Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wild Rose Farm Ewe Lambs
Merry Christmas from Wild Rose Farm!  Not much was going on here today.  The ewe lambs were enjoying the sun for a change.  No snow for Christmas here in Western PA.
The breeding ewes are doing well too.  One of them was limping badly earlier this week.  We caught her up & she had a stone caught between her toes.  There were no lasting effects & she's fine now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wood Piles

Unloading Cordwood
Clearing more ground for pastures yielded quite a bit of cordwood & rough cut lumber for siding.  The cordwood has been stored in the picnic shelter, the barn, & beneath a stand of pine trees under a tarp.  Now it's time to move it to house to be used.  Right now most of the wood is cherry & locust.  The cherry burns most of the time & the locust is used when we want to bank the fire.  We also had some nice cherry logs rough cut by a fellow with a portable band saw .... that wood is air drying with "sticks" between the boards to help keep them flat.  That's "sustainable" Wild Rose Farm.  The property had been timbered 10 years ago by the previous owner & now some of the trees are big enough for a limited timber harvest again.
Rough Cut Cherry

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunny & Chilly

Wild Rose Farm Ewe Lambs
We had some sunshine early today and our ewe lambs were enjoying the cold weather & the sun.  We also had some snow flurries later in the day, but they didn't stick on the ground for long.   Here's Lisa looking at us this afternoon from the paddock behind the barn ..... she watches everything!
Wild Rose Farm Lisa

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Not A Vendor This Time........

Belsnickle & Visitors
Restored Harmonist Natural History Museum
This is the first time in years that Wild Rose Farm was not a vendor at Christmas At The Village in Old Economy Village.  The event was back to 2 days, but a busy work schedule just didn't leave enough time to set up, spend 2 days, then pack up before leaving on business travel again on Monday.   So ....... we took advantage of being nearby to spend a few hours actually visiting the site!  When you're a vendor or demonstrator, you pretty much don't see anything except what is right next to you.
There were some new vendors with really great hand crafted stuff ...... crochet, wooden toys, redware ornaments & pottery, native plant art from Karen Sandorf Gallery, herbal products & antique clocks, & one of our favorites, the primitive wood carving below ..... complete with left-handed spatulas!  Note the "Please Touch" sign. 
Hand Carved Cherry Wood
Touring the grounds provided glimpses of how the Harmonists & people of that era lived .....
OEV Volunteers
Finally, on our way out, we were directed to the church built by the Harmony Society, now St. John's Lutheran Church, for a concert by the Old Economy Orchestra.  What a great building with wonderful acoustics, much like the 2nd floor of the Feast Hall.  Some of the music was original to the Harmony Society. 
St John's Lutheran Church Built By Harmonists
And last, but not least, we ran into our farmer friends, Marcy, Dale, & Nigel Tudor of Weatherbury Farm in Avella, PA.  Check out their web-site to see what they're up to ......

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Striking Sunrise .....

Earliest Light
Here's was a really colorful Wild Rose Farm sunrise as seen through the branches of our locust tree, loaded with seed pods.  You should see how many pods are already on the ground!
Eastern Sky Brightens Up!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ewe Lambs For Sale!

Good Year Blimp Heading Home
Just before the pictues of the lambs were taken, something caught our eye yesterday. We just got a shot in just before the Good Year Blimp disappeared behind the trees. We see blimps around here occasionally since we are on the flight path to Pittsburgh ..... it must have been around for the Pitt football game yesterday.
Ewe Lambs with #802 Upper Right
We have 2 twin registered Rambouillet ewe lambs for sale now at Wild Rose Farm.  This spring, the majority of our Rambouillet lambs were ram lambs ...... that's just how it goes sometimes!
The lambs are separated from the older ewes now that it's breeding season & the ram is out. Their babysitter is our old ewe #802 ..... no breeding for her, plus our current Rambouillet ram is actually her last lamb.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Season Starts!

