Sunday, June 20, 2010

Black Sheep Gathering

I can't help it: I like sheep. I like the way they feel, I like the way they smell . . . I like the pretty things that you can make out of them. Yesterday I drove up to Eugene for the day for a really good sheep-fix. I have brought back pictures, as well as wool. Some were taken with my camera, most with my phone. It does make a difference so while I love my phone, I will continue to use the camera.

Shannon (of Kenleigh Acres) in a little stock-dog demo.

A couple of Shannon's Jacob sheep.

Wool judging: the finals of the colored wool

Best in show (left) and reserve.

I found the wool judging very interesting.  Much as in livestock judging, the judge has a microphone and discusses each fleece while making her choice.  She picks up the fleece to see its weight, checks cleanliness, and pulls out locks to check length and quality.  The winner and reserve were both colored Lincoln from the same farm.  The judge, who was from the UK, told us that while we might not know it in the PNW where they are fairly common, the Lincoln is nearly extinct in its original home and is classified as a rare breed.  My first ram was a Lincoln.  Big sheep.  Wonderful, glossy wool.

Blue Faced Leicester, as I was visiting with Garrett.

Just look at these fleeces

The hay is always greener on the other side of the fence.

In the alpaca barn, you could walk them through an agility course.

Some how I didn't manage to bring home any pictures of Shetland sheep. I'm not sure how that happened.  There was a little moorit ewe lamb that I loved.  I don't think she was for sale.  I spent some time talking about the breed with a young man from Thunderhead Shetlands in Monroe, who was ready to put some diapers on them and load them in the Prius.  Yes, I could easily have brought back 3 or 4: they're that small.

Here's what I did bring back:

Died rovings

Yes there was yarn too . . .

These will become a couple of pairs of colorful socks

But it was the rovings that caught my eye and made my fingers itch.  I'll be bringing out my wheel to spin some lovely yarn. The rovings came from Dayspring Farm.

So, no new pasture ornaments yet.  But as I was washing dishes last night I raised my head to the window and saw a young doe looking back at me.

I managed to get outside and take a shot as she made her exit.

Then I got a shot of our beautiful evening sky.