Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Ride Down the Lane

I know, I know - I haven't blogged lately. I did spin some more for the Tour de Fleece, but it was all the same fiber, so nothing really exciting to show. And I didn't get as much done as I would have liked. This summer has been relatively cool - in fact, the coolest July on record in Madison, which is just about 30 minutes from here. But the cooler weather has meant drier weather - no big thunderstorms brewing without all that heat and humidity. We did get some hot and humid weather about a week ago - and 2 very welcome inches of rain. The pastures were starting to turn brown, but now things are growing again.

No pictures of the garden for you this year, as it has sort of become overgrown. We do have zucchini and summer squash - some herbs - a few beans and cucumbers. The tomatoes have not done well, due to the cool weather in July, I understand.

My experiment with rooing some of my Shetlands did not go well, either. Maybe that is due to the weird weather we have been having, too. So most of the sheep that the shearer didn't shear, I have been shearing gradually over the summer months - on the fitting stand with a hand shears. I have learned that it isn't as hard as I thought it would be. The hand shears works remarkably well. The hard part is catching the sheep. My sheep are a bit fuzzy looking when I get done with them (thus no pictures) - I have a tendency to leave a bit of belly wool on them, due to the fact that I can't see as well underneath them and don't want to cut them. And they usually have a little wool left on their necks, just where the fitting stand restraints go. My sheep are not tame and, therefore, sometimes get a bit impatient with me as I am trimming away. So far, no blood has been drawn - from either me or them - but I don't want to push it. I get most of the fleece off and the rest can wait until the professionals get involved in the spring.

I do have some pictures for you though - just not of sheep or yarn or gardens. These are pictures from the farm. Behind my parent's house there is a lane. It goes down past the sheep pasture and then turns and goes up towards the woods. My father had the brilliant idea of clipping the lane quite a few years ago and I think it is one of the prettiest spots on the planet. Parts of it are shady,

some is bordered by Queen Anne's Lace.

There is a marshy section off to one side where the cattails grow.

This is the view looking up toward the woods - the woods is situated on a drumlin, a unique geological feature resulting from the last ice age.

This little path was Larry's idea. It's not easy getting up to the woods, due to all the overgrown vegetation, so he cut a path partway through. The base of the drumlin is down this fork in the trail. This is the "road less travelled".

Normally, I am riding down this lane - it's really quite a distance to walk. We cut the grass and feed it to our rams. And while the lawn mower is annoyingly noisy, it is still a pretty drive. But once in awhile, I turn off the lawn mower and just admire the view and listen to the birds. I am so glad I live in the country.