Thursday, June 29, 2006

wedding photos

Those who knew we had a wedding in our family....likely wondered why I didn't carry photos with me everywhere....or at least post them. Well, seems like parents aren't supposed to walk down the aisle with a I not only didn't have any....BUT...I hadn't even seen any.
Until today....Thank heavens for sheepy friends. Now that I have wiped the keyboard off....I will try to show you a photo of my daughters wedding.
These are photos of our very well planned and graceful walking of our daughter from our little house....past the bar...and down the aisle to the lovely little deck, I built that they could stand on it to be married. Of, course...we didn't know that when I built it....
Congratulation to Brigid and Chris...on their lovely wedding, and their first month's anniversary.
Love, mom

being friends

OK, I am done being angry and upset about a few unfortunate posts.
I do however, want to go on record ....all around the say I'm sorry if my writing has offended anyone. Especially Kim, and Bill, I didn't want to make you angry, disappointed, misunderstood, vexed, or in any way impune your thoughts, ideas, plans for breeding your sheep, or new any way.
If you were not emailing me about buying bfl had no way of knowing that I was encouraging my few friends who bought them buy them. If you didn't know that I was coaxing them to spend a little more and get what they might have thought that I was poo pooing ( as my mother would say) the whole idea of cross breeding...or even breeding registered bfl sheep.
That was not the case at all... I was working through my own thoughts about why in heavens green earth I thought I wanted one in the first place!
I was steps from the phone...putting in my own order....spending money I don't have on sheep I didn't need. So if my writing seemed was because I was indeed disappointed in myself. For abandoning the little sheep I live with, and getting caught up in another breed I know I couldn't care for.
Not that other breeds of sheep are not nice....but I have learned from experience not to mix them with my little sheep.

And to the few nice folks who even got their blog identity, so they could add nice comments to my blog since then, I want to thank you personally for your understanding and support.
Thank you, Becky, and Gail, and Karen, for encouraging me to write....and Nancy L, I am so proud of you for starting a blog!....and Nancy B, you have been so kind to me since I moved to the wilds of Missouri...thank you for your offer of friendship....and for adopting Whipped Cream and Tonto.
And Nancy K....I wish you would explain to me how to add a link I could get to your blog without reading every other one first.
Say...isn't this fun? I love being able to read what's going on on different farms and look at new photos every day. Man...Nancy L has a garden that should be in magazines! And if I weren't so cheap....I would start carrying animal cookies too....Nancy K has such friendly sheep and such nice photos....besides I would eat them all....We should encourage Stephen to write a blog...he could get in trouble more than I do!
Hugs all around!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

