Sunday, October 02, 2005

new lambs

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We had our second series of workshops at the Hatton Farm yesterday, and these sweet little Finnsheep lambies were there to greet us in the morning.  They had been born earlier in the week, and could not be more precious.
We had a nice turn out for the workshops, some of the people coming from out of state to participate!  It is really fun getting together to teach new skills and share ideas with other fiber people, and even though I am the instructor for some of the classes, I always come away with a little something that I learn from the students.
The one drawback about being an instructor is that you don't have time to take one of the other workshops.  Since there are 4 of us teaching, the mini workshops are going on in different areas of the farm at the same time.  For instance, while I was teaching the spinning workshop in the barn, Grace was inside in the kitchen teaching the casserole dyeing workshop.  When it was time to switch, I went up to the house to teach the needlefelting, and they were having a great time and just finishing up.  What beautiful skeins of yarn they created, so colorful!  And in the living room they were ending the Tri-loom workshop that Judy had been teaching- while out on the patio Louise was completing the Alpaca Fiber workshop.  It is a little like musical chairs, with lunchtime being the only time to really visit with everyone.  It is fun being a teacher, but sometimes I would like to be the student too. 
Once again at the end of the day there were many inquires about when and what the next series of workshops would include, but we did not settle on anything as of yet.  It is really good to see the interest, and to have such a positive response from those who came out to join us.
I was so busy teaching, that I did not get time to take pictures--except for those sweet lambs in the morning...when I see new life like this, I feel like I am seeing something that only a few people have ever seen before....kind of makes it special to think of it that way.  And just so the rest of the crew would not feel like old hat, I took their picture too....
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When I got home in the late afternoon, I had some time to relax and visit with the rabbits and chickens...a nice way to unwind bask in the quiet of the day.  The weather has been really beautiful... no frost in sight, but things have been still and dry.  At dusk, we checked in on the chickens before we locked them up for the night.  We always do a head count...just in case.  One of the hens did not come home last night.  It was the new aracuna pullet.  We searched all around until it was dark, could not find her and went to bed with our fingers crossed.  I was hopeful that she would come walking home in the morning as they sometimes do.  She was not that lucky.  We woke at 4:30 am to hear bagaulking, and by the time we got outside it was quiet and sign of what it was that got her. It is always hard to loose a chicken, but she was a sweet one that we did not have very long.  Here is the last photo I had taken of her earlier that day...
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On the fiber front, I have been spinning up some mohair that I plied with silk...and then weaving it directly onto the loom...something a little different...but every now and then I feel the need to do something different.  It is helping to keep my mind off the loss of the little pullet.  The poor roo, he looks lost today.  I walked down to the river and looked all around to see if I could see any signs of a struggle or feather or (gulp) a carcass.  Nothing anywhere.  Not sure if it was raccoon or fox.  Usually with the raccoon there are signs of a struggle, and I would find the carcass.  Fox tend to run off with their prey.  See how my mind is wandering back to the chicken?  Anyway, here is a shot of the fiber.
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Brigid said...

Sorry you lost your chicken. I enjoy reading your blog because although I live in London (UK) at the moment I am longing for the day when we can move to the country - in about six years' time! I hope to keep chickens but I have often wondered whether I would view them more as pets than productive animals. You seem to keep a level head about these things, which I will also aspire to.

cyndy said...

Hi Brigid-
Thanks for condolences, & taking the time to comment-I hope the day you can move to the country will come soon (it will be worth the wait!) It is a tough choice about letting the chickens free range, because when you do- sooner or later you will loose one to nature....however, I cannot imagine having chickens in a pen all the time. We try to provide for their safty - they have a nice hen house and run that is covered on all sides. During the day they wander around together, then come home to roost at night...don't know what made this little pullet stay out on her own, but it cost her- her life.

Leslie Shelor said...

Sorry about the little hen. I miss having chickens SO much, but when I did have them, I let them run, too. I did have some loses but it still seemed righ to let them roam the farm. So nice to see them scratching around the yard!

Love the yarn; looks like a beautiful piece shaping up on the loom!

cyndy said...

Thanks Leslie-
We are starting to think that an owl got to her...we saw one last evening that was hanging around near the run.

Judith said...

The workshops sound wonderful! I bet it is frustrating to teach & want to be a student too, esp. with what was going on around you. The lamb photos are precious. It broke my heart to hear about your sorry to hear that news. Your fiber, per usual, is lookin' good. PS the owls are out here, I have heard them the past few nights as well as the coyotes.

cyndy said...

Hi Judith-
Yes, it is a bit frustrating=esp. for the student in me (there is always something new to learn!)
We haven't had the coyotes since the foxes moved in...I've read that they don't inhabit each others territory, so you won't have both in the same area at the same time.
We have had coyotes before...and I prefer fox... (even if they manage to steal a chicken or two)

Claire said...

Hi Cyndi, I remember that awful chicken attack sound very well from when I was a kid. Our culprits were Quolls, a marsupial which is only found in Tasmania these days. They'd leave a carcass. We seemed to have problems quoll proofing our hen house as they could get in and cause a real mess and it would be all over by the time we got there. I miss chickens.

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