the annual hand shearing of my "swamp creatures". Zest and Zodiak almost always need to be re sheared during the summer as they have matted growth on the ends of their fleece from where they were sheared before the "rise". When the new fleece starts growing out, they truly do look like "swamp creatures"!If you click on this picture to enlarge it, you can see how the fleece along Zodiak's back is splitting off. You may notice how thrilled Zodiak is to be tied up so that I can hand shear her. "What are you looking at????"

Here you can see the smooth line between the fleece that I'm removing and the new coat, beneath it. I'm getting pretty darned GOOD at this!!

One down and one to go. You can see how thrilled Zodiak is to be finished. And ZEST is so anxious to have her turn that she's rubbing on the gate. Zest is an excellent example of what I mean when I say my girls look like SWAMP CREATURES! Isn't she gross????

Zest's beautiful daughter, "Bella Luna" keeps a close on on her mom... The clean area on Zest's back gives me a good place to start. The fleece comes off in large pieces but is fairly difficult to shear as the matted clumps really stick to the new growth. Zest does NOT like having her fleece hand sheared.

Fortunately, I'm getting fairly quick at it. I had both girls done in less than an hour. Don't they look better????

I have a little bit of "touching up" to do on Flash and Zaria but no one else that needs to be completely re sheared. I use the felted fleece that I removed as mulch, in my garden. It works great for keeping weeds down and holding in moisture!

DREAM says.... ..."Mom said I look beautiful and I don't even need a 'touch up!'. It's too bad those other girls aren't more like ME... "

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What's GROWING in the Bluff Country???

BESIDES Lambs, that is....I've never actually thought I planted a "garden", but I do seem to be acquiring quite a number of growing plants as time passes in the Bluff Country. This is one of my favorites, the "Day Lilies". They come in a variety of lovely colors and sizes...This beautiful, "Peach" is one of my favorites. I have Day Lilies planted right outside my back door as well as all along the side of my ewe barn. They are so bright and cheerful!
Also by the ewe barn, I have Clematis. This is the first year that I've had two colors, blooming at the same time! The vines fill a trellis, just outside the door into the ewe barn.

I can't remember WHAT kind of bush this is! I planted it after the second time that my ewes ate my (highly toxic to sheep) Rhododendron bush. Thank goodness my girls didn't KNOW that they are highly toxic! Nobody got sick. Just to be safe, I asked the guy at the garden center for something that would NOT be toxic to my sheep.

Another plant that my sheep love (to eat!) is "Hosta". I really should check into growing these as a "crop", since my sheep devour them, every chance they get and they continue to grow back thicker every year.

One flowering plant that the sheep DON'T like is my "Impatience". I love these brightly colored beauties. I have LOTS of colors planted between the Day Lilies and Hostas, around the ewe barn, as well as in hanging baskets between the windows of the ewe barn.

I've always loved "Geraniums" and this bright red beauty sits on the little table, next to the lawn chair I sit on, when I'm watching the rams in their pasture.

I was going to post photos of my pumpkin patch (full of BEAUTIFUL, big, yellow flowers!) and tomato & pepper plants, but I think that's enough photos for one day!

Jeez! I practically DO have a "GARDEN"!

DREAM says......."My favorites are (IN order): Clematis, Hostas and Day Lilies. YUM!

Monday, July 16, 2007

She's Baaaaaaack!

There she is... Our world famous Federal Vet Technician, KELLY, hard at work doing my flock's annual Scrapie Certification visit. As you can see, this was an exhausting job for Kelly and extremely traumatizing for "Mc Steamy".

WHAT???? We were just recovering from the exertion! Actually, the ram lambs were the fist to get 'worked over'. Kelly and I gave them their shots, put their scrapie tags in their ears and I trimmed their hooves. It is SO much easier with HELP!!!!

It's amazing how cooperative the ram lambs were when they knew there were cookies involved....

When the boys were done, we moved on to the ewes and ewe lambs. Everyone got a pedicure and the lambs all got shots and ear tags. What a relief to have that done for the year! Kelly, you're the GREATEST!!!! I couldn't do it without you. Thank you!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A first in the Bluff Country....