happy ending

Boy wonder was the second son. The first ram born was called Wonder boy, because he was all white except for his black spots around his eyes and black muzzle. The shepherds were pretty excited by the new type of spotting. By the time the second boy was born, somehow, the people were not impressed. His eye spots were nice but his spots on his body showed a grey gene. The shepherd was not pleased with grey spots.
His brother went on to become a breeding ram, little Boy wonder even heard there was a new type of spotting named just for his older brother...called south-park or something. Well, that is what Boy heard. Boy wonder was given two little ewe girls at breeding time, and he was in a very small pen. One of the girls didn't like Boy wonder, and refused to breed. The other tiny girl wanted a black that is what she had. Boy wonder was really proud of being a daddy, but when fall came around again, some little rams said they were getting his pen. The new boys were bottle babies...and they were getting girls but not Boy wonder. Truck loads of new and old ram boys went out of the gates. One morning Boy was boosted up in the truck too, and went on a long journey. When he got to the next farm there was a long open trailer filled with lots of little rams.
One of the rams in the trailer was named Whipped cream. Of course, that was a dumb name for a breeding ram....but Whip....was a grey ram, and the minute he was born the shepherd gave him a silly name, because he was grey and wouldn't sell. The little grey ram had a twin sister, who was whisked away young, because she was sold to another shepherd. So Whipped cream got lots of milk from his mom, and grew a long fluffy coat of wool, and big curved horns.
One day Whip saw the shepherd walking through the ram pasture. She held a long rope called a halter in her hand, and seemed to be looking hard at the other boys. One of Whip's friends was trained to walk on the halter, and told Whip he was going to be an important show ram. It seemed the shepherd was looking for another ram to show. Whipped cream ran to the shepherd's side. "I'll be a show ram for you"...whip rubbed his fleece against the shepherd. He knew his fleece was long and wavey....maybe she would notice him. Every day when the shepherd chose rams to walk on the halter, Whip would come close and look at her face....he wanted to show how tame and calm he could be. Finally one day after some of the show rams left for new homes....the shepherd put the halter on Whipped cream. She taught him how to walk nice, and brushed the grass off his fleece. Whipped cream was so proud. He got to go to the show too. He walked nicely on his halter. Some of the other rams were bigger and fancier, but Whipped cream knew he got some ribbons, because they were hung on his gate.
When Whipped cream came home from the show, he thought he had earned the right to be a breeding ram. But at this farm, grey wasn't appreciated, and Whipped cream got put in a trailer with the other unwanted rams. The were all going some where on Saturday. Whipped cream saw a new shepherd lady coming over to look inside the trailer. He pushed all the other rams aside, and came close to the lady. She petted him, and said he was pretty. Whipped cream was so happy that someone thought he was nice. Every day when the new shepherd lady came. Whipped cream left his hay and pushed his way to the lady to wag his tail. She petted him every time. By the time Wonder boy got his ride and was put in the trailer, Whipped cream was the new lady shepherd's favorite. Wonder boy went to meet this new shepherd. He wagged his tail, and tried to explain in sheepy language...that he was a pretty ram, and there even was a pretty lamb he had fathered.
The shepherd lady had already brought her man shepherd to look at Whipped cream. They had talked a long time about who they had that could breed with him. Whipped cream was so excited to hear about breeding girls that he told Wonder boy about the shepherd lady. When she came that night to pet Whipped cream...Wonder boy was there too. "Please save one else seems to think I am a good ram. I have nice white wool, and pretty spots, and I really could do a good job of breeding, I already know how." The shepherd lady could see in Wonder boy's eyes that he really needed help. He had been rejected so many times. She decided that she could save two of the boys....and that is what she did.
Take those two out, I want to breed them to some little girls this fall....she said to the shepherd with too many rams. Fine...this one has papers that say his name is Whipped cream....sorry, that is his name. This boy has always been called wonder boy...but he doesn't have papers yet. What would you like to call him? The new shepherd lady looked at the ram with his white face and two black circles around his eyes....Tonto, she said he looks like a Tonto to me.
That fall Whipped cream had a couple of nice friendly girls to breed with....and Tonto...that was his new name, had a whole bunch. Tonto did his best, and when he bred the girls, he mentioned in sheepy talk, that the lady shepherd liked black eye patches. Tonto was sure if the girls tried hard they could have some lambs with black eye circles and make his new shepherd lady happy. And that is just what they did!
When the girls had lamb babies, they had spotted black and white ewe lambs with pretty eye circles. The new shepherd lady was so excited, she called the old shepherd to tell her what a good ram Tonto was...and how glad she was that he had been saved.
The old shepherd lady knew that Tonto had done his best to make pretty lambs for the new made her happy that he had a nice home ....finally.

