Wednesday, June 12, 2013

All's Quiet.....For Now

The boys wait patiently for me to come out of the alpaca field in the morning.

Things are somewhat quiet for now.  Just the normal summer chores of keeping vegetation at bay such as mowing and whacking down weeds, weeding the gardens and enjoying being outside.  There is a good bit of noise from the well they are "fracking" a couple  miles away and they have started to set up what I can only assume is a big drill on the pad up above our hayfield.  It may be hard to see in the photo unless you click and enlarge it, but the drill is about in the center of the frame.  It just went up Monday and I have not been down that way at night to see if it is lit up yet or not.  It will be.  So the drilling is coming closer.  The wells on this pad will not affect us (except for the noise), but the next pad they plan to drill on will eventually go under part of our property and we will see some financial benefits from that, but not for a while.  

The raccoon that had terrorized my chickens has obviously been taken care of and all the chickens, including the rooster are now returning to the coop at night like they are supposed to.  I still have that worry each morning now when I go to let them out that I will find dead chickens again.  But so far, my worry is for naught.  

 I told Sam I would like to put in an herb garden close to the house and put a little picket fence around it to keep dogs from watering it.  I was surprised that he was enthusiastic about the idea and should be making the fence for me today.  It will only be a couple feet high so that it can be stepped over, eliminating the need for a gate.  Its purpose, other than to look nice, is really only to keep the dogs away.  Yes they could easily jump it, but I don't think they will do that just to pee!  

This weekend I need to get into the bee hives again.  I think I should be able to harvest some honey.  Sure hope so anyway.  I also need to use the weed-whacker up near the orchard hive and I think I will need to smoke the hive before I can get too close with a noisy machine.  I will wear my bee jacket for sure.  I hope to have honey harvest news next week.

I have been working on getting a few of my female alpacas bred for crias next spring.  I have been using our white male, White Lightning with 3 white females and the rose grey male, Opus One (Opi) with my true black female and 2 fawn females.  5 have been bred.  One fawn female has just been adamant that she is not going to be receptive, so I'm giving her another week to think about it. 4 of the 5 who were bred were non-receptive 6 days later and only 1 maiden (first timer) female needed to be re-bred this week.  Sunday I will re-test everyone and hope for lots of spit-offs from the females.  


I have been getting some fibery stuff done.  I knitted a beanie for the nephew of my older son's girlfriend.  I guess she is really kind of my daughter-in-law since she and Ian have been living together for about 4 years.  Anyway, her 15 year old nephew is going through chemo for lymphoma and I thought I would knit him a hat. He lives in Portland OR but is a Patriots fan, so I bought some nice soft washable Merino wool yarn and found a chart for some stars and knitted a simple beanie.  I need to wash it and get in the mail

I hope he likes it.  If not, someone will.  

I also finished the summer top I was knitting with a hemp/cotton blend yarn. I am happy with it.

 And I got my small loom warped for a sampler I am weaving to learn a double-weaving technique which will allow me to weave a 5+ foot wide blanket on a < 4 foot wide loom.  Once I spin up all the 3000 yards of alpaca yarn required to weave such a blanket.  If I put it in writing I will do it, right?  Stay tuned for updates!

Speaking of updates, I inventoried my hand-dyed yarns and updated my web site, so if you want to buy any lovely hand-dyed 100% Ohio alpaca yarn, visit my site here:
Yarn from Straightfork 


 Yesterday was younger son Sam's birthday.  Hard to believe he is 26!  He is the one who lives at a lodge just outside Yosemite National Park.  He is he sous chef there.  I highly recommend Evergreen Lodge   if you are ever thinking of going to Yosemite, which is an incredible place.  Sam flew to Portland to visit Ian and Michelle for his birthday and I think he is enjoying a mimosa with his morning coffee in this photo.  

That's about it for this week.  Here's a parting shot of the dogs on a typical summer evening walk.


1 comment:

  1. The hat is beautiful, Cathy and I'm sure Nathan will love it. All his hair is gone now and he's always huddled in blankets, so he'll be happy that it will help him to keep warm. Thank you again.