Monday, April 25, 2016

Beware Foxes at Play

Some workmen spotted animals moving in the alpaca pasture. I took this with my 60X zoom lens. He identified them as fox kits playing.
I walked out into the pasture and spotted the mother. She was too quick, so no photos of her. She ran away from where her kits were playing. I moved out slowly and managed to capture one of them on camera.
 It just stood there and looked at me. Caught lots of photos but these are the best. The hole to the left of the it is the entrance to the den.
 This was the exit to the den.
 This is the entrance that the kit was standing next to and which it entered.
 I am pretty sure that this is the third goose that came this spring which we have not spotted in a while.
Anyone know what this skin is? Looks like a fox skin, but I am not sure. It was next to their exit hole and dried up, so it has been there a while.

I moved the sheep out of that area a month ago when I saw a fox hiding in the shrubs. It would not have been able to take down one of them, since they are adults, but moms sometimes pop lambs when you are not expecting them. We just let the kid goats onto the large pasture and I will be running them into the barn every night. The kids are not great about hanging with moms. My Great Pyrenees are pretty good about keeping predators out, but there is no reason to tempt the foxes. I believe in letting wildlife be as long as they are not bothering my animals. My birds are also in aviaries, so no worries there.

Friday, April 8, 2016

 I try to finish a new pattern for each show. This dusty gradient shawl was designed in time for the Maple Sugar Festival in Virginia last month. It is available on my etsy shop as a pattern with lots of gradient yarns to choose from. The finished shawl is available on my Artweaving page.

My next show will be the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival the first weekend of May. I will be in the last row of tents just before the sheep dog trial area. Come visit and fondle the  new yarns!
 The outside barn renovation is almost complete. The barn roof still needs a few patches and then the walls will be repainted red. We already have someone lined up to start working on the inside.
 I am starting to schedule classes here at the farm. May 14, 2016 will be my Art Yarn Spinning Class and May 17 will be my Freeform Art Weaving Class. Email for additional information. I am offering private sessions on all of my classes for the same price as the workshops. I can teach most of what I have for sale. In a few cases, like the classes above, you will need your own equipment.

 Baby season is almost over. I have three more does left to deliver and about 8 sheep. With the warmer weather, they are scampering all over the front yard area. I am going to be selling most of my colored angora goats and a few of the white. Let me know whether you are interested. I am looking for spinners rather than a lot of breeders, but don't hesitate to contact me/
 If you are looking for gorgeous sheep with very fine fiber, Merinos are the sheep to have. They are placid and easy to move with a bucket of grain. They have been taught to come for grain and move away from clapping hands. I still have a few Shetlands for sale. They are a lot smaller, but I have to admit flightier. Most will come when called. The Merino Shetland crosses are a lovely combination. They are smaller, more docile than Shetland and have super soft fiber. They tend to be more parasite resistant than the pure Merinos.
Storms just seem to love the channel beside the house and to the left of the barn. When the locust tree came down on Saturday night, we decided to take out any threatening trees near the house. Two photos above you can see how cleared out the area is next to the house. We now have doubled the size of our wood chip and firewood piles, but the reward is how much quieter the wind is. Amazing how noisy those branches were! I had a hard time sleeping. Now I can barely hear the wind.

I encourage visits to the farm. Just call or email to be sure that I am here. Don't wear your best shoes, since the goats and sheep pasture rotate and don't be surprised when I charge $5 for adults and $3 for 4 year olds and up, if you are not coming to shop.

Check out my website: for additional information. It was just updated.