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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yeah, It's April!

Doesn't Rowdy look cool in a hat?

 True to form, we are on a weather roller-coaster now that April is here.  Today, it is gorgeous and sunny and upper 60's.  The kind of day one really hates to sit inside at a computer.  Just 2 days ago (which I spent at a grant writing seminar all day), I don't think it got out of the 30's and was just damp and dreary and cold. Our weekend is supposed to be in the 70's.  I guess I will gettin' out the deck furniture!


We've had some changes around the farm.  This past Saturday, 7 alpacas went to their new home in Florida.  6 were all under a year old and 1 was a pregnant female.  They had a long ride in a small trailer, but all arrived safe and sound and will hopefully enjoy the warmer climate.  Myself, I think it would present a whole new set of challenges to raise alpacas in Florida, but lots of folks are doing it.  


So after they left, I moved the last 2 fall crias to the weaner pasture
Whiny weaners!
to join the 3 that were left over there.  Today, the black one on the left in this photo is going to her new home over in western Ohio.  She is the one we got Buck for in partial trade.  The other 4 are all that's left of the 2010 cria crop.  


We also have some long-time boarders leaving this weekend.  1 female who has been with us for years and her last cria, also a female, who  is now a year and a half are moving to a farm closer to their owner.


So our alpaca population wil have gone from 53 to 43 in a week's time, which is fine by me.  Especially with shearing season coming up.  Of course, there ARE 6 crias due in May and June, so there is no fear of me not having enough to do!


Speaking of things to do, I finished up one of those to-do list items, finally.  I put up the last of the siding in my studio on Monday.  I had to go purchase one last sheet as I had mis-calculated a bit on my needs.  The last wall of course was the hardest as that is the one which has the window and door and the electrical outlet and light switch, but I think I did all right.  Now I need to stain the paneling and do something with the floor.  I have an idea, but I'm not yet ready to commit.


This is the corner that gave me fits.  Straight wall?  NO!


Front wall with window, door and lightswitch









 Last week, I put in our order for 3 pounds of bees, so Sam is busy (as a bee?  Really?) this week building a top bar hive. 

Photo from a web site about top bar hives

 A top bar hive is more horizontal than the hives you usually see and are more like the hives the bees would choose on their own.  They build their honeycombs hanging down from the bars that lay across the top of the wooden box and the comb is in a shape the bees would make in the wild.

The bees will be arriving in Ohio from California at the end of this month, so I guess I got some studyin' to do.  I have been thinking about getting honeybees for some time, and I guess this year just seems like a good time to jump in. 




Here is the view lookin' out my back door a week ago today.  Of course, there is a dusting of snow, but if you look closely you may note that the huge mountain of POO has all but entirely disappeared!  Don't worry, I already have a good start on replacing it all!


I am actually getting my new loom warped up this week.  It is a little different than my old one, so I am doing it a new (to me) way that is taking some time, but I should have new rugs working shortly.  I finished up 2 hats I was knitting.  I was hoping to get 4 done in a short period of time, but it was really not realistic, so now I can wait a while since it is pretty much past alpaca hat time anyway.  I've gone back to working on the purple lace shawl and hope to finish THAT in the next couple of weeks: time permitting.  I still have a few fleeces to skirt for rug yarn (everything else has seemed more fun than skirting), but should knock that out tomorrow or Saturday.  I want to dye some more fawn fleece for rug yarn as well.  You see, I have lots of grand plans, and just never enough time in the week.  


This week I will leave you with a couple photos of Phoebe the alpaca doing what alpacas really like to do:  Taking a dust bath.  


First one side......

Then the other!




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