Friday, July 22, 2011

We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave

As I sit inside being blasted by a fan I thought I would post a quick update. We are suffering in a heat wave here in Massachusetts at 1oam it was already in the 90's. For my friends/family in England that translates at around 30+ degrees. Throw in some humidity and it's pretty yucky outside right now, and not much better inside with no A/C. In fact I am going to a movie theatre later today just to appreciate the cool for a few hours! The animals are doing ok, the fans are blasting in the sheep barn and there are buckets of water a plenty. The other night it was a little cooler (ok so there was a breeze), and I managed to get some halter work done on the lambs.

Eliza still isn't sure about it, but has started to eat animal crackers and I think this will help things progress.

Eleanor was even less unsure. But if a cookie happened to be dropped near her she might be tempted to eat it. Still a mommy's girl she has been the hardest to train, but still any progress is good right now (just realized the picture makes her look like she has 3 legs lol)

Rad is a delight to train. He has become friendly and curious about me and I can even play with his legs already.

My son Ian has taken over training and looking after our wether Vlad, the two of them get on very well, and I think it is sweet when Ian asks if we can "go and walk the lambs tonight?"

Fruit bushes are doing very well. We had so many strawberries this year that we made jam. I still have goosberries left to make jam from as well, when the weather cools down a little. Blueberries and raspberries have a little less fruit on them.

Wonder where the ripe berries have gone?

They are on the way to the pool, and might just get picked in passing on the way there and back again.

I also was busy doing another dressage show with my horse Muppet last weekend (sorry no pictures) and was so happy with him as we scored in the 60% in all 3 tests, he was also such a grown up and really listened.

That's all for now. I hope you (and your animals) are staying cool. Do you have any tips for how to beat the heat?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meet the new guy

Introducing my new ram Windswept Horseradish.

I picked Rad (Horseradish is not that catchy so Rad is his barn name lol) up from the Northeast Youth Sheep Show which was taking place at the Big E in Springfield. Windswept farm were showing there, very successfully. It was great because it gave me the opportunity to meet Heather and Mike (and their very nice children) and learnt a lot of things. I had a wonderful afternoon talking to them, and got to watch the Shetland show. What a great experience. Then we travelled home. Here we are on our arrival.

I'm excited to see what lambs Rad produces next year. He's a lovely lamb and we hope he'll fit in very well at Ridgeway Farm. I am also looking forward to showing him this summer a few times, and next year when he's a yearling.

Halter training and show preparation start very soon.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 5th of July

I know it should be the 4th but yesterday I was busy falling off my horse (ouch), so I am a day late. Thankfully it is all just bruises and a little whiplash in my neck, which should all heal quickly. Things have been busy, with changes taking place. All the lambs that were being sold have left for their new homes, and we also made the tough decision to sell some of our ewes to decrease the flock. I was very happy to find such wonderful homes for everyone though.

We decided to keep the following sheep; Jewel, Isabella, Eleanor, Eliza and Vlad as a wether (he has an appointment next week with the vet poor dear).

That gives us 2 ewes to breed this fall.


And Jewel

And 2 ewe lambs for breeding next year.

We have a ram lamb on his way and I will be picking him up on Sunday. I am excited to get him and think he will fit in very nicely here. Pictures will follow as soon as he arrives. This means I need to do more halter work with everyone, before I add another one to the mix.

I wanted to show you our black eyed susan. It appeared last summer in a crack in the asphalt driveway by the barn. I think it's rather amazing that it is thriving and flowering so beautifully. I hope to be able to transplant it in fall, and hope it does just as well in the garden. Isn't nature wonderful? We also have sunflowers that have sprung up around the chicken coop and one in a pot on the deck that the birds must have scattered. Does anyone else have plants that have just appeared in strange locations?

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.