Every summer, we have the sheep sheared. It is probably the longest farming day of the year. The day starts early and lasts until every animal has their wooly coat removed. We just made the appointment with the shearers Kevin Ford and Bruce Clement. They are coming on July 14th. By then, everything has to be in order. I can feel the tension building as The Farmer hopes for good, dry weather and tries to erect some kind of temporary, wacky shade shelter that has to last only one day.
As you know, the sheep have been up the road on our neighbor’s hill for weeks now. The fields surrounding our farmhouse have been looking rather neglected because the animals haven’t been around to graze. Honestly, how much can 30 grazing chickens do – nothing compared to 200 sheep.
And so in preparation for shearing and for some much needed mowing, we moved the sheep down the hill to our place yesterday afternoon in the heat of the day. The Farmer made sure the sheep were good and hungry so they wouldn’t mind being moved from their most recent home.
Here they are peacefully hanging out before the move. They knew something was up because I was there along with the two dogs.
Here’s the group bunching up – you can see The Farmer and Nessie on the far side.
After a few false starts and wrong turns, they found the road we wanted them to be on and off they went.
We knew they would stop at our neighbor Joanne's hay field - that green grass is simply irresistable. It was a rather long stop for some snacks.
I waited patiently down at the shed, hoping I could move them in the right direction. It's pretty hard for one woman to control 200 sheep. I stopped them from going back up the road which was key.
They found our garden and front yard more alluring than the field we wanted them to be in. After some nibbles on the grapevines and lollipop hydrangeas.......
Then they went where they were supposed to and The Farmer fenced them in with the temporary electric fences.
It surely feels nice to have them back here - they look so splendid in full coat grazing the overgrown pasture.
Otherwise around here, we're trying to duck all the rain and thunder and lightening. I am terrified of my computer being zapped by lightening so it seems to be off more than on. The rain has made the planting of the sunflower field very slow. It is too wet to get on. Some of the seed has germinated but the large part of it hasn't even been planted. I fear we won't have as many flowers as usual. Haying has also proved difficult - too much rain daily that it makes cutting impossible. We'll see if it dries out soon..... Then we will madly plant it and hope for the best.
And so, as most Americans celebrate the 4th of July, we will be too - only we'll be fitting in a picnic in between raindrops and farm chores. Hope you enjoy the long weekend!
BOOK PARTY - MAY 5-6
to celebrate the publication of my new book
CRAFTING A PATTERNED HOME.
Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.
This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.
The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.