Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fall Doings - Leaves, Breeding and Color

Fall color is really ramping up here in New England. Every day is prettier than the next. All I want to do is drive around in my car and look at the color or walk up and down our hill. The light is so spectacular this time of year – everything looks so incredible.

On Sunday I have to go to Detroit to tape a new season of Knit and Crochet Today. I am knitting, knitting, and knitting for the t.v. show and cursing under my breath the whole time. I really resent the fact that I can’t be enjoying all this natural color. I’ll be gone for 4 days and I know that when I come back, the beautiful oranges and reds will be gone.

This morning I decided to take in some of the color before I started knitting and writing patterns. I don’t want to miss fall – it’s my very favorite time of year. Our sheep are high on the top of our neighbor’s hill. It is quite a hike up there and I haven’t done it in a long time.

When I finally arriving, huffing and puffing mind you, I just took in the view. You can see forever up there. The trees haven’t changed too much quite yet so maybe I won’t miss fall and there will be some color when I come back.

Fall is breeding season for sheep. We have an assortment of rams to breed our sheep. (The ewes will begin lambing in late December.) We keep trying different breeds, mixing up the characteristics of our flock as time goes by. This year we purchased this Cheviot ram from a local sheep breeder, Launie York to add to our ram collection. Cheviots originated in the Cheviot Hills on the border of England and Scotland and so they are good, hardy sheep. Our ram is strikingly beautiful with his open face. As I stood there, I noticed he was in hot pursuit of a brown and white ewe. Not only was he in hot pursuit but so was a young Romney cross-bred ram. The Cheviot was standing his ground, not letting the other young ram get near the ewe. I didn’t stay long enough to see who won the prize. We have at least four rams in with the 205 adult ewes and we are sure to get a nice mix of breeds. The other rams we are using this year are of dual purpose breeds including Romney, Border Leicsester, and a Shetland/Romney cross. A few years ago we tried a Dorper cross and although his babies had beautiful carcasses, they had massive foot rot problems so we gave him up.

Here's a view looking to the east with Nessie looking particularly proud of her flock.

On my way back down the hill, I was looking and looking at all the amazing colors. Through the trees the sun was shining on a far away pasture. The changing leaves looked beautifully golden. There was a wild fall aster down low to the ground and I couldn't help trying to get a photo of one of my favorite color combinations - gold and purple. Alas, it was so windy out I had to go for a bit of art. The purple aster was blowing madly around making a blurry purple haze on top of the golden leaves.

Enjoy your fall day wherever you are.


Mereknits said...

It looks so beautiful. I hope you enjoy every minute. Here in Florida it may be a reacord high today. 92 degrees and humid!!! Yuck. Enjoy Michigan.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

I was overcome with the beauty of the countryside where your sheep graze. I recently spent a week in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and spent an hour with the Leicester Longwool flock which is being re-introduced to the village. They were so sweet. I'd love to have sheep some day, but I know it's only a dream. I think I'll enjoy them vicariously through you for now.

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