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.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
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.