Thursday, July 22, 2010

This heat has got to go!!

Living in Kansas you learn to live with the extremes that summer and winter can bring. And this year is worst than normal I think. Well, maybe it is because we had several rather mild summers the last 2-3 years. But With temperatures in the mid-90's and dew points in the upper 70's that makes for a very high heat index. 105-115 degrees is what it feels like in the shade the past couple of weeks.

Here is what the dogs have decided is the best choice on these hot days!

And then sometimes it is just too hot to even do that. So white dogs have to dream of 25 degrees and snow.

So what have I been doing in this heat? Sweating by the bucket fulls. (lovely image) I think I am drinking about a gallon and a half of water a day and a half gallon of Gatorade.

But this is perfect weather for barberpole worms in sheep and goats. And they can be deadly. So it is VERY important to keep a close I on them. So last Sunday I did a FAMACHA check on all the sheep and goats. The FAMACHA basicly is checking the eye lids of the sheep and goats. Since the barberpole worms can cause anemic conditions, if the eye lids are nice and red then the sheep or goat is dealing with any worms it has on its own. If the eye lid is pale pink or white than you must deworm the animal to kill the worms. It is not a fail proof solution because there are other things that can cause anemic conditions.
So Sunday I checked eye lids. Only a couple of the angora goats needed to be dewormed. None of  the shetland sheep needed to be dewormed ( they are such tough little sheep). But almost all of the icelandic sheep needed to be dewormed. But I kinda expected that. They had a lot of stress in a week and a half. Being moved in a trailer for over 500 miles and being introduced to the rest of the herd. So I am hopeful that they will have much better results toward the end of the summer. But I will continue to monitor their eye lids weekly.

Ok, so what else have I done in this hot weather?
Well, I started using my drop spindle again. It is so relaxing I am not sure why I quit using it! I tried doing it a little different this time though. Since my borrowed drum carder got returned to its owner, I had no way of making a batt to spin from. So I thought I would try 'spinning in the grease' Which is basicly taking the wool from the fleece that I sheared this spring and spinnig directly from it without washing it first.

I was pleasantly surprised at the results. I even started to make a nice thin yarn but then decided I really wanted something a little bulkier so I could weave with it. So here is the result.

Now I just need to learn to ply with the spindle and then have the time to weave!

Have a wonderful evening and stay cool!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

They're here! They're here!!!

My Icelandic sheep are finally here! They are settling in pretty good. So here they are!!
Evra a three year old black badger face ewe.

Evra's ewe lamb, also a black badger face.

Evra's ram lamb, also a black badgerface.

Garnet a year old morrit ewe.

Garnet's black ewe lamb.

This is Herriot a grey ram lamb. He will hopefully be our herd sire for a couple of years. (notice he is NOT eating the ragweed!)

Hazel is a morrit ewe lamb.

And last, but definetily not least! Hosta a white ewe lamb.

I am SOOO excited to have them all home. They are going to be a great addition to my flock!!

Have a great evening!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

1130 miles!

I went and picked up my Icelandic sheep this weekend!!
We left Friday morning at 5:30 am to try and miss the traffic at rush hour in Kansas City. Made it through town with any problems. Headed north to Des Moines and made a small side trip to the 'Freedom Rock'. If anyone has the chance to visit this rock it is well worth it. It is a very large rock that a guy started to paint to honor of soldiers of all our wars. He repaints it every year for Memioral Day. If you click on the two pictures below you will be able to read the whole story.
The next two pictures are of the rock its self. VERY COOL!!!

So we left Freedom Rock and headed east........ forever we headed east! To Dixon, Illinios.
We had a lovely visit with Terri at Red Brick Road Farm. Met all her beautiful sheep and met the ones I picked out. I am very pleased!
Saturday morning picked the sheep up early and head back west again! Iowa drivers have to be the worst!! Can't tell you how many people got so close to our trailer that we could not even see them!! But we saw some very interesting things on the way back. Saw a semi that had driven across the median over the road of on coming traffic and ended up in the trees on its side. Don't know how bad the driver was hurt or why he went off the road. I was not thinking or I would have taken pictures of it as we where driving by. They had the highway down to one lane trying to get him out.
We also saw part of a wind turpine. Two blades where stopped on an off ramp and a third blade was going down the road. WOW!!! That is something I would not want to pull!! And again no picture!
But I did get a picture of a pyrimad of grain trailers. Sorry the picture is soooo bad. But I did not want to delay the trip home.
Crazy, what people do in Iowa! Ha ha!

So after 1130 miles we are finally back home!!! The sheep made the trip with no problems at all. I have them in a small pen so I can keep a close eye on them for a couple of days before I turn them out with the rest of the flock.

So where are the pictures of the new sheep? Well..... you will have to wait until tomorrow!
I am going to bed! Amazing how tired you get SITTING in a truck for two days.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crazy weather!

Well, if you have ever lived in Kansas you know the extremes we get. This year is no exception! The middle of June was hot, humid and little rain. The pastures where drying up. The poor sheep and goats where panting well into evening. And Max, my grey arabian gelding, was wet with sweat just stand there. He should live in the desert, all that sweat would keep him cool. But here in Kansas it just makes him miserable!

Finely, last week we had a break from the middle 90's and heat indexes in the 100's. It was low 80's with low humidity. What a wonderful break! I even opened the windows a couple nights and let the fresh cool air in!

Now, we have rain. Lots and lots of rain! To the point of flooding in some areas. Atleast the pastures are getting a chance to recover before the next hot and humid weather hits.

One thing that has really liked all this wierd weather are the daylilies! They are just beautiful this year!

Now, if you ask the dogs how the weather has been they will say it has been perfect swimming weather. Ok....Ok..... Soaking weather. Hailey does everything the 'big' dogs do, and since Sammie does not swim I don't think Hailey will be a swimmer either.

So I am hoping now that the cooler weather will stick around for atleast another week. Since this weekend we are going to pick up my Icelandic sheep from Red Brick Road Farm ! Finally the day is at hand! I can't wait to meet Terri and the sheep in person! So I need the weather to cooperate and stay cool for a little long so my new sheepies can settle in with out the heat and humidity right of the bat. So everyone cross their fingers for me! :)

Have a wonderful week!!!