copyright...june 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006

weaning again

Well, I can't think of a single funny story about sheep right now. So I will just mention how weaning is going. Now, I have weaned a few times before....I only wean the boys...and girls that are ready to go to new homes....but this year I seem to be super-sensitive.
The first day went well....I have about 40 ram lambs, and grabbed about 8 boys the first day. I tucked them into a pen inside the barn with it's own pasture. The boys can run inside if it rains, and see their moms too.
Now, of course, I expected the moms to want their boys back. I pulled a few who were going on three months old...and I only pulled one of any pair of rams....I figure in a few days the ewe will produce less milk, the second ram will be still sucking....and there is less chance of mastitis.
I have had a couple of ewes get mastitis over the hot weather it can happen really fast. Last year I had one get mastitis even though she had both lambs with her. Perhaps, the ram hit her too hard.
I did pull three younger ram lambs with very large upright horns....they may look good in photos....but I'll bet they hurt when they bang the bag!
I lost a ewe one year when she was injured by her ram lamb and ran off and hid....she was dead when I found her. Strangely....that was kiva's grandmom.
The next day, I thought the ram lambs were being really quiet. Sure enough one of the mom's had pushed on the gate long enough to open it...and all the rams were gone. So I started yesterday to pull the rams again. I can catch the ram lambs when they are all eating grain...but can't get close enough to grab them most of the day.
One of the boys that got out was gallop, one of the real triplets. I caught him right away, because he has an annoying habit of getting out of the fence somewhere along the road....and running through to the back yard. We do have enough faster drivers that a small ram could get hit if he ran into the narrow dirt road.
I also caught a pretty little moorit ram, sprinkles, he has lovely wool...long and just want to grab him to feel it when he walks by. He is a first lamb for Taffy....who comes over morning and night and baas to go in anf feed her ram. Yesterday, I let taffy in and not just her ram lamb but flopsy's ram lamb....the same on Taffy's bag....I guess taffy felt so good to have a lamb sucking that she smelled each wagging brown tail and was still happy.
Then there is Licorice....last season licorice had twin ewes. This year she had a single ram lamb....actually that is Frango. I knew licorice wasn't doing much feeding any more...but morning and night she want's to run in with the other ram lambs anyway....she won't let frango nurse...but she eats side by side with him for a few if to say I'm still here with you, and I still care for you, frango....The ram lambs are really hard to deal with for those brave moms....the girls want out very soon...and I go out and hold the gate open for them.
I think I am up to about 15...two or three must have crawled out under the fence last night....I'm not sure what to do about them...I don't want them to teach everyone how to do that.... and I don't really want to put them in with the big rams yet either. It is surprising that as there are more ram lambs in together...the ones that are new to the weaning pen seem more content. They have even started going out to eat grass again.
I love having the ram lambs together because it much easier to compare fleeces and horns....and size. I sometimes wish all the ewe lambs were friendly. I really like running my hand through the new fleeces. I have one girl...bejig....the first ewe born who makes me catch my breath when she walks by....she has long curly wavy black locks....and I am always surprised when I figure out who she is again.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Frango was born three months ago. He was a good-looking little black ram lamb. His mom only had one lamb this year, so frango felt like he was special. He could eat on both sides of his mommy's udder when he wanted , there was always warm milk there. As he grew, he learned to play with the other ram lamb. Some of them had sisters and some had brothers. One or two of the little black rams were their mommy's only boy too. Frango's mom had lots of milk, and she wanted to be with Frango all day. If he was busy playing on the hill side with the other lambs, his mommy would call short baas. Come here....where are you?
