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It’s June and the hay is ripe for cutting. We no longer have our own baler so neighbours of ours are cutting our hay on shares for us. John (the dad) and his boys Josh and Ben are extremely patient and have been teaching me a few tricks of the trade. Yesterday we got out Dad’s old rake, (which worked beautifully! One of the few machines left on the property that works as it should,) and John told me how to rake the hay he’d mown a few days ago into windrows for baling. Then he pointed me in the direction of the field and left! I was extremely nervous to be left alone with a machine I didn’t know how to use,but luckily, raking is not rocket science and even I managed to make
neat little rows of hay. These are actually John’s rows of mown hay nut you get idea. The windrows are just skinnier and fluffier. Usually hay is “tedded out” which just means spread out with to dry with a machine, but we don’t happen to own that machine so we rake a few times in order to expose all the grass to the sun and wind.
Unfortunately, I also managed to expose the rake to my high tensile fence.
Luckily, I hadn’t tightened it or that particular adventure could have been dangerous!
Mum came up and helped me get the girls back where they belong. Amazing what a little grain can do. Here are some lovely sheep pics that mum took while she was waiting for me to tighten the fence.
We call this little guy “Camo” because he looks like he’s dressed in camouflage.
This little girl is having a drink- the water is reddish because they get a bucket full of minerals to snack on. The minerals stick to their lips and wash off in the water trough.
Here is Aoife (pronounced ee-fa) chewing on some grass with Willa to her left with the black face and Beverly in the foreground. My original 7 sheep were Dorsets and I crossed them with Clun Forest ram (Willie) which is why the next generation has black or speckled faces. Willa looks just like her dad,hence the old fashioned name.
This is a good photo of the coloring of this season’s lambs. Willie’s daughters were bred to a Suffolk ram that my uncle leant me so they tend to have all black faces and black stockings. They’re just so cute!
This is what sheep in electronet are supposed to look like. Not this:
Little %$&*#!s resisted my efforts to move them to greener pastures this afternoon so now I’m waiting in the field for Mum to come rescue us. It’s going to take two people and some grain to coax the beauties back inside.
It’s been quite the month around here! Between getting my pottery inventory up large enough for the farmers market, fixing fence and being sick or injured, my poor sheep have been suffering. I had them out in the barnyard to munch on grass there and start to get used to it, but they kept escaping and getting to the greener grass on the other side. I had the electric off because I was fixing fence. Don’t believe people who say sheep are stupid. They’re actually little wooly opportunists.
I tried to put them out last week too, but then I couldn’t figure how to get the used electronet I’d bought to work-turns out it needed a better ground rod. Can I tell you how tired I am of learning experiences? Could I please have something just go easily for a bit? I know, I know. Life is hard. This is one of the four great treat truths, (damned if I can ever remember what the other three are though, because I’m always wrestling with That one!)
Yesterday Leo and I were able, (with much grunting and scuffling and cursing,) to load up the 26 sheepies and take them up to the pasture for their first night out! (In case I haven’t mentioned him before, Leo is my 71 year old neighbour who comes over and helps me out most everyday. God. Less the bored elderly!)
I thought I’d sleep outside with them to make sure the electric fence kept the coyotes at bay, but when actually faced with a wet, 45° campsite at 9pm, I quickly “logicked” my way out of that one! If I got sick then I’d surely be no good to the poor sheepies in the future right? Right. Back to my nice comfortable bed!
Here’s a video of the sheep while they were still in the barn. I miss those girls! They would call to me if they heard me out in the pottery studio (in the old milkhouse,) and I’d go and give them some cuddles.
Sorry about the quality of the video- it’s my first on this new phone and I haven’t figured out how to make the sound better yet.
(Well, Hmmm…) Now I have to figure out why the video didn’t load. Sorry! Experiencing technical difficulties over here!)