Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Denmark Sheepfest

Lol, so this is long overdue...it's been about a week and a half since I visited the Sheepfest in Denmark, Maine.  I'll just put up a few photos for now, and maybe I'll do individual breed profiles later.  

They had a couple dozen sheep in small temporary pens waiting to be sheared; it was a fun event with a definite small-town, country feel to it - some people knew each other, but everyone seemed happy to chit-chat.  


These sheep were big!  I was told that they're mostly Romney, with a small percentage of a couple other breeds, including Merino.


As I've gone back through the photos, I've found the different wool textures very interesting.  Here are a couple more shots of the Romneys:




Now, compare that to the wool of this Finnsheep:


The Finns are also a much smaller breed than the Romneys.

There was one pen with a few Miniature Cheviots:




Actually, I believe the Miniature Cheviots were the ones being sheared the entire time I stayed...they hadn't gotten to any of the other breeds by the time I left.


After each sheep is shorn, a few people help "skirt" the fleece - pulling off soiled and matted wool and the worst of the stuck vegetation.


Then the fleece is rolled, bagged and weighed.


There were also a few Jacob sheep there, which is cool because they're a rare breed.  Can you guess where they get their name from?








The name comes from the biblical Jacob, who manipulated his father-in-law's herd to produce large numbers of spotted sheep.  If you're not familiar with the Bible, you can read about Jacob and the sheep here.

There was also an indoor area where you could buy supplies and all manner of finished handmade fiber products.  I bought a handwoven towel and a few balls of roving - two from sheep, and one from alpaca.  I may try to get a spinning wheel sometime, but for now, I've ordered a drop spindle so I can see if I even like spinning before I spend the money on a wheel.

Anyway...it was definitely a fun event...maybe someday I'll be taking some Butterscotch Farm sheep over to Denmark, Maine to be sheared!!  :P








Friday, April 21, 2017

Nine Months Old

The pooch hit another milestone today...he turned nine months old!!  :P  

He's holding steady at about 55 pounds, so I don't anticipate he'll get much bigger.  That's good - I like his size.

Here he is sleeping "comfortably" in his crate.  


Weirdo.  :P

Monday, April 17, 2017

Stuff

I just sat here for three minutes trying to think up a clever blog post title.  And then I gave up, lol.  :P

I hope everyone had a great Easter...we had a loooong but good morning in church.  We were all grateful that even though Dad couldn't be there (flu + strep = one pathetic Pastor!!), God provided men who could step up and present His Word well.

After church, I took Thane on a walk.  It was super toasty out for April in NH - 80 degrees!  The woods were nice, though, because there's still some snow on the ground on the lower trails, where it's shady.

It's puddle season in the woods; there are a couple little pits that always fill up with water, and I spent a while trying to convince Thane to swim by tossing sticks in for him to fetch.  This is about as far as he would go in, though:


Lol, I love the look of concentration on his face as he tries to reach a floating stick.  I think we might make a swimming dog out of him yet!!  :D  


Apparently he reached his wetness threshold.  

And, no, I wasn't tempted to push him into the water...why do you ask?  :D

He did kind of fall in once...I wish I'd caught that on camera.  He didn't get completely wet, but enough that he got the zoomies and dashed in a couple circles around the pool of water.  He does the same thing after he gets a bath.  I think it's sheer jubilation at having survived the near-death experience of being wet.

On today's walk, Thane found this:


Then, a few steps further along, I spotted lots of feathers: 


I wonder if an owl or hawk hangs out in the trees in that area...or if a fox pauses there?  I don't know enough about wildlife to do anything more than speculate, but I thought this was interesting.

A tree fell down across one of our regular trails.  I had Thane practice his sit/stay to get a picture...


...and a video!



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Eyelashes

I went to the Denmark Sheepfest in Maine this morning before work...I'll have more pictures later, but for now, please enjoy this photo of a lamb.

The eyelashes!!!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Fail!!

So I grabbed a newspaper on my morning walk with Thane today.  As we cut through the yard on the way back up to the house, I thought that it would be cute trick if I taught Thane to carry the paper in his mouth.

Well.

Hmm.

We might have to keep working on that one.



Sunday, April 9, 2017

Butterscotch Farm's Future Scotch Collies

I don't often post on Sundays, but I just secured permission to use some of the below photos, and I was eager to share this post!