Frango was bigger than most of the other boy rams, and as they played in the big meadow across the creek, he began to fight. Frango was a fast fighter. He cocked his head and his beautiful horns to one side, then charged the other ram lambs. Frango was sure he would be the biggest and best ram of the year. Maybe he would learn to walk on a halter, and travel to shows. Someone would surely want him for a breeding ram. He had a white face and black circles around his eyes. His polished horns were white with little black stripes running through them. Oh, Frango was on top of the world.
Then one day, frango cocked his head at one of the big rams near the meadow. Even though Frango felt he was safe on the other side of the fence, the big ram charged him. Bash....the little ram staggered backwards. His head felt funny, there was a strange sensation as something ran into his eye. It was warm, and it made frango blink. He tried to shake his head and make it go away. The warm thick red flowed over frango's eye and down his chin. As he ran to find his mommy his horn dangled and hurt.
Now he was really scared. When he got to his mommy he tried to butt her udder and drink some milk....but his horn hurt more when he tried to butt, and as he shook and ran in circles, he began to be afraid. What had happened to his beautiful horn? Would it mend itself? Frango couldn't see his horn, but he knew it felt different , and he was ashamed. Later he tried to get some grain at feeding time, but the other sheep kept hitting his dangling horn. The shepherd lady grabbed frango and held his poor aching head under the water faucet. She washed off the red thick blood that held his eye shut. She kept saying...too bad, that's too bad.
Frango felt worse, maybe his horn wouldn't look the same. A few days later when he ran through the bushes, his horn fell on the ground. It was split in three places, and all of it fell off. Leaving poor frango with a stub. The flies didn't bother frango's place where his horn had been growing. He was lucky, but he didn't want to fight back with the other boys any more.
Soon, the shepherd lady started grabbing the other little boys. She had made a new pasture on the other side of the fence. He tried to run, but she caught frango too. He didn't want to be in this new place without his mommy. Frango baaed...his mommy baaed. All day his mommy ran into the barn and back out calling Frango to come with her to eat. Frango kept running back and forth next to the new fence.....please, mommy, come and get me. The other new boys behind the fence were play-fighting with each other.....but Frango didn't want to butt heads. He knew he was bad looking now, with his black stump sticking up. The shepherd lady didn't teach him to walk on the halter. He wondered what would happen to a little ram that had a busted horn. Late that night, Frango's mommy started to push on the she pushed the chain holding the gate shut moved.
Finally Frango was free. He joined his mommy and they stayed side by side all night. His hornplace didn't hurt any more...and his mommy let him drink lots of milk. Frango didn't know why, but he was happy. In the morning, the shepherd lady came out and found all the little ram lambs were back with their moms. she grabbed lots of ram lambs and lifted them back over the bad fence. The other ram lambs baaed for their moms too. Frango got caught....he dreaded being inside with those rough boy rams. They chased him away from the barn. He had to duck, because he didn't have another horn to fight with anymore. Frango's mommy kept calling. All day she called come out. Frango couldn't get out any more.
Later, the shepherd lady put halters on the black ram lambs and dragged them across the creek. They set their back feet. They wanted to stay in the barn where they felt safe. But the shepherd lady put them in the big fences with the big rams. All the little boys had to learn fast to run and duck. The big rams didn't like those little boys coming to eat the tender grass. All the little rams had to hide all day in the bushes and eat scraps of weeds and leaves when the big rams weren't watching. Frango got put in the back pasture too. His horn was growing a little, but it would never be pretty again. He would never get to go to the shows, or be a chosen breeding ram. Sometime in the fall, he and the other black and grey rams were put in a trailer to go away.
At least Frango had some other ram lambs with him, as they began their great journey towards their unknown.