Ewes With Numbers - Now Where Is That Ram?
Breeding season started today at Wild Rose Farm .... our traditional Thanksgiving weekend festive event.  I wish!  There was nothing festive or fun about gathering up the ewes in the rain today.   We had a couple of ear tags to replace on the older ewes & we put the official permanent ear tags in the yearlings today.  Every ewe also gets her ear tag number sprayed on her hip.  It's much easier to read that big number from a distance.
Then the ram was penned up & we got his breeding/marking harness put on with the green crayon.  He's still afraid of people, so he tends to be behind the ewes.  We'll see if he figures out what his job is.  Only 1 picture today ..... too risky to try & get that perfect shot in between the rain drops!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday @ Standing Chimney Farm!

Bottle Wear or Gift Bags! 
Here's an idea if you're local to the Western PA area ...... stop out at Standing Chimney Friday or Saturday and join the fun by shopping in a relaxed & welcoming atmosphere!  We can guarantee that there will be food & beverage sampling for you.  Wild Rose Farm visited last Saturday under our alias "LFLF". We found some great stuff if you're a fiber enthusiast.  Beth has felt, roving, & a small selection of yarns from Stramba Farm Alpacas.  She also has some repurposed wool sweaters with felted ornamentation from the wool of her own Icelandic sheep. 

I just loved these bottle sleeves/gift bags!  I'd say that they qualify as a "green gift"! 
Standing Chimney Luke Is Waiting To Greet You!
The shop is full of other things - talk about variety - and the focus is on featuring local artisans, crafters, & foods!  Expect to see more Christmas greens out front on the porch!
More comments on the LFLF blog ..........

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cutting & Clearing

Sumac Trees & Brush Cut Down ....
The work of clearing ground in the Wild Rose Farm pasture areas continues.  Look behind the sheep & you can see where the trees have been cut.  These were some of the largest Sumac trees that we've ever seen.
The triangle of ground in the Back 40 has been cleared, next the stumps will be pulled & the ground will be leveled out and prepared for seeding.
Back 40 Clearing Off Of Fence Line
Next project?  See the clump of trees & brush on the right?  It's just the leading edge of a tangle of dead & dying trees being smothered in bittersweet, poison ivy, grape vines & a particularly nasty upright multiflora rose growing up against a large tree trunk.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Trail Camera Wildlife

Deer .......
How about a photo essay from a trail camera set up just outside of a pasture field?  We've seen does with fawns inside the high tensile fence at Wild Rose Farm, now here's a look at the traffic outside of the fence.
Believe me, you have to look carefully to see things when there are 1489 pictures to go through!
Buck ....
The clump of goldenrod in the foreground waving in the wind was probably responsible for 1419 of the pictures ............

Turkey Flock
Little Buck

Night Deer

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Curiouser And Curiouser ...........

Pardon the glare, but this was the only angle we could get on the hesitant, but curious Wild Rose Farm Lisa coming in for a closer approach. In hindsight, maybe setting the camera to "Beach" would have toned this down ....  We're trying to spend some time just being in and around the paddock to get her used to us moving around with normal activities.  One thing we've learned .... notice the black feed bucket hanging in the barn on the right in the 2nd picture.  She keeps looking at the grain in the feeder, but will not put her head into the deep bucket to get the grain.  Obviously, she instinctively doesn't want her vision blocked.  We'll have to get a shallower hanging feeder for her.  
Lisa Starting To Drift Closer

Lisa Thinking Hard About A Few More Steps

That's It .... That's As Close As We Get!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Settling In ........

Lisa has started to get used to the routines here at Wild Rose Farm.  She is in with the lambs now and seems to be doing fine.  Amazing that such a large creature won't push her way into the feeder when we put grain out to call the lambs over.  Her feed has to be placed out of reach of the piggish sheep! 
Here she is "grazing" off of the top of the rack with her little friends .....!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

And The Ears Have It!