So...some of you know this already, but to others it will be news: I'm on two different puppy waiting lists.  :D

It'll still be a while before we're a two-dog household, though, because my next puppy won't even be born until late August at the earliest, meaning I'll probably be bringing her home sometime in October.  That sounds both very far away and (if you ask my parents...) very close!  :P

I'm super excited about this puppy, though...I think she'll bring a fantastic temperament and stunning looks into my (future) line of Scotch Collies.  Here's her sire:


This is Misha Silver Lining.  He's an Old-Time Scotch Collie from great lines, and he works as a therapy dog.  He has an amazing, really chill temperament...and, of course, he's not too shabby in the "looks" department either!  :P






And the dam, Finger Lakes Leah:


This little beauty is half OTSC and half English Shepherd.  Her breeder describes her as smart as a whip and extremely biddable (eager to please).  I'd love to get a bi-black (black and white) puppy, although of course temperament is the number one priority.  Leah will bring a smaller size (37 pounds) and some great working instincts to the table.



The sable and white dog is Leah's mother, Finger Lakes Flora.
I was SUPER excited when I heard about this breeding - I think it will be a phenomenal combination!

I already have a name picked out for this puppy, lol - she'll be Finger Lakes Thea.  :P

So that's one puppy...but I'm on another waiting list as well.  Lol, my Mom always looks like she's thinking about doing a *headdesk* when I get on this subject...but I keep telling her I'm hoping to be in my own place before the third dog comes along.  ;P

Actually, I was initially planning for the third puppy to be in 2018, but now I'm leaning toward waiting longer - possibly quite a bit longer.  Unless things really fall into place for me to be able to have another dog, my current plan is to wait until Thane and Thea have puppies of their own (probably around 2.5 - 3 years from now), pick a "keeper" puppy from that litter, and then buy a pup of the opposite gender to raise for the next generation of Butterscotch Farm dogs.

Lol, that would mean I'd have four dogs...which is a lot.  So...we'll see what happens.  Plenty could change in that amount of time.  But anyway, here's the amazing dog that I really want a puppy from:




This is Windy Hills Bonnie, an English Shepherd.  I have high hopes that a puppy from her will contribute plenty to my breeding line: a calm temperament, a low-maintenance coat, a smaller size dog (she's 35 pounds), and plenty of the old, lovely "farm collie" instincts - her owner says that she has been known to jump into the water to try to save someone she thought was drowning.  She herds, she does agility, and she's very "mothering" to babies and young animals.




The sire might be this cutie, who's only 6 months old now, but already shows a wonderful temperament (he's best buds with the owner's 9-month-old son): 

Dale
So Thane will get a friend in around 6 months.  I'm sure he'll appreciate that, as his (frequent) attempts to befriend the cat still aren't going all that well.  :P

And then, pending health testing and a gazillion other details, Butterscotch Farm might be producing its own Scotch Collie puppies starting sometime in 2019!

**NOTE - I did not take any of the photos in this post, but I have permission from the owners of the dogs to post the photos.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

My Week!!

It's been a pretty full week...it's the slow season at work, so I have some extra days off, but they sure fill up in a hurry!

I wrote about starting seeds with my niece on Monday...there are a couple of teeny-tiny, barely visible sprouts now.  I'll have to show Lorie tomorrow and see what she thinks of that - I know I'm excited!  :P 

Tuesday was NOT a good day for outdoor activities:


So instead, I worked on The Rug.  You remember the rug?  It's been a little while!  Here's how it looked when I got started on Tuesday:


And...how it looked Wednesday evening:


I roped my sister Rachel into helping, and I'm glad I did....because each round takes longer, since the rug is getting bigger!!  


Rachel took over the braiding while I did the stitching.  We made a good team!  

Thane likes to think he's a team member too...but he keeps falling asleep.


Other activities included helping Dad with a couple projects, giving the dog a bath, cleaning the dog slobber and pawprints off the sliding glass door (the pawprints go 4-5 feet high...weird dog), and, of course, plenty of walks!









I'm posting this Saturday, but most of you probably won't read this until tomorrow, so...happy Sunday!!  :)  

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Study on Hand-Eye Coordination in a Three-Year-Old...AKA Planting Tomato Seeds

I had an idea a couple weeks ago to grow a small vegetable garden this year with my three-year-old niece, Lorie.  I think she'll really enjoy it - apparently she's seen "Curious George" do some gardening, so she's pretty chill about the idea.  :P

I bought some seeds last week...and resisted buying MANY other seeds - I'd forgotten how dangerous seed racks are!  :P  So far I have a nice selection of veggies, as well as a pack of sunflower seeds.  Depending on how much room we have, maybe I'll get a few other small flowers.

It'll be quite a few weeks before we can plant anything outside here in the White Mountains of NH, but we started the tomatoes inside today.  Lorie has impressive hand-eye coordination for her age - she stuck those tiny tomato seeds right where they belonged!


I'll have to see if I can find a watering can just the right size for her.  :)