copyright june 2006

Friday, June 23, 2006

no name

It was mid-june, the little ram was trying to grow big and strong. His mom had three lambs, and both of the others were bigger than no name. When he tried to suck on mom the other lambs pushed him away. No name tried to eat grass and keep himself alive while he grew big. His brother was tall and handsome. His brother had a white blaze on his face and a white tip on his name thought if only his own tail had a little bit of white on it, his mom would let him eat once in a while all by himself. That milk tasted so good.
But fancy, his big brother, was always hungry...and no name's big sister wasn't going to let anyone suck from her side but her. No name didn't know that his big sister really had a different mommy. Maybe he would have understood. Kiva, the big sister to no name was born to a ewe that died the next day.
Kiva had a mom who loved her very much, and licked her dry, and fed her all the milk she wanted....but kiva's mom couldn't stand up after giving birth. It was one of those long nights when their shepherd lady didn't come to look, to see who needed help. Kiva's mommy needed help badly. By morning she was in pain, but she still let little Kiva nurse. The shepherd lady found Kiva's mom too late to correct her problems....she sent the other shepherd to the vet's office for pain medication....but it was a long way for him to drive, and Kiva's mom was baaing long baas for help before she died. The shepherd lady looked for her gun to help Kiva's ease her pain...anything....she was running everywhere trying to stop the poor mom's pain....the gun just wasn't she walked the driveway. Unable to face the ewe, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry I slept!
Little Kiva kept watch with her dying mommy, until the other shepherd came with his big gun. Then Kiva was all by herself, she was hungry and kept baaing for her dead mommy.
The old shepherd lady kept coming to stick a bottle in Kiva's mouth. Kiva didn't want that bottle, she wanted her mommy.
Then, that night, the lady shepherd put Kiva in a bucket and poured warm sticky water all over her. There was another ewe in labor. The ewe knew all about giving birth, she was licking her lips anticipating the pretty little lambs that were coming. The shepherd lady held Kiva in her hands, the new mommy licked Kiva all over. She forgot all about pushing her own lambs out. She just wanted to lick Kiva over and over.
Kiva knew it wasn't her mommy. This ewe didn't sound like her own mommy, she didn't smell like her own mommy. Kiva baaed in frustration and loneliness. Then the shepherd lady let Kiva down on the floor. There was a bag on this new ewe that looked and smelled just like the bag Kiva used to drink from. Kiva took a good suck. She was so hungry. The milk was warm and comforting. This big old ewe wasn't as pretty, but she was letting kiva eat. Kiva ate and ate. Later the old ewe lay on the floor and pushed out a big boy lamb with white on his face and a white tip on his tail. Kiva let the other boy have one side of her new mom's udder to suck on. Kiva didn't want to lose this new mommy. Then the old ewe pushed out no name. He was plain. He wasn't brown and he wasn't black. Kiva was glossy black, so was fancy the biggest brother. They didn't want to hurt no name....they just wanted to have the milk from the old ewe.
So no name came last when they walked to pasture....if mommy stopped to feed her lambs, no name was too slow to get any milk before his mommy walked on. No names big brother fancy, was their mom's favorite. He walked next to her and called to her all the time. No name knew he wouldn't get any more milk to drink. He would always be little. No one would choose him for a breeding ram, he was too plain and small.
No name heard there was a place that all the unwanted rams were sent. They never came back.
No name figured he would go there too. Maybe in his next life he would have a mommy all to himself. He tried to be a good little ram, but no one cared for him.
Then one day the shepherd lady picked up no name and took him in the truck. No name was so scared, all he could do was baa for the mommy that never fed him. When the truck stopped, another lady and a man took no name and hurt him....what ever they did, it hurt real bad, and no name was already hurt and scared....and always hungry. He could hardly walk after they hurt him, but he got back up, and acted like a brave little ram.
After a few days no name went to another place...there was a little boy there. The boy didn't know how to take care of no name...but he played with him, and pulled his wool to hold him. Poor no name, there were no other sheep at this new home. There was no mommy, no big brothers. Nothing to do but eat what grass he could grab, and pull on the rope that let him go round and round in the yard. No name was lonesome, and didn't grow big. After a while the boy grew tired of playing with no name....and no name slipped into that some where place.... where all the little unwanted ram lambs go.
And that is the end of the story of the little ram with no name.

copyright june 2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

why am I breeding shetlands?

Well, this is interesting. I haven't thought about my sheep habit in a while.
I was surprised at my reaction to other breeder's goals.
There is absolutely no reason why shepherds cannot have as many breeds of sheep as they want. The only limit is space....and confinement for breeding groups.
Yes, I am as nutty as anyone else about liking sheep. I usually say, I love any sheep I see.

However, I was just faced with the inner knowledge that I don't really like just any sheep. I love shetlands. I love their looks, I love their personalities...I love their lambs. I love the variety in the lamby results. Am I really going to be just as excited on lambing day if I know for sure I will see only white lambs or black lambs....or do I love not knowing what my ewe will produce?
I admit it...I love the excitement of not knowing....or I know certain ewes will likely have spotted lambs....but there is no way of knowing what color, or what kind of spotting, or wheather ewe or ram lambs will arrive.

