June is here and that means summertime. Hot humid days fading into cool nights. Lots of work to do on the farm. We love to see healthy, active crias romping in the pasture!
We are still not done shearing. Almost there, but things have been so busy that there are not enough hours in the day.
I took 2 female alpacas to northern Ohio last Thursday for breeding and on the way home my brake line broke on my truck, so it was out of commission and 70 miles away for a week. Got it back last night and now I still have one alpaca to deliver to PA for breeding. No one was injured in the incident and I was close by some good friends who helped me out big time. It reinforces how important good people are in our lives. Thanks, Bill & David.
Friday evening, Elli delivered her cria, a super cute little male. Here he is:
I attended the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster Ohio on Saturday with a friend and dropped off about 65 pounds of fiber to Morningstar Fiber Mill http://www.morningstarfiber.com/ to be made into rug yarn and knitting yarn. I hope to be able to start weaving alpaca rugs by the end of August. The knitting yarn will be dyed and sold and I will probably use some myself. In addition to dropping off fiber I chatted with friends and did a little shopping.
Sunday we needed to bale and put in the hay that Sam had mowed Friday and Saturday. We got about 50 bales off a small field and about 100 off our new field. We could have had another 100 or so, but didn't need that much, so we called a neighbor and told them if they came and baled it, it was theirs. They do round bales for their cattle. Our first cutting hay is for our horse, Apache, and 150 bales should easily get him through the winter. We feed second cutting to the alpacas. We will do that hay in August. The photo above is Sam raking the hay prior to baling.
Here is the small field along the road with the bales ready to be picked up and put into the loft. We had to borrow the neighbor's truck to pick up the bales since ours was in the shop. We have great neighbors!
My mother also arrived for a visit on Sunday in the midst of all the work. We had been dog-sitting for her and she was coming to take her dog home and spend a couple days with us.
On Monday evening, Sidney, one of my boarder's alpacas, delivered her first cria at about 5 pm. She had a healthy black female cria. This was the second birth my mom was here to witness. It's aways exciting. This cria was the first cria from our black herdsire (stud), Oscuro, so it was doubly nice that it was a female and black.
Tuesday evening, I had my first lesson in running a chainsaw. I have never really wanted to use one before, but we will need a lot of wood cut up for our syrup evaporator come February, so it will be good for me to help out. Plus, we wanted to clear out some more pine trees from one of our pastures, so Sam can cut them down and now I can cut them up. Notice in the photo I am wearing protective chaps (that sentence was for my mother's benefit!).
This morning, another of my boarder's alpacas, Ahnnie, delivered a little male cria while I was doing my chores before work. This was the 5th of 6 crias due this spring, so only one left to go. My girl Peg is holding out on me at 359 days of gestation today. I think our farm record for long gestation is 373 days, so hopefully she won't be going for the record! I am ready to have them all delivered. Here is Ahnnie and her new baby.
Sam is cutting down trees to run through the sawmill for lumber for the picnic shelter he is building up by the pond. He is going to make it 24 X 24 and will be building the roof trusses himself. He was hauling out a 14' poplar log as I was leaving for the office this morning.
I am almost done with my mystery shawl. The edging is taking long time, but time to knit has been in short supply lately. I have a goal, though, of having it done by my next spinning guild meeting which is a week from today. I should make it. We'll see!