Monday, April 15, 2013

Going green

Finally, it's going green here in central Kentucky.  We had a little spell of rain and warm weather last week and the grass and trees and bushes are waking up.  Seeing the sheep grazing happily on tender grass and the tiny leaves emerging on the pecan trees in the yard was a bright spot in an otherwise frustrating week.  Looking back through posts from years past, we usually have poppies, peonies, viburnum and lilacs blooming by now, but this year we are way behind.  I'm hoping this means that we'll have a long, lovely spring that lasts well into June before the summer heat and humidity come to stay.

(My big bottle baby, Buddy)
It's an awfully quiet spring here at Tanglewood with no lambs to enjoy.  With the exception of a year or two when I chose not the breed the ewes, I've never had a spring without lambs in my shepherding life.  Mr. Bates was either too young for the job or else he was sterile.  In any case, we will never know because we castrated him last weekend, so he's now a wether.  Why would we do that?  Mr. Bates has a gorgeous fleece (he's half Wensleydale and has so much luster, I swear he sparkles!) and I wanted to keep him, but he was developing a bit of an "attitude".  I can't keep any animal around here if they are not trust-worthy and he was starting to make me feel uneasy.  All that testosterone was making him a bit of a punk less than agreeable to have around.  So, now that he's a wether, he should mellow out and start being a nicer boy.  He and Buddy are together right now, so he has the perfect roll model for becoming a true gentleman.  In another four or five weeks he and Buddy can join the girls out in the big pasture and they'll hopefully be one big happy family for the rest of the summer.

(The former punk - Mr. Bates)
Have you checked out the workshops for the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival?  There are some terrific offerings - so much to learn, so little time.  I wish I could take a few classes, but I'll be there as a vendor and that will keep me plenty busy.  (I do hope to sneak in just a tiny bit of shopping.)  We've got lots of new features this year.  We're hosting a Farm-To-Table dinner on Saturday evening, more food vendors (gelato this year...yay!!), and a great selection of fiber and equipment vendors.  I promise, you'll be glad you came.

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