Sunday, December 30, 2007


I hope this upcoming year I can find more time to just dance, laugh with my daughter, spend time with my friends, and continue to enjoy the fruits of living on our wonderful homestead.
I am also looking forward to continuing my quest to produce the finest, softest Shetland sheep and promote their heritage as a wool breed in the local marketplace.
I've come full circle and now feel Australian Spotted bantam ducks are the only breed I want to work with, so I will continue to breed a few of this wonderful breed every year and enjoy their antics in the garden. This year my little flock of ducks enjoys hanging out on rooftops and flying down upon us whenever we get a bag of spinach out of the coolers out front.
I wish you and yours a most wonderful 2008. In about three weeks' time we will have our first Nigerian kids born. We will post photos as soon as the blessed event happens.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wintertime Thriller and Piper

Thriller has matured into a very nice polled ram. This year Meghan decided to just breed him to two of her NASSA registered ewes, as she wanted to use Black Forrest(her black gulmoget ram)and a very nice mioget Heights Orion F1 of Cynthia Caillagh-Allen's for the majority of her ewes. She also did a couple more breedings to Thriller's sire Wintertime Landslide. The ewe below is Sheltrgpines Piper. She carries spots, modified colors and has a nice intermediate fleece. The other ewe slated for him is Wintertime Pavlova who is getting an extra month to grow up a bit more before being bred. This breeding will be a linebreeding on Landslide and two strong polled lines of ewes.

Winter Sky Cointreau's Breeding Group

This boy is a total psycho in the barn, but I can't take a bad photo of him and his fleece tested 19.5 AFD, 5.6 SD, 28.7 CV with 4.4 % fibers greater than 30, so I've selected an interesting and diverse group of ewes to cross him with this year just to see what he can do. His dam is also being bred back to Wintertime Black Forrest to hopefully produce the ultimate ewe lamb this spring. The above growthy ewe lamb is a Tennyson/Staccato daughter--Pianissimo. Her fleece is more intermediate in handle and length but has a wonderful dark brown coloration.
This is Winter Sky Lorrie Morgan(a half-sister to Tennyson sired by Winter Sky Sandstone)and Winter Sky Deja Vu(Tennyson X Kismet ewe lamb from this spring). Both have amazingly nice, interesting fleeces and type and are into hanging out in the barn with us each evening.
Last but not least is Winter Sky Diva--Space Cowboy's full sister. I was going to breed her to a moorit Heights Orion F1, but we ran out of breeding pens, so Leonid ended up going south to Wisconsin for his group of ewes. I am sure this cross will be an interesting combination for those folks looking for something that carries a lot of patterns and spots.

Winter Sky Space Cowboy's Breeding Group

Winter Sky Space Cowboy is an F1 Jericho triplet out of Winter Sky Calypso. His fleece tested a respectable 21.9 AFD, 5.2 SD, 23.7 CV with only 6.4% fibers great than 30, but he has a rather testy disposition which was evident from birth, so he has one "hurrah" and then it is off to the freezer. He is pictured above with Winter Sky Kiss This--shaela smirslet ewe lamb from numerous spotted lines.
These are my daughters unregisterable white Shetland ewes Winter Sky China Silk(Winter Sky Sandstone X Cedarose Short Tale)in the foreground and her daughter Wintertime Kiera. Meghan decided this year to go for the ultimate fleece and if for some reason she gets spots and/or color, so much the better.
Winter Sky Breathe is a finely fleeced moorit smirslet ewe out of Winter Sky Ready to Run and sired by Winter Sky Sandstone.

Winter Sky Tennyson, Kismet and Halla

Winter Sky Tennyson is one of the few mature rams ever to reside at our farm. He has proven over time to have the type of temperament, fine fleece, and purity of color we strive for in our breeding program. This season because of our abundant number of ram lambs he only had three ewes in his breeding group, but they were all crossed with him last year and produced lovely lambs, so we feel 2008 will be a very good year as well. Below are Winter Sky Kismet(a Willowcroft Jamie F1 ewe)and her equally typey and lovely shaela daughter Winter Sky Halla. Glenmore Staccato was also bred back to Tennyson but had already been moved back to her favorite barn(she was pouting).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wintertime Thriller

This is Meghan's favorite polled ram lamb "Thriller". He was all slated to show at Michigan Fiber Festival this past weekend when he came down with a pretty harsh cough about two weeks ago. He eventually recovered with some antibiotics, but Meghan felt hauling him south was out of the question and opted to stay home and take care of the farm while I went to pick up some sheep for her.

