Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shearing & Bees & Beautiful Things......

Life has been busy this week, but not so busy as to make me ignore the beauty that spring brings.  I do find beauty in all seasons and I don't think I would be happy living where we did not see an obvious change.  Grover is posed on a moss covered rock and behind him is a rock wall and the face of it is covered with wild trillium.  

On the same walk, we waded through acres of these beautiful tiny blue and white wildflowers.  It almost looked like it had snowed.  Incredible.

On Saturday and Sunday, Sam and I got started shearing our 21 alpacas.  By end of day Sunday, we had only 6 to go.  We still have 6 to go.  Possibly tomorrow evening we will knock those 6 out and be done.    Saturday we sheared everyone I wanted to move to other fields.  We now have 4 older girls down the road across from the guest house.  Left to right we have Peg, who will be 15 in June and came to us as a weanling, Chiquita Margarita, who is 15 and also came to us as a weanling.  She was one of the first 3 alpacas we purchased.  And Tunita.  I believe she is 12 and we have had her about 10 years.  Peg and Chiquita are retired and will live out their lives here.  Tunita could still have a cria or two if someone would like to buy her.  We also moved 3 females to the garage pasture on Saturday.  Two of them are pregnant and showing signs of delivering soon.  Both are over 11 months along and they could deliver today or wait another 3 weeks.  Alpacas are so unpredictable in that respect.  I am hoping for happy hoppy skippy babies, as last fall's losses were devasting to me.

Here are our 4 males: Eclipse, Opi & Bodhi, (Lightning is hiding) in the barn awaiting their turn on the shearing table on Sunday.  I brought them down the road 1/4 mile from their pasture and shut them in and vacuumed them off.  


Here they are with me post shearing, preparing to go back down the road to their pasture.  On the left is Bodhi, who is now 15.  He has been with us since he was a yearling.  Eclipse was born here and has his butt to the camera, Opi is the youngest (grey) and Lightning is again hiding (behind me)

And here we go.  They don't seem too eager to leave the land of females for their bachelor digs down the road.    As you can see, we will need to be doing some mowing soon.  My horse used to keep all this grass pretty short.  He is missed.

 On Monday I picked up my 3 pound package of bees, but I waited until Tuesday to install them in the hive.  The weather was much warmer and nicer.  The box to the left is the package the bees come in.  It is screened on 2 sides and has a round hole in the top for a feeder can of sugar syrup.  You can see many bees on top of this box as it is difficult to make sure every bee gets shaken into the hive.  I leave the package box sitting next to the hive and the bees usually all move inside by the next morning.  I hope this hive thrives and we do not have as cold a winter as this past one.  I won't be getting much of a honey harvest this year, if I get any.  The bees need to build up their colony.

 Another beautiful thing:  asparagus!  What a treat.  Right from the asparagus patch to the steamer and the table.  I think I need to put in more plants.  My asparagus bed just does not seem to be spreading like I thought it would.  We eat it as fast as it grows.

I think this is pretty beautiful also.  This is a 5 skein batch of my alpaca/wool blend yarn that I dyed this week.  I am so happy with it.  I want to knit a sweater using this yarn, but I had already dyed some for that purpose.  I may have to change to this color.  I like it better.  We'll see.  Memorial Day weekend and the Great Lakes Fiber Show are going to be here before I know it and I still have a lot of yarn to dye.  I may not get it all doneBut that's ok.  There is A Wool Gathering to look forward to in September.

Here is round 6 of the Traveling Sock Round Robin.  I should be receiving round 7 in the mail any day now and that will be the last round.  I will finish those socks and mail them to their owner. The toes I knit in January and mailed out will come back to me with the rest of each sock completed by 7 knitters all over the US.  This has been so much fun.

One of my very favorite things  is being able to eat outside on our deck.  Sam and I manage to sit down to our evening meal together just about every day and have done so since we were first married.  It was always important to us to have that time as a family.  We still do it when we all get together and I treasure those times.  Even when it is just us two.


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