Sunday, October 31, 2010

Butting Heads

As soon as the weather cools down and the days get shorter, the sheep get friskier at Wild Rose Farm.  Today there was a bunch of head butting.  By the time I ran in and got the camera, things had settled down a bit.  This is the last face off involving "U", the aggressor, and Rambouillet ewe #329.  What a coincidence, since we just shipped off the champion fleece of #329 and I didn't realize it was her until I double clicked & enlarged the picture.  Look, there's another of the volunteer pasture pumpkins just under "U". 
And what's up with this little lamb?  Doesn't she know that the minerals are inside the feeder???  :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Home!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but we've been having a few problems with our computer and hadn't been able to download pictures, etc.  I hate when that happens!  Things still aren't back to normal, but we'll just have to keep hacking around.  With a business trip out of town & other unexpected family events, the time goes by quickly. 
This young Dorset x Rambouillet crossbred ewe lamb is headed for a new home.  She joins another ewe bought a couple of years ago by Chris.  She'll probably be spoiled and live quite the cushy life up in Butler County.   Right now you couldn't convince her that leaving Wild Rose Farm is a good thing .... baaaa, baaaa, baaaa!
We got a request for some Rambouillet fleece from a guild out in the eastern part of the state, so we're shipping the Reserve Grand Champion fleece from the Hookstown Fair.  Hopefully we'll get pictures of the results and comments that we can post here.  The guild was referred by Andrew, who bred a ram that we used for 2 years.  The champion fleece came from #329, a 2 year old Schafer ram daughter.  Pictured below is #403, one of the yearling daughters of the Schafer ram & our friendly cookie eating #330 ewe, seen previously in these pages nosing up at the camera.  You can see the density of her fleece.  Last spring, her fleece tested at 21.1 microns.  Can't wait to see it at shearing next spring!  That's #405 standing lengthwise behind her ...... also a Schafer ram daughter out of our #327 ewe.
Rambouillet Yearling Ewe #403
Note to sheep watchers: the whiter sheep in the picture are Dorsets or Dorset x Rambouillet crossbreds. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yarn Pics ......

After washing and drying some of our naturally dyed yarn, I took it outside to take a few pictures in the natural light.  The sun was starting to set & our Rambouillet ram seemed to think that it was feeding time again.  Here he is walking up to see what's going on.  See the pumpkin growing in the pasture?  Several pumpkin, squash, or gourd plants end up in the fields every year ..... they germinate on their own from the seeds of the pumpkins that we feed to the sheep after the season is over. 
In fact, it's time to go out and buy the Wild Rose Farm fencepost pumpkins for this year!
The colors of the yarns didn't come out well in the slanting sunlight, so here they are again on a stack of fence rails that we're saving for another project.  (Notice that the ram is behind the posts with new rails and 2 strands of electric high tensile wire.  You can just see the wire above the pumpkin.)
The blue yarn is dyed with indigo and the green/multi yarn is deep yellow osage orange overdyed with indigo.  The wild grapevine gives a better idea of the colors .........

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Back To Grazing

The sheep are back to grazing as of Friday.  They are really enjoying this after munching on round bales of hay for the last couple of months.  It was just soooo dry at Wild Rose Farm that we didn't want to stress the grasses and permanently set back the pastures.  Now that we've gotten some rain, the pastures aren't "burnt out" like they were. We also had the hydraulics repaired on the tractor, so we can follow behind the sheep and brush hog when they're done.  This will be the final pass of grazing for the year.  The leaves are changing color and the maples look really pretty right now.  The hot & dry weather caused a lot of the leaves to just turn brown and drop off in the last several weeks ..... you can see that in some of the background trees. 
We were breaking down the round bale feeders and the clanging brought the sheep running over to see what they were missing.  The banging must trigger their feeding response because, here they are, with that "What did you bring us to eat?" look!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cleaned Up

Not sure who cleaned them up, but the corn husks were gone the next morning.   Here is Wild Rose Farm #404, one of our yearling Rambouillet ewes, trying a bite.  After making dinner Saturday night, we tossed in the leaf trimmings from a head of fresh local cauliflower ...... they were gone the next morning too.
Wild Rose Farm #404 Rambouillet Ewe
Side note ..... I'm looking at some of the fleeces developing on the yearlings like #404 and the ram.  We may just have to put sheep covers on some of the sheep.  The fleeces look really nice ......

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Sky

The sky was really striking tonight over Wild Rose Farm ...... the red really started to jump out at sunset.  We had just finished husking sweetcorn & the husks were throw in to the sheep.  The ewes mostly ingored them, the ram in the outside field munched his down, & Glenda ran away from them.  She circled back after about 15 minutes, tentatively sniffed them, and finally decided to eat one.  We'll see if they're cleaned up by morning!