Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday At Wild Rose Farm?

Wild Rose Farm Ewes Waiting To Be Processed!
We didn't celebrate Black Friday at the farm, we celebrated "Bum Friday" ... yes, this is the day that we put the ram in to kick off breeding season. This means that we process the ewes first by trimming hooves and cleaning up back ends (bums!) as needed.  We check for any missing ear tags and also do a little clean up of any burrs that we might find in their fleeces.
Wild Rose Farm Dorset Yearling Ewe #117 - Daughter of "U"
 Most of the ewes are very clean and in good shape. Check. We note that #99 needs a new ear tag. Check. We needed to trim hooves on about 10 in the flock of 38. Check. As we handle each ewe, we spray paint her ear tag number on her right hip. Check. Oops, I painted 135 on ewe #134! Not a big deal ... #134 is a horned ewe and we recognize her by sight. Whew ... that worked out. See how complicated this is?  :~0
It's much easier to tell who has been bred by reading a large number, rather than trying to get close enough to read the ear tag, especially at dusk!
WRF Rambouillet Ewe #410 - Wonderful Fleece
& Our Largest Ewe
We had perfect weather in the 50's today for this chore. We ran the ewes and the ram into the hospital pen to settle down overnight ... the ram races around for a couple of hours checking everyone before he finds a ewe that is interested!  You can spot the ram in the picture below ... click to enlarge & you can see his breeding harness.
Ewes With Ram In Hospital Pen
 Meanwhile, back in the barn, we've put Snow White in with the ewe lambs. They haven't seen her since July, so they are curious, but jumpy as she walks around in the pen. The feeling is mutual ... Snow White is humming every so often.  That means that she is a bit stressed after being separated from her flock of ewes and put in a pen with these strange little lambs again. It's not easy being a llama or a lamb! :)
OMG!  What's That Big Thing?!?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Warm If You've Got Wool!

Enjoying The Shade At Wild Rose Farm!
If you're wearing wool, it's still warm out there! Here we are in the low-50's, but the flock at Wild Rose Farm has settled down in the "shade" to chew their cuds. Shade is a relative term now that the leaves are gone ... sort of like a "too warm" spring day when there's no good shade to be found.
Snow White & The Dwarfs At Wild Rose Farm ...
Cooler days are ahead with the temps dropping below freezing for a couple of nights!  :~)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Red Squirrel Caught In The Act!

Wild Rose Farm Evening Feeding
I had just taken the photo above from the house when a flash of movement near the bird feeders caught my eye.  There he was, the busy red squirrel stashing away walnuts at sunset ...
Red Squirrel Nibbling On A Black Walnut!
He ran across the rail fence and stopped to chew off the walnut hull.  Then he scampered to the ground and busied himself digging a hole and burying the nut.
Digging To Bury The Walnut ...
Wonder what a boiled walnut tastes like?  He was picking up the spent boiled nuts that had been used for a dye bath. We dump them onto the mulch under the spruce trees when I'm done with them.
Yes, he's a quick little fellow ... I thought that I lost him in the glare, but it's just that my focus was a fraction of a second too late.  I never noticed the mourning dove, but that's him in a blur on the bottom left! :~0
Uhhh ... Which Way Did He Go?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

That Raiding Rodent!

Sunrise Surprise - Who's Stealing My Walnuts?!?
My stash of black walnuts was being pilfered by a busy little red squirrel! When I let the dog out first thing in the morning, I saw the remains of a walnut - the nut was gone, but the hull was in a neat little pile.  Huh? We didn't spot the culprit until later after the morning chores were done. He/she was a busy little rascal as evidenced by the picture below ...
The Walnut Raid Continued!
The walnuts were being carried from the bucket on the porch over to the stone wall, leaving a trail of evidence along the way. Easy enough to fix ... I just put a pot over the bucket and ended the fun. The rest of the walnuts are now soaking and the first batch of yarn has come out of the dye pot.
Fresh Out Of The Dye Pot
The yarn is really a nice deep color. The second batch of yarn is soaking in rinse water now & it's time to put in another batch ... perhaps a lighter shade from the exhaust dye bath?  Love the way this looks.  See the little piece of walnut hull next to the yarn?
Wild Rose Farm - Black Walnut Naturally Dyed Yarn

Friday, November 6, 2015

Warm & Breezy November!

Wild Rose Farm Dorset Ewe Prancing In The Breeze!
We had a lovely Indian Summer here this week.  The flock is enjoying their fall grazing and with the temps in the 70's we had a nice breeze to keep them cool. The only color in the woods now comes from the oak and hickory trees.
Here's a fine point of farming, but if you look at the picture below, you can see that the rear section of the pasture is a darker green.  There is a distinct line.  The back section is where we spread composted manure in August.  
Snow White & The Grazing Flock!
We've had a couple of soaking rains since then and you can see the result. That area had been grazed too, it's just much greener.
Close-up Of Compost At Work ... Whoo-hoo!