Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring is Burtsting Out

There are myriads of daffodils in bloom on my neighbor's property, so I took the pups up this morning and photographed them amongst the flowers.  I call this one Daffy Dogs.

My gosh, things are just popping out.  We had very warm weather over then weekend, and then some rain and a cold front, so this morning we actually had a very light frost. These tulips did not appreciate it.

The woods are starting to green up and the grass in the hayfield is tall enough to ripple in the wind, which we have had plenty of.

 Here you can see the trees starting to leaf out and the hay in the foreground of the pasture which is being enjoyed by the older girls and the mothers of the two weanlings.

There are buds on this vine growing on the gate. 

 And on the peach tree.

Grover and I attended our dog club's last trial until September this past weekend.  We only went on Friday and Sunday, though it was a 3 day trial.  This way I did not have to stay in a hotel and I got some work done outside on Saturday.  We had a very successful weekend.  We ran both days in Novice Jumpers with Weaves and Q'd and got first place both days.  These were our first Qs in jumpers and now we need one more to move up to the Open Jumpers classWe also ran in Open Standard both days, and while I was very pleased with our run on Friday, we had a couple of errors and did not qualify.  However, on Sunday, not only did we qualify, but we took first place in our class.  And there were quite a few 20" dogs entered.  Since our club is not hosting another trial until September, I will hopefully be attending some trials at other venues over the summer.  That is my plan anyway.  I'd like to do one a month.

On Saturday, in addition to planting lettuce in the garden and tomatoes and herbs in pots inside and finishing up the painting on the front windows,  I