to celebrate the publication of my new book


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.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More April Sheep Chores at Leyden Glen Farm

Tuesday we continued the task of separating the larger lambs from their mamas. The lambs are large enough that they don't need to keep nursing and their mamas need a break. How do we accomplish such a task? First, we have to coral all the animals into one space. This job isn't possible without the help of a couple of Border Collies. After a few mis-steps, we got all the sheep into the greenhouse barn. My job was pretty non-stressful. I had to work the gate and help pick out the biggish lambs from amongst the "sea of sheep."

Here's another shot of the "sea of sheep." Can you pick out the Border Leicester Ram and the Cheviot Ram? Try - I dare you.

Clue - they look the most manly.... Answer at the end of the post......

The smaller lambs that have been born mostly to yearlings over the past few weeks will be staying at the greenhouse barn. Here's a cute little one wondering what the heck is going on.

Eeyore, gentle donkey that he is, was watching all the action. Taking it all in. He's got a lovely shaggy winter coat which will shed soon.

Speaking of men, The Farmer did all the heavy lifting, as per usual. I admit, I'm not good at diving for fast moving lambs. The Farmer was a long distance runner and I swear his endurance he built up as a teen is carrying him through to this day - only now, he's running after and diving after sheep and lambs. Here he's carrying a Shetland/Romney cross-bred ram lamb. Do you see the horns on the lamb? This is the first lamb we have ever had with horns. The horn part comes from the Shetland breeding. The Romney stock we have are naturally "polled" which means no horns.

Most of the lambs born in January are getting rather big. We have been moving them to the pasture in the front of our house slowly over the last couple weeks. We have to supplement them with hay because the grass at this time of year can't quite keep up with the number of animals. Plenty of hay left from last year's harvest though.

Here's the trailer full of lambs arriving.

The dogs look pretty happy -- knowing they have something official to do all day long now.

The freshly arrived lambs are getting acquainted with their old buddies now. You can see that their numbers have faded now that they have been out in the weather and their fleeces are growing.

In the evening, everyone looked pretty happy grazing away. The trees are showing signs of buds. It was an awesome night - lots of incredibly subtle colors in the landscape all getting ready to pop.

Phoebe, our older Border Collie slept well last night. She's turning 11 this month but she's doing fine - still interested in life and sheep if a bit gray around the muzzle.... but who isn't?

Ram Answer: The big bald headed sheep in the middle of the photo is the full-grown Border Leicester ram. The smaller, perky eared and bald headed sheep at the back left is the yearling Cheviot ram.


Deborah said...

Love the photo of the "sea of sheep". I like the sheep with the full head of wool. Phoebe is a dear girl. My collie is a little gray also.

Michele said...

Hey, I got one ram right! The bald one. I adore living vicariously through your blog. Thank you for the escapism, and the gorgeous photos. Michele

Manise said...

Great photos and post! I got both rams right! There's no mistaking a Border Leicester's Roman nose and a Cheviot's perky little ears.

Sallie said...

I, too, am living vicariously through your blog. I think it's really interesting seeing all the hard work that goes into sheep farming. Thank you for including me in your world.

Turtle said...

as always great photos and full of info!! I was driving out to a clients house the other day and saw a lone donkey in the field, thought of your eeyore

Diane H K in Greenfield said...

The ear-set of the Cheviot is so distinctive from other breeds.

Laurie said...

Had to scroll way down for the border collie eye candy. ;-) Phoebe is gorgeous, and she's getting the gray eyebrows, just like my Wilbur who now looks perpetually surprised. Beautiful, beautiful sheep...

Julie said...

Great post - thank you!

Anonymous said...

Farmer looks good. Is that his April calendar pose?

Amy S. said...

Great photos. I'd second the above. Actually, in that picture the Farmer looks like Harrison Ford.