We have something very special to share today, and the photographs simply ARE NOT going to do this justice – but we have to try!
Recently, we had a guest staying at the farm cottage who is a very talented spinner and weaver. She took home some of the fleece from our sheep, and made yarn…
And then, because she has a new loom and one can’t stop with just yarn when there’s weaving to do…. she made this!
A branch can be inserted into the loops at the top so this piece can be hung on a wall, and we intend to do just that. We’re going to hang it up in the cottage – along with the sheet showing the locks and sample yarns – so future guests can enjoy this lovely piece of art made with wool from the farm!
Here’s a close-up of that beautiful pattern in the hanging:
This piece is quite thick, and the artist, Priscilla, remarks at how very much yarn the technique uses up. Perhaps if I could be patient enough to wash and spin plenty of this wool, we could make an amazing floor rug. (Of course, I’d need to learn to weave. Oh, Priscilla, will you give lessons?!)
Thanks again to our lovely guests Priscilla, and her daughter Jessica!
As promised, here are some more photos from the Sleep with the Sheep campout we held here at the farm on August 10th! Thanks again to our wonderful guests for making this such a fun event to host.
We may never have all the answers, but it’s clear that the creek is a huge draw for kids! On Sunday morning, with help from one of the dads, the kids spent a couple of hours stripping bark from fallen branches, attaching twigs and leaves and fashioning little rafts to float in the water.
(Photos: Dennis Rivera)
We had such a good time with our guests at the Sleep with the Sheep event! We are talking about the possibility of repeating it next year, with a few alterations to the schedule and perhaps the food — so stay tuned if you missed it this year. We’ll keep you posted!
Here are some photos from the weekend, with more to follow in a second post…
Paco said, on his Facebook page, that this was such a good day. He loves guests.
We’ll have more photos up soon!
(Photos: Dennis Rivera)
Nona and Deedee started life just as their mother lost hers. I don’t know if it was Nona or Deedee that I first swung upside down, back and forth, to get the fluid out of her lungs and her breathing started. Which ever lamb it was, she hasn’t held it against me. Both lambs were rubbed down and in a cardboard box with straw, placed in front of the wood stove, before they were even 15 minutes old.
By the time the girls were a few days old, living in the house with the dog and the cat had become customary and normal. They were given access to all the rooms during the day as long as they had on their disposable diapers. We cut a hole for the tail and, being girls, the system worked sufficiently well. At other times, Deedee and Nona were relegated to their cardboard box for lamb control.
The dog was interested in the babies. The cat wasn’t so sure. Cisco would clean Nona’s and Deedee’s wool and lick them all over, especially when they dripped milk down their chins and around their mouths. Similar to the ministrations of a mother ewe, this encouraged them to drink more. It also helped to keep their faces from getting crusty with old formula. Shortly, the lambs learned to climb out of the box and were thus sent back to live a lamb’s true life at the barn.
Deedee and Nona were named for ancient Greek goddesses or furies or something. Annie might be a vet student but her semester of Greek archaeology had proven interesting to her and thus influential in her approach to naming these babies. She did, after all, deserve first rights for delivering them. She picked names that reflected the goddesses who oversaw childbirth and fertility.
It seemed fitting but I had the hardest time remembering the names to start. Usually I let lambs name themselves. If it had been up to me, the lambs would have called themselves Laverne (Deedee) and Shirley (Nona). It was that obvious in their personalities.
So, here we are now, with lambs a month old intermingled with all the other lambs on the farm. Instead of being afraid of us, they push to the front of the flock and dive through the barn door at feeding for a bottle of formula and a scratch on the head. This has all been to the extreme delight of guests and their children. Who can’t love the smell of a baby lamb; feel the soft wool; oooh and aaah as they tangle around your legs pushing up for a bottle of milk? Like all babies, they are picked up and carried around. They are posed for photos. They are treated like pet dogs.
On a warm day when the doors are left open, it comes as no surprise to find them walking into the house, especially when the sheep are grazing the orchard close by. Our split rail fencing works for sheep but not so well for lambs. It’s an easy squeeze for Deedee and Nona, and they sagely know how to find the front door.
Without diapers, the lambs are not as welcome in the house. The cat is still wary and will run sit on the stairs. The carpet may be old, but lambs peeing on it are not appreciated. I wave my arms and scold until Deedee and Nona bounce out nonchalantly. “Who’s she yelling at? Us???” The lambs graze the lawn. Sometimes they check out the guests and totter up the steps onto the deck. When it suits their purpose, Deedee and Nona will squeeze back into the orchard to play with their kindergarten class.
I suppose I should just be happy they haven’t figured out how to use the dog door, although I did see them watching Cisco pass through it the other day. Quite intently, I might add.
Photos: (top) guest with Deedee and Nona on the bridge; (bottom) guest feeding Deedee. Photos by C. Anderson (father).
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