Guess what I did?????
Today was the first day that Mom let me come in with her when she went in to feed the ram lambs! I was sitting, quietly, outside the gate, like I always do, when Mom called for me to come to her....The boys were all huddled around their food dish, so I ran around them, so as not to disturb their meal and went straight to Mom. She praised me and gave me a treat and told me what a smart and wonderful puppy I am!

I figured I may as well 'quit while I was ahead' so headed back out into the back yard to watch. But Mom called me back in again! So I carefully ran around the hungry ram lambs and back to Mom. Who, once again, gave me wonderful treats and told me what a great dog I am!Back and forth ~ back and forth. Mom sure was proud of me!
We played this fun game for a while and then Mom took me down by the road to 'get the mail'. She put my long leash on my collar and as we walked down the hill, Mom would call my name. If I turned and looked at her, she told me what a good puppy I was and gave me more treats! It was WAY cool!! Pretty soon, I'd go all the way to the end of my long leash and Mom would say "Bella" and I'd run back to her for my treat. Mom said that I did very well for my first serious training. ....what ever that means.

All I know is that it was FUN!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Growing Ram Lambs...

"BLUFF COUNTRY MC STEAMY"
Is he gorgeous, or WHAT ???
I can't believe that I (even for a minute!) considered wethering this ram lamb! Sure, his tail is a bit on the long side. But it's not THAT long and everything else about him is absolutely stunning. This guy deserves a chance as a flock sire...
...Mc Steamy may be white, but his sire is Bluff Country Apocalypse, which means he carries moorit AND HST spotting genetics. What an awesome ram lamb.

"BLUFF COUNTRY AMERICAN IDOL"The youngest of all the lambs this year, is also growing into an excellent quality ram lamb. He has superb top-line, great legs, a perfect tail and great looking horns. Idol is also sired by Paco, so he carries moorit and HST as well. Idol also holds his own agains all those bigger boys that he's in with now that the ram lambs are separated from the ewes. He's also a real sweetie!

Alice and Bravo's son
"BLUFF COUNTRY DYNASTY"What can I say? I would like to KEEP this ram lamb. He is perfect. There is a potential buyer, who is interested in him and I will honor her wishes if she decides to take him, but I'm actually hoping she doesn't. Dynasty (black/triplet) would be a perfect ram to use on most of my girls and the more he matures, the more I like him.

"BLUFF COUNTRY BOOMERANG" (formerly "Popcorn") Boomer is Flash Flood (and Paco's) son and is another stunning white ram lamb with gorgeous fleece, great horns, excellent conformation & a gentle temperament. I can tell Boomer from Mc Steamy because Boomer has black hooves and stripes on his horns. He definitely carries spotting genetics and moorit and is from my best fleeced line.

"BLUFF COUNTRY ECLIPSE" Sired by Windswept Bravo (black & white, HST) and Bluff Country Zest (moorit ~ dam of Paco!) Eclipse is a handsome, black ram lamb that carries HST spotting genetics on both sides of his pedigree. His conformation is excellent! His fleece is dense and soft. Eclipse is a friendly, but respectful, ram lamb who would make an excellent flock sire.

"BLUFF COUNTRY EINSTEIN" Einstein is sold, but I included his picture because he hasn't left for his new home yet. Einstein is one of Alice & Bravo's triplets ~ Dynasty and Destiny (who I am keeping!) are the other two. I swear, every lamb that Alice produces is unbelievable quality! On that note, I should mention that Alice is bred by John and Jane Eager of Highland Hollow Farm. I am forever grateful to the Eagers for selling me this exquisite beauty, six years ago...

I am so proud of ALL my ram lambs this year! Each year, the quality of our lambs gets better and better. It is such a thrill to see my breeding program paying off! Of course, all the HST's sold right away. But these 'solid' guys are truly of outstanding quality and will bring HST spotting genetics and excellent conformation into their new flock at an affordable price. (except for Dynasty who is $500!)
;-)

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