So this regional excitement about bfl sheep was interesting....initially I wanted one too....then I remembered that they have dumb looking big ears....I didn't remember them looking pretty to my way of thinking about pretty

.....ohhh I know, folks need an excuse to complain about what other people think.
So I'll stop thinking.

Somewhere, other people just stopped reading what I had written.
They invented ways to make this thought-line mean.

Who has walked in my shoes?
How dare you....complain about my loving MY sheep?
What gives you the right to tell me how to be a friend?

I own a little picture from my Mother...
I keep it on my wall
but, this is the first time
I have felt drawn to it.
A friend is not a feller
who is taken in by sham
a friend is one who knows
our faults and doesn't give
a damn!

I would put a photo of today's naughtiest ewe on...but I can't find it...winner of today's prize for running down the county road in front of a pickup is boppitty. But without her photo...I'll just post little boy with his shoes on....I have several...but he is the only one with them on all four feet.

Monday, June 19, 2006

a new ram

I got a new breeding ram yesterday....I didn't have to drive far....just grabbed a ram while he had his head stuck in the mineral feeder.
He was a throw-away ram lamb....the first from this ewe....Ag flecket....ho hum....but then i touched his, I like more open fleeces for spinning....ha ha as if I am ever going to find time to do that, I grabbed the ram lamb....who has nice horns, by the way....and I thought to myself...this feels nice!
So I felt the fleece again, while I looked at the locks....this looks nice too!
By the time I actually caught this little guy and felt his fleece all over his back....I was sold....he's mine now.
So I guess I'll think of someone to breed to this little AgAa guy. I'm hoping I don't fall in love with anyone elses nice fleece this summer.
The top or left photo is one of my show sheep...I know she has nice fleece....the other kind of blurry photo is of my new ram's fleece....Thanksgiving.....I think you can see the fleece is in little have to imagine the softness.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

singin' in the rain

Woweee! We finally got some rain yesterday.
So far, things are looking much better....I can see little green sprouts coming up through the yellow. The sheep, however seen very discontent. There is a lot of noise out there this morning. I'm not sure if the moms have disappeared, or they are intentionally not answering their lambs.
Yes, it is getting to the three month period. The ram lambs become very demanding and independent. The ewe lambs want mom to love and feed them all the time. The moms just want some peace.
You will find both ewes and rams becoming much friendlier now....just pet them once under the chin and on their chest....and they are friends forever.
I will start to wean my ram lambs now. I don't want to do it when it is too hot, as they will lay down and pout until they get fly-strike from the sweat.
I have been waiting for some rain to get the front pastures to grow, so the ram lambs can have part of the barn at first....then when they are done with shots, and becoming real pests I can start putting some in the back with the big rams.
These photos show Glad Rags, the black smirslet....with his dam Glory....he is always next to mom, little sister is wandering around.
The other photo is of Crackers, a yuglet flecket in black. He is from one of those big spot white sheep....Marshmello. She looks white except for two spots on each ear. This is Marshmello's first lamb. I'm guessing she is AgAa, and threw the Aa this time. I will have to repeat the breeding and see if she does have an Ag lamb. Crackers is AaAaBBBbSsSs....he got the black from his his sire is a moorit yuglet flecket.

Friday, June 16, 2006

bielset saga

How exciting....I asked for some bielset photos and I got really nice bielset photos!
How nice can sheep people be?....
I think the top photo from Sandy Truckner is a good example of a sheep who has a closed face...that is the yuglets or smirslet lines are no longer there leaving a totally black face, and a cute neck ring...bielset in the max! and what a cute doll...there are two photos from sheep on Nancy Larsen's farm. The second photo, licorice, is similar to the whole flock that I saw pictured across the ocean. This is what I have been looking for for years....the only one I think I had was out of a ewe I sold before she lambed....never do that!!!!!
The bottom photo is one of waaay lucky is actually, Nancy Larsen has always bred spotted sheep. It goes beyond luck to experience.
Anyway, Nancy has triplet spotted lambs this year, along with all her others....this bielset looks like she is brown.
The ram photo is from Nadine Chounet, thanks Nadine!
The magnificent ram....I'm sure which ever order the photo is in.... everyone here can tell it's a ram....This is I believe, minwawe Bowler...go figure....Is he not good looking???? He should be about two? Something about little rams growing more horn for protection? I had another little ram named Rumplestiltzkin....who might have had more horn...but these have wonderful curve.
So Bowler, is indeed a bielset, along with his other spots.
The sum total of my saga, is that it never ends....there is always breeding season 06-07....wonder what we will get?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

