Saturday, October 29, 2011

Seasonal Sweet Spot

Yes, yes - I know I just got back from three weeks in Hawaii, but this.... THIS is what heaven will be like: 63 degrees, low humidity, and the sun just about to set.  My favorite kind of weather on earth.  We get a couple of moments like this, both in spring and fall, and today was one of those diamond days.

The Salvia Gregii is blooming its brains out...  Gorgeous.
I've been home three days and I'm neck deep in the final preparations before the Kid N Ewe Fiber Festival in Boerne, TX.  As the Barn Superintendent for one of the vendor buildings there, I'm moving in a blur of activity trying to nail down the last details.

But I'm also trying to maintain a little balance in life by getting more sleep, learning how to eat better, and spending some time with my precious critter friends.  Just thought you'd like to see the beasts, since I haven't had farmy photos up in some time:


While I was gone, Ted put Tella and Judah out together in the north sheep pasture - and they are doing GREAT!  You know, there was a time when I wondered if Judah would accept her, since he just growled and snapped at her through their common fence.   She did spend some time in a pen inside his territory, so when Ted put them together, he seemed pretty happy, actually, to have some canine company again.  Hallelujah, they like each other.


She literally gets him by the tail and runs him in circles.


He wrestles her to the ground sometimes, just to keep her in her place as the puppy of the pasture.


But is just as quick to do a little social grooming, with affection.  There are no food guarding issues between them, and they don't even get jealous of my attention when I'm in with the two of them.  I don't see how the arrangement could have worked out better.  I'm overjoyed.


In the next paddock over, Phoebe, Mary Elizabeth and the lambs are all doing well.  I'm hoping that all this thick fleece portends a nice cold winter - we need the parasites and flies to die, die, die.


The lambs are so big, it's hard to tell them from the mama sometimes!  And their little fleeces are coming on nicely, too.


Rachel says, "hey."  She's inherited the rust colored spots on her face and legs just like her mama, and the bare-of-wool neck that helps her survive our horrid Texas heat.


On the south side of the property, Micah shows off his thickening fiber.  Seems like the minute the heat lets up, the fiber staple length really puts on a show.  He's still growing, too.  Even though he's officially an adult, I think he's a good deal taller this fall.  What do you think?


This Jacob wool on the hoof just makes me drool.  Israel and Tommy have some of the best wool on the whole farm.  Samson is mostly around for his looks, and not for his inconvenient manly personality.


Ruth is hanging tough, though she's been favoring her "good" back leg the past couple of days.  This puts more responsibility on the "broken" leg, which, miraculously, seems stronger than ever.  I'm going to keep an eye on her and see if we need to take her in to the vet to have her other leg looked at.  She also has that wonky pelvis from her long-ago car accident that could be giving her trouble.  I sure hope the arthritis isn't setting in already.  She's become such a fantastic guard dog and livestock mommy--I surely don't want her to become disabled.


Vanni is technically still a puppy, and he plays like one.  But he is steadily getting into his job, and developing a powerful presence in the pasture.  Don't tell the coyotes that he's just a marshmallow inside.  They won't see that side of him, I'm sure.  He has the bark of a Mastiff and nearly the size.  He's huge.


So, both Livestock Guarding Dog pairs are working out beautifully.  Vanni and Ruth, and Tella and Judah have bonded like magic, and we can all sleep peacefully, knowing they are on duty all night long.  I'm totally smitten by each dog for his or her own endearing qualities - we are unbelievably blessed.

My last month was pretty tough, personally.  But as usual, I can count on the Shepherd, my family, my friends and our farm to keep me on an even keel. 

Coming Up:  Watch for announcements about 2012 Shares, and I'd love to see you down in Boerne at Kid N Ewe (November 11-13).

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