Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sheep, Shearing, Shaving & Sadness

We had a beeeutiful day last week for shearing. It was sunny and warm (even a bit too warm once the sun started beating down on us.)

The sheep were really wooly after growing their fleeces all summer, fall, winter and into spring.

I catch the sheep in the barn while Farmer Anne grabs them at the door, wrestles them to ground and begins the shearing.

The mess-o-wool that's left behind is sorted, skirted (throwing the icky bits away) and either sent to the carding mill or I send it to Prince Edward Island where it's woven into super warm blankets.

Naked sheep, checking each other out. They don't recognize each other so they need to re-introduce
themselves. Hi, I'm Sparkleberry!

But soon after shearing, sadness has hit Dancing Leaf Farm again. My beautiful Brambles has moved on to higher pastures. She lived longer than most sheep, 19 years, and was good till the end. She took a bit longer to get up from the back pasture, but she never complained.

Being a Jacob, Brambles was spotted with four horns. Most people thought she was a goat. She was a bit skittish but finally learned to eat out of my hand. She stomped her legs at strangers, giving them a wary eye, but would be the first one to come for grain. I had her for 16 years and thought she would just go on forever. She had little skinny legs, fine boned and had the most beautiful face.
She looked awesome out in the field, with her spots and four horns. Her dark spots would bleach out to brown so she really was a tri-color. Good bye Brambles and thank you for bringing joy into my life. Say hi to Mocha!

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