Monday, June 30, 2008

DREAM gets a new "Do".......

My sweet Dreamer didn't look quite as bad as some of my 'Swamp Creatures' but still was in need of some tidying up.

I was able to roo the old wool off of her neck but she really didn't like me pulling on that on her body. So, hand shearing it was...

Dream's babies stayed close and watched the whole process. I hope they took notes!

DREAM says....

...."I feel MUCH better! Some nice people came to visit last night and Mom said two of my babies are going to go live with them ~ far, FAR away (in North Carolina!). I'm going to miss Sandman and Sleeping Beauty (especially Sleeping Beauty!) but the people they are going to go live with are very nice and Mom said they'll take VERY good care of my babies...."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bye-Bye "Swamp Creatures"....

I wanted to post a 'before' picture but alas, I am always so careful to NOT get any of my matted, felted looking adult sheep in my pictures that I don't have a good before picture to share! Trust me: Zest definitely needed a hair cut!

Here she is half way through the process. My vet arrived (to do health papers on lambs that are leaving this weekend) when I was in the middle of shearing my beautiful Zest. So I let her go ~ no sense making her stand, tied, while the vet and I visited with the rest of the flock.

This is three months worth of old growth, left on Zest after shearing in March. Isn't it amazing how sun bleached the ends of her fleece are?! Zest has a single coated, very fine, crimpy fleece. Her color is Moorit/iset.

I love how incredibly refined and feminine she is! She is one of my all-time favorite ewes.

MUCH better!

In my next post, I'll show you DREAM, before & after...

Friday, June 27, 2008


OK. So I am an idiot when it comes to computers. I confess! I know almost nothing about how to use html code. I barely squeak by writing my blog and my web site and I have no idea how to use tables or adjust text to fit within a given page. So I give up. I'll just go back to entering pictures one at a time.

No more tables.

At least not today.....


THEN and NOW....

The lambs are growing SO quickly that I thought it would be fun to show new-born photos of them and current photos of them, together, so we can all see how much they've changed. (can you tell I have a day off work and it's raining outside???)

The first two lambs born this year were Savannah's lovely little girls:
Spring and Sunshine at 6 weeks
On April 19th ALICE ended the 2008 Alice Watch with the birth of twin, ram lambs:
Who have, in 6 weeks grown into VERY handsome boys...

Oh, Good Grief!!
I had planned on doing this "table" with all the lambs but it's taken me 2 1/2 to just do these two sections!!! Perhaps I'll find another way to look back and ahead....

I've got to go out and play with my sheep ~ the sun came out!!

Catch ya later...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Meet My Ewe & Lamb Gaurdian....

* As always, click on any image to enlarge it *
If you were a predator, would YOU want to mess with this giant, Angora Goat????

It's amazing what a little perspective can do! As you may know, I live in a beautiful valley, with lots of rolling hills. If I just get a little down hill of the subject that I'm photographing, I can make them appear huge...

Or on the same level as the roof of my new barn! That's "Bluff Country Prima Dona".

Here she is running to greet me.

Of course, I can never just pet ONE...

Chance comes running for some lovin' too!

Some of my poor babies are sporting new "jewelry"...

"Bluff Country Sandman" is maturing VERY nicely!

I hate it when the tags make their ears droop! Hopefully, they'll straighten back out soon. This little beauty is "Bluff Country Casino Royale" (Cassy). She's available FOR SALE, as are many other beautiful babies and even some ADULTS. Visit my BREEDING STOCK FOR SALE BLOG to learn more about who's for sale...Not listed on the Breeding Stock Blog, but available to a loving home are: Meredith, McDreamy & McSteamy! Yup, I've decided that I just don't have the room to keep more than one species and I REALLY want to keep my focus on HST Shetlands so my beloved fiber goats are looking for a new home...I will make a very special 'package deal' to anyone interested in keeping the three of them together.

Monday, June 23, 2008

What the Heck....?

At 5:30 the other morning I was awakened by what can best be described as cackling, hissing, squawking and flapping. When I opened my eyes, I saw black birds swooping and flashing past my bedroom window. They were clearly upset about something...

So, of course, I grabbed my camera and ran out to see what was going on. As soon as I got close, the birds all flew into a nearby tree. They had been swarming at the bushes under my bedroom window.

There must have been a baby bird in there someplace!

Sometimes nature makes me sad. Like with how cruel it is to baby or sick/injured animals. I try to just close my eyes and plug my ears and not witness the cruelty of nature. I tell my self it's "survival of the fittest".

But I brought the cat into the house...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

UNbelievably Busy ...

I'm sorry for not posting for so long! I truly have been working my BUTT off! Well, maybe not actually working my butt off, but working REALLY hard...

I took this picture at 9:15 tonight! Yesterday was the longest day of the year. I LOVE it when it stays light so long! I get SO much done. But now, I have to go to bed. I'm exhausted! I just wanted to let you know that I'm OK. Better than OK. I'm happy. Life is good in the Bluff Country.