bielset...or bielset

My favorite marking of all time is a bielset....I would love to see a nice wide bielset ring on a plain sheep. I have seen photos of such a flock somewhere over the ocean. I haven't seen the lone ring on any sheep here.
Oh, I think we are getting lots closer to this marking. We are already seeing yuglet or smirslet faces that close the white gap down the there is only a white tip on the nose and maybe a white krunet.

As you can see by the photos of glossy, top right and glad rags her twin bottom right....there is a big difference in a sheep with a bielset collar....

Now, glossy has even less white on her face...we can imagine a time when a lamb would show very small spots of white as the yuglet smirslet marking close over each other....Voila! we are left with only a collar. The other unremarkable photo, is of twilight. Yes, she carries spots...but doesn't express them....except for this small thin line of white. The line still remains although twilight is a year old. It is not an ideal bielset is a white line.

I suppose I will eventually register twilight....maybe as a smirslet?...maybe as a bielset?

Monday, June 12, 2006

missed it !!!

Rain rain...come back!
Yes, down here in the lower forests and valleys of the Ozarks...we missed it.
Oh I had one big black cloud come over...right when I was out in the field trying to capture a photo. I half ran for cover and the wind came that 6 drops of rain could be sqeezed out over our dusty fields. Yes, up north, they had up to 3 inches....and flood
That's OK...we sill have the meadow...that should last in a green tone until something falls from the skys. It does help to have it cloudy...doesn't bake the moisture out as fast.

I finally updated my web page with photos of some of my lambs!

Isn't it hard to decide who is pretty or best? I still like the miogets, and the spots. I think tu-tu will be lovely, and rose red is one of the best. Have you ever noticed how lambs suspect foul play when we approach them with a camera? that human comes...maybe she has shots...I'll get on the other side of my mom...that will protect me!

And the more we angle for that photo...the more the lamb tries to keep far away from us. Well I really do have shots, and need to catch them all soon....most of the older lambs are half weaned by their moms already. I'll be out chasing lambs.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

roadsides in missouri

I don't know if I have ever mentioned how pretty it is in missouri.
I haven't planted any flowers since I moved here....but, I have been continually surprised by the flowers that grow wild on the side of the gravel road.
I walk my little disturbed dog past these flowers every day....and there is always something new blooming. I walked about 150 feet in both directions from my front door....and this is what is blooming.

Friday, June 09, 2006

what do sheep do when it is hot?

These photos are from this morning....the sheep in the south soon believe in daily naps in the shade....Ridinghood had triplets this spring. The lambs are hiding with mom in the shade of the barn, and anything else that happens to be standing around in the shade.
I'm sure mom appreciates their hot little breath aiming in her direction....

The rams on the other hand, have no barn to hid in....what they presently have is the old chimney from the old wood house. Cinder is the oldest ram in this group, but he has a little trouble getting pushed around by one of the younger more aggressive rams. Cinder aparently has figured out that the stone chimney in the trees has some cooling ability. Perhaps the wind comes down the chimney and cools him. He certainly wasn't going to jump down from the hearth, and lose his favorite spot. The rest of the sheep were eating in the shade of the trees.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