Her plans are to use Thriller on a limited number of ewes this fall and take him to Jefferson for the AGM show next fall as a yearling. Until then photos will have to suffice, but they just don't do him justice. The photo below was taken just after his coat was taken off, so his fleece is somewhat flattened out.

Thriller's fleece at midside.
Thriller from the back. And yes he does have a little ring of white around the tip of his tail.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Permanent Flock Member--Stacey

Glenmore Staccato came to our flock as a ewe lamb with a gorgeous moorit fleece going taupe. She eventually greyed out to almost white but as she has matured she has gotten quite a bit of color back into her fiber. She is the epitomy of "musket". Each year now I can rely upon her to produce a wonderful fleece of rose-grey tones that sells before it is even spun up into yarn. And the fineness of her fiber even now at the age of five is exceptional. Two of her sons were wethered and sold to fiber flocks on the basis of her wonderful wool. And this season we decided to retain her dark brown Tennyson daughter even though her fiber isn't as soft as we typically like to see, because Pianissimo has her dam's personality.

Stacey is the ewe that will come up regardless of what is available to eat and hang out, breathing nice hot breaths on my neck when it is 90 in the shade and letting me know just how much she enjoys my company. Nothing phases this ewe and as you can see from the photo which was taken just last week even drought and poor pasture doesn't hurt her condition. My thanks to Louise Hooper for allowing us to bring Stacey north so many years ago.


The Winter Sky and Wintertime ram lambs that are being retained or sold intact are pretty spectacular this year. It was definitely a ram year, so we had loads to choose from, but even then when you typically cull down to only 3 or 4 "keepers" you can end up with some truly special breeding stock.

Winter Sky Cointreau(a fawn gulmoget)was sired by Wintertime Black Forrest who has an exceptionally soft, very black fleece and is out of Winter Sky Claret(a more intermediate fleeced moorit with good length and overall Shetland type). This is one time where the dam's type and the sire's fiber came through to create just about a perfect package. He's one of those animals that catches your eye whenever you look out into the field.

From left to right: Winter Sky Cointreau, Wintertime Jazz(87.5% UK Jericho F1 grey katmoget)and Winter Sky Leonid(Orion F1 moorit). Jazz is heading to Minnesota to do some breeding for Garrett Ramsay. His full brother Blues will be staying at our farm. Leonid is a half-brother to Tennyson and has a lovely look about him, as well as very nice moorit fiber that is consistent from shoulder to britch. He is being retained and used this fall on a select number of ewe lambs.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


My daughter Meghan has a hobby that is turning into a profession. She likes to resculpt and paint/pastel horse resins for show and sale. The above photos are three of her 2007 works in progress. They'll be going to a show in the fall. Stay tuned.


We have discovered there is a reason this breed is so rare. With the limited feathering these ducks have they are more susceptible to the cold and weather changes. The hens do set their nests with dogged determination, but find it hard to keep all the eggs warm and moist, since they don't tend to dive into their water like our Australian Spotted Bantams do. We lost most of the first hatch, but did manage to get the hens to lay and set yet again. The second time around we came close to losing all of them yet again.