I'll catch you up during the week....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm a Happy Camper.....

Why??? You might ask...

Because my lambs are all healthy and happy and growing like weeds.

How many shepherds do you know with an eight legged, "Push Me - Pull You"?

I'm especially happy because the sun is shining, the temperature is comfortable and the grass is growing faster than my sheep or I can keep up with it.

My beloved, Shaela, HST ewe, "Bluff Country Zaria" made me VERY happy this morning...

It seems her handsome son: "Bluff Country Bling" (fawn & white, Hst) has HORNS! Not scurs. Horns. Firmly attached. Widely set. Nicely angled. Horns.

Yup ~ "Mr. Fuzzy Face ~ has so much wool on his cheeks and his poll that he looks like a Teddy bear" has real horns.

A few weeks ago, those horns were very loosely attached and didn't seem to be growing. I thought sure Bling was going to be scurred. But this morning, I tried to wiggle one of the rapidly growing wonders and found it to be quite firmly attached and warm. A sure sign of blood flow and a real horn. Needless to say (in case you hadn't noticed) I'm quite pleased... ;-)

Of course, I'll still have to watch Bling's horns ~ just as I do with any young ram. Things can change. That's why I always put a "horn guarantee" on all of my ram lambs, when I sell them. But Bling looks like he's going to be OK and That's a good thing, Martha!

BLING says...
It sure is easy to make our Shepherdess happy!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I LOVE This Ewe Lamb....


She is the daughter of Sheltering Pines Diva (fawn/HST) and Kimberwood Hunter (fawn/HST). She is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Her color is dark brown. She looks lighter in the pictures where she's in full sun but in less intense light, she is a deep, dark chocolate brown.

I moved the girls out into fresh pasture yesterday & they are in heaven. I've NEVER had such lush pasture and I usually do have very nice pastures! By fencing in the ditch, this Spring, I took the pressure off my main pasture and now I can truly rotate through four separate pastures! My sheep are going to be SO healthy!! ;-)

I have to admit: Even I am amazed by how much use one can get out of less than four acres if one uses them wisely! Look how grown up my beautiful Mystery is and she's only 8 weeks old! It seems the lambs are only babies for a few DAYS...

I am keeping Mystery's twin sister: "Prima Dona" (fawn HST), and I have to admit, with every day that passes, I am more and more inclined to keep Mystery as well!

I brought in two new rams, last year ~ to improve the fleece and tails on my HST breeding stock ~ and I am so pleased to say that they did just that! This is unquestionably the best lamb crop I have ever had! I am especially thrilled with how fine, soft and crimpy the lambs' fleeces are and with all my Modified babies!!

But this little lady, in particular, is really catching my eye. Not only is she extraordinarily sweet, her fleece is so soft that every time I touch her I have to do it again ~ to assure myself that it really is as soft as I thought it was. Yummy! If Mystery is still here this fall, I will be showing her at the Jefferson show. She is stunning...P.S. If I can sell a couple of adult ewes, Mystery WILL be staying!

This is a double rainbow that looks like it ended at my barn. I took this picture the other day, during the storms. The sky was actually much darker looking but the flash makes it look more blue. Maybe next year I'll name a lamb "Rainbow". Yeah, I like that!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

More Halter Lessons...

Two of Dream's triplets will also be leaving at the end of this month so they are top priority on my halter training list.

"SLEEPING BEAUTY" is an old pro at this game...

As is her brother, "SANDMAN", who quickly realized that I had cookies (animal crackers) and would, willingly, follow me anywhere! ;-)

DO be careful when doing halter work with ram lambs, to not get their fragile horns caught in the rope! I've had ram lambs "pop a horn" when struggling against a halter rope. If the lamb struggles and the rope is around a horn ~ Let The Lead GO!!! You can always catch the guy and start over. It's not worth losing a horn over!

Tammy asked me, in the comments, how long I work with a lamb for a halter lesson. That depends on what is meant by "work" (shades of Bill Clinton, here). I like to keep things VERY informal. The first few times, I may just sit with the babies and have halters laying on the ground or in my lap. Let them get used to them and see they're not threatening. Once the very presence of the halter is not threatening, I'll slip one onto one of the friendliest lamb's head. At that point, I give cookies, pet and let them go!

When I first catch a really timid lamb, like "SUNSHINE", I just hold her and stroke her and talk softly to her until she begins to relax a little. Then, I gently slip the halter on and let her go. I let the lamb run around with the halter on for awhile.

During that time, I go halter another lamb and repeat the process, or if it's already a tame lamb, we practice leading.

My main goal with a lamb like Sunshine, the first couple of days, is just to get her used to being petted.

I stay low (preferably sitting on the ground) while the lamb struggles so as not to appear too frightening.

ALWAYS end the lesson on a positive note: With the lamb relaxed and calm!

A successful lesson may end with the lamb not necessarily leading, but just relaxed enough to tolerate the halter and my presence!


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