Lamb Ears .......
Maybe it's just me, but the ears have it!  Looking through pictures from today, it seems that the animals are all ears.  If you've been around animals, you know how alert they are. 
Llama Ears
We've often said that no one can sneak up on you when you're out in the pasture.  All you have to do is look at the sheep .... if anything is unusual, they're focused on it!
Donkey Ears
I happened to be hanging around in the barnyard late this afternoon just to get our llama Lisa used to me.  She has settled down & is doing well with the lambs, but she is not near being ready to be handled.  This will take time.  Today she cruised by me about 4 feet away going back into the hayrack in the barn.  She moves freely in & out of the barn and she likes to walk over to the lower side of the paddock to look over the pasture.
Amusing story from 2 weeks ago ..... we have a bowhunter who has been hunting from a tree stand in the wooded pasture over in the background.  Seems he heard some loud crashing through the brush and saw Glenda come bucking & kicking along chasing 3 deer towards him!  Who knows what she was up to?   That ended any chance of a buck coming by his treestand for that morning! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Maple Tree Saga

WRF Sugar Maple "Before"
Well, our beautiful Sugar Maple finally had to go.  The first sign of trouble was 2 years ago when we noticed leaves drying up early on a big branch on the left side.  Then last fall, about a third of the left side looked anemic before the leaves dropped.  This summer, the whole left side died out, bark started to peel, & the leaves on the front branches withered early.  Now was the time to remove the tree.  We'll still have time to plant several evergreens to shield us from the busy road.
First Big Branch
Half Way
Last Branch
Almost ........
Timberrrrrrr !!!!!!!!!
Rotten Center ...... :(
Given the choice of "do you want me to drop it on the dogwood or the holly bush?", we chose the holly bush.  Actually, the damage wasn't too bad.  A severe pruning for Christmas greens should fix that right up!  Now what else to plant??? 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meet Wild Rose Farm Lisa!

There's always something new when you live on a farm.  Today we picked up Lisa the Llama!  Lisa was part of a group of 4 llamas who needed to find a new farm.  We were approached about giving a home to a llama & after going to visit the group, we made arrangements to take one.  We called a friend who already has a nice group of llamas and other fiber animals.  The other 3 went to her farm. 
So begins the process of introducing Lisa to the sheep and to us.  The 4 were not halter broken and will need to be able to be handled so that they can get a much overdue shearing in the spring.  Lisa has never been an "only llama" and she will be looking for her former herdmates for a while.  We'll see what time & patience will do. For now she's in the ram pen by herself next to the lambs in the barn.   

Monday, October 17, 2011

Request For Yarn Pics .....

We got a request for pictures of Wild Rose Farm worsted weight yarn, so here we go.  Always a caution when taking pictures of what the true color is, so there are a few angles & a close up.  Natural dyes listed. The dark brown has a greenish cast & the madder & logwood are varigated since we used a tie dye effect in the dye bath.  Probably should take some pictures of the sport weight too ..... different colors there ......
Dark Gold Onion, Lighter Yellow Osage Orange 
Teal w/yellow underlights overdyed with Indigo 
Dark Brown Sumac & Reddish Brown Cutch
Orange Madder, Purple Tie Dye Logwood, Magenta Cochineal

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Sheep Friends!

Wild Rose Farm took some time today to visit with Dave, Vanessa, their children and their 3 sheep.  This spring, we referred them to our sheep shearer and today we stopped by to work with them to do some hoof trimmng.  It's not a tough thing to do, but learning to flip the sheep over & then how much to trim takes a little practice.  The good news is that, judging by the looks of things, these sheep probably will only need to have their feet trimmed about twice a year.  Yeah!  They have a completely different type of sheep than most everyone around here.  They are East Friesian x Lacuane crosses ---- dairy sheep!  The ewes are about 18 months old & they are considering breeding them this fall if they can get a suitable ram.  It just dawned on me that we didn't get a group photo of the ewes, just the hoof trimming exercise .......  :(
Anyway the other 2 sheep were white.  It looks like they're going to have a 4 or 5 inch fleece by next spring.  They have nice clean wool free heads and legs and naturally short tails.  I imagine that they'll give quite a bit of milk, so could sheep milk cheese be a possibility?  I know that most of the beginning cheese making classes & seminars are jam packed! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More Color Before The Rain!

Wild Rose Farm Fall Color!
More fall color at Wild Rose Farm taken before the rain & wind came last night .....  The next pictures won't have nearly as many leaves in the background.  The ewes are always curious when someone comes out to the pasture since it could mean a bucket of grain!  Then back to grazing once that hope is dashed .......