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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Playing Possum Really Does Work!

Yes, another sign of spring is that the critters start moving around. Rowdy has caught possums in the yard 4 times, at least 2 different possums and 2 in the same day! As you can see from the photo, they curl up in a little ball and don't move. When Rowdy pokes them with his nose and they don't squeak, he loses interest and leaves them alone. I have even picked them up by the tail without them moving. They also "grin" and show all their teeth, which are impressive, but do not offer to bite. About 1/2 an hour after I took this photo, this guy got up and continued on with his business.

One of my favorite jokes of all time:

"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
"To show the possum it could be done!"

I know, it's stupid, but I love it.

This past week or 2 has been busy. Once again all the alpacas needed their wormer shots, so I did that. Saturday morning, I separated the rest of the fall crias from their mamas and moved them all to a new pasture where they are adjusting well. 2 of them are leaving for their new home in Georgia this weekend, so they need to go to the vet for health papers tomorrow. Hope I can catch them!

I have also been busy with spinning. I am judging a "Hand-Crafter's Spin-off" for the Alpaca Owners and Breeder's Assoc National show and conference. I have done this several times. Basically, breeders send in a 2 oz sample of their alpaca's fleece and they are put into classes of same color and age and sent to me and a couple other judges. We judge each sample on several criteria, spin up a portion of the fiber and score each sample. A class may have 3 entries or 15. The possible total points is 100. It is interesting because I get to spin some very nice fleeces and also some poor fleeces. I think it is educational for breeders who are not fiber-savvy. What is really hard sometimes is trying to be positive about a terrible sample. I remember once I got one that smelled so bad I hated to touch it, but the rule book says I can't DQ a sample for that, so I had to judge it. I can only DQ if the sample is insect infested (haven't had one of those yet, thankfully) or too short to spin. I have had those. I do get paid for this, but not really enough for the time that is involved. But it does help finance my fiber passion (should pay for that spinning wheel I just bought!).

I have also been doing some work outside. The garden is tilled and I have planted lettuce, spinach and beets. We have tomatoes, peas, peppers, and basil started in little pots to put out soon. Also have some onion sets to put out. Sam says our asparagus, which we put in last year is coming up, yipee! Hopefully we will get to eat some this year. We'll see. Can't wait for a fresh baby lettuce salad! Yum.

I'm still plugging away on my mystery shawl knit-along. Tomorrow the 5th clue comes out and I have 2 rows to knit on clue. It was 24 rows of 560 stitches, so time consuming and with the nice weather it is hard to justify sitting and knitting!

Next week I hope to start introducing some of the other animals on the farm, but I need to get current photos of them. Watch for Cheetah, the livestock guard dog soon!

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