eleven colors

Well, good news about the color terms mioget and fawn as used in shetland sheep.....The people doing test breedings, and having more than one mioget or fawn sheep....are saying the colors are similar...and that one sheep can change to show a different shade from year to year.
What does this mean to me?
That I can call the sheep fawn or mioget as I see it....there could now be proof that there is no actual genetic difference between these two colors.
Oh, shetland myth!....these are secrets shared in no publications. If you ask older breeders, usually they will only be naming one shade a fawn....or they only own mioget. I've posted photos of one of my ewes for three one has ventured a guess as to her color.
Well, maybe they think I am baiting them to answer so I can jump on a wrong answer...or maybe they just think I am dumb, and can't name her color myself. many mioget sheep do you own? I can finally say I am getting miogets, and I recognize that they are turning mioget. The people I originally bought sheep from wre local...midwest...and established breeders....but they called a sheep moorit or black or musket or grey.
I remember buying my first three ewes...and I was told that musket was a rare color...and so she cost more. Wow....interesting....actually there was a time in the midwest when shetlands were rare....and indeed musket was rare too.
I think we can consider ourselves lucky to have the internet, and the series of shows and that we can actually meet other breeders and see more shetlands.
Oh boy....take some time to go see those big flocks....breeders having a couple dozen sheep.....or more, depending on how addicted they are to shetlands. If you handle enough fawn and mioget can go home and see more in your own flock.

The photos are of two ewe lambs both turning mioget...ha ha...or fawn.
The one ewe looks more fawn, but she was in the shade. Notice, her mom is also mioget...however she was sold under the term "light moorit"....One of my first dozen ewes was a "light moorit"....turned out she was also mioget....the breeder just didn't realize the difference.
That mioget ewe produced the dam to the other photo....Miss Trotter.
We can all learn something about Miss Trotter.....her genetics come from a recessive modifier.....her dam, Ridinghood is a BBBb.....she carries a modifier....and bred to a black with a recessive modifier....she produced last year a shetland, she looked like what they call dark brown....but I'll bet she is just shetland black!!!!!
This year Ridinghood made up for her single ewe, and turned out triplets. Two black mioget. Remember, if both sheep carry a might not see a modified color in the lambs.
Guess what the other shetland myth is........???

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

home again

After leaving home three times in the month of May, I feel like a visitor.
This last trip was a cousin-fest to northern Wisconsin. Wow....sisters really have fun.
I felt just like a sister with my girl cousins, as we joked and zigged our way through the politics and beauty of the reservation.
Of course, I lost some cash at the casino....but did lots of shopping. You know shopping for sheep is like shopping for anything else....First you are attracted to one, then check the price, then look for a similar one at a reduced price....and finally have a problem deciding who to buy.
This is a recent photo of Tu-tu. since she was one of the last lambs born....I was amazed to come home and find her with long legs and an attitude!
Fencing on the south meadow was done yesterday. Although I let the sheep in for an hour or so before grain time.....I put them out on the west pasture this morning. Don't want too much greenery to stuff them before they have had something to eat. I noticed the lambs had trouble getting past the creek. The narrow path through familiar green panels was lined with leaves. Everyone likes the witch-hazel bushes that grow next to the creeks. The seed pods are just ready to burst, sending seeds up to thirty feet to fall into the rocks of merrybrook.
Oh, Sinkin' has lots of witch-hazel....the wonderful smell of their waxy blossoms in February stops me in mid-step. I have three rolls of fencing down the north side of merrybrook. Hopefully, the spaces between trees won't fall to high jumping ewes.
One of the yearlings refuses to stop going between fence lines. Boppitty, the grey katmoget is jumping the fence where ever our big dog has gone over. Big-dog climbs the woven wire like a ladder....Boppitty springs over the 40 inch fence like it was a stick on the ground. Last night, she found herself jumping back on the wrong side of the fence.....all the other girls were on the east side of the barn....Boppitty was all alone on the west.
I walked out late in the evening, and let her back in with the others....she seemed put-off somehow by this result of all her crying. But, it didn't teach her a lesson.
This morning she was on the wrong side of the fence again....this time jumping over to join the flock as they headed out for breakfast.
Looking for a chance shower today....getting dry.