One stalwart duckling we named Einstein made it out of the shell in one nest before losing the rest of his/her siblings to weakness. He weighed in at a whopping 1.1 oz. at two days of age. I ended up peeling another four ducklings out of parts of their shells in the other nest, so Einstein would have some companions in his box on our kitchen table. The ducklings above are Fermi(dark with white spot on head), Einstein and Newton. We also have two black silky ducklings named Madame and Curie pictured below:

We will retain the above five ducklings and have sold off the mature stock from Oregon in hopes that the above will harden to our climate more. We also have saved our best Australian Spotted Bantam ducklings from this season and one silver female from last year along with a couple black crossbreds to continue working with ducks we know do well in our climate. Will post photos of this other flock sometime soon.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

NCWGA Polled and Scurred Spotted Rams For Sale

This is Winter Sky Party--sired by Wintertime Landslide and out of Winter Sky Kiss This. He is a black smirslet sokket ram lamb with crumbly scurs born late in the season for sale for $100. We also have two other moorit sokket smirslet polled ram lambs with exciting fleece and outstanding conformation and type for sale for $100 each. Any of these rams can be wethered for a fiber flock and their price would then be $75.00.
Or if you are in the mood for a grey katmoget or solid moorit fiber ram or wether we have a couple of those as well.

A.I. Lambs Come North

This is Wintertime Jazz. A twin grey katmoget ram sired by Todhill Jericho A.I. and out of Whistlestop 0427--my daughter's black ewe we all call Izzy. The lamb to the left of him in the coat is his brother Blues who is being is the dark mioget ewe behind him sired by Heights Orion A.I. and out of Tennyson's dam Loretta. My eternal gratitude to Cynthia Caillagh-Allen for her housing a number of my animals and giving them such good care during the fall and winter. Our A.I. lambs are exciting this year. We just spent a couple days with our hands on them checking out fleeces and conformation and beginning to plan our next breeding season. We have some truly exceptional ram lambs to work with in addition to our mature rams. It looks as though we will need more breeding pens to accomodate all the possibilities.

This is Winter Sky Leonid. He is an A.I. ram sired by Heights Orion and out of Loretta. There's a breeding pen reserved for him this fall undoutedly.

Wensleydale Ram Lambs for Sale

It was a ram year down at Firth of Fifth Acres in there are a number of black 52-71% Wensleydale rams available. This ram has already gone to his new home, but contact Cynthia if you are interested in purchasing one. She is also selling three registered Lincoln ewes with very nice fiber and a number of crossbred lambs(Wensley X Lincoln).

A Wintertime Black Forrest Son

Winter Sky Cointreau is out of Winter Sky Claret and sired by Wintertime Black Forrest. He catches the eye even in a field full of colorful Shetland lambs with his long, level correct build, beautiful horns and impressive head and expression. He'll be crossed with some of our nicer moorit/modified moorit ewes this fall, as Black Forrest will be spending his breeding season down in Wisconsin again. Cointreau's fleece is a lovely pure shade of fawn underneath, medium in length and exhibiting the soft handle of his sire who has retained his ultra-black coloration.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Winter Sky Lambs in June

Above is Winter Sky Kir Royale(Black Forrest X Kristol). She is a gulmoget/katmoget ewe lamb linebred on Enfield Greyling I have high hopes for. Her fleece is very soft, crimpy and lustrous with an unsual tint to it. I am looking forward to spinning it in the future. She is being retained in the flock.
Winter Sky Diva(Jericho F1 out of Winter Sky Calypso)continues to live up to her name. She just keeps getting better and better. I like her fiber handle and length. She should make a nice cross with one of Meghan's gulmoget rams or possibly an Orion F1 this fall.

Winter Sky Space Cowboy(Diva's brother)is growing quickly into a boy with an attitude. If his fleece wasn't so extremely soft and crimpy I'd have doubts about keeping him around, but I will have to use him this fall on at least a few ewes just to see what he can produce. Both his parents test in the low 20's for AFD, so he should be able to continue the tradition on this farm for only the finest fibered Shetlands.

Some Sale Animals

This is Dancing Angels Palm Pilot. He is the only buck we have for sale, as his conformation, coloring and blue-eyes make him something special. His twin sister BlackBerry is being retained as is his dam--Dancing Angels Bittersweet. He is a grandson of CH/MCH Dancing Angels Cool Your Jets and a son of Twin Creeks Megapixel(Pecan Hollow Dance Fever X Twin Creeks Madame Butterfly). Price is $250.00.

This is Winter Sky Speed. He is out of Winter Sky Breathe(Winter Sky Sandstone X Winter Sky Ready to Run)and sired by Wintertime Landslide(Winter Sky Sandstone X Firthoffifth Rhiannon). He appears to be polled or only minimally scurred. He has Landslide's totally sweet disposition and outstanding conformation and type. Not to mention his lovely fiber which is crimpy and consistent over his entire body. We will be repeating this breeding in hopes of getting a ewe lamb. But for some lucky person looking for an easy-to-maintain fiber ram for their flock look no further. Price is $150.00.

This blue-eyed two year old cream/white AGS registered Nigerian doe named Dancing Angels Praline for sale for $250.00. She is a daughter of Twin Creeks WB Rain Beau(pictured at Whispering Woods out of Dancing Angels S'More. She had twin does her first year and triplet bucks her second. She is an exemplary mother. My daughter is retaining her yearling daughter from last year and a granddaughter(both blue-eyed).

This is Dancing Angels Bittersweet. She is NFS, but her son Palm Pilot and dam Praline both pictured above are. This is a very strong line for color, lovely dairy character and good production. Bittersweet is our smallest doe but twinned her first year and is still retaining good body condition.

Wintertime Landslide Lambs in June

Winter Sky All Night Long(aka Party)is a black/white HST son of Landslide and Kiss This. He spends much of his day leaping about and enjoying the company of our other May ram lamb--Mud Puddle. Nothing phases this lamb and he is easy to spot wherever he goes.
Wintertime Creme Brulee(Landslide X Crisp) is developing into a very nice ewe. She has her dam's unusual katmoget coloration and good length to her very silky fleece. Her crimp is developing slowly which is the way we like it. She is Meghan's favorite Landslide daughter.

Wintertime Pavlova(Landslide X Crisp), Creme's twin sister has a remarkably crimpy, soft moorit fleece and outstanding conformation and type to go with it. She occasionally spends time with us but more often than not chooses to enjoy her hay instead at night.

And last but not least are the twins out of Sarah sired by Landslide. Thriller is remaining polled at seven weeks of age and has a wonderful disposition like his sire. He is also exhibiting a very strong hindleg set and developing a lovely fleece. His sister Sweet Escape(aka Gwen)has a slightly darker shade to her fleece and longer fiber which is just starting to develop. Landslide's true fleece didn't come in until Fall, so we look forward to how these lambs will mature.

Winter Sky Tennyson

This is Tennyson's second year on the farm. Above is his second fleece after skirting. He has retained his rich, dark moorit coloration with no white fibers and a lovely lacey crimp. His yearling son--Buster Brown--has a very exciting fleece and shows every promise of being an equal to his sire. We will be retaining three of Tennyson's daughters this year--Haiku(a moorit HST out of Lorrie Morgan), Deja Vu(black daughter out of Kismet)and Pianissimo(dark brown daughter out of Staccato).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tennyson's First Lambs of the Season

Above are Winter Sky Kismet's twin moorit ram and black ewe(Deja Vu)sired by Tennyson. I am finding the Tennyson lambs all exhibit a different type of fiber than one sees on the tightly crimped UK lambs or more loosely curled domestic stock. All the lambs have a slightly open curly fleece that is consistent from front to back and very soft down at the skin already, so I am imagining they will develop that fine crimp I so love as they mature into the fall.

The twins below were the latest born to Glenmore Staccato who had a fabulously fleeced dark moorit ram lamb by Tennyson last year. This time she produced a lovely dark moorit ewe lamb--Pianissimo--and a musket ram lamb--Largo. Largo has the softest fiber of any lamb on the farm--like crushed velvet, so we are excited about his prospects.

Winter Sky Halla(a true shaela Kismet daughter from last year)produced a comical black smirslet ram lamb with feet and legs larger than his leaping ambitions. He looks very much like Winter Sky Chrome did as a lamb, so we will see how he shapes up. His name is Astaire.
This is Winter Sky China Silk. The last daughter out of my daughter's pet white ewe Short Tale and sired by Winter Sky Sandstone. We have found crossing Sandstone daughters with Tennyson always produces something nice and Calista is no exception. She is almost a carbon copy of Pianissimo and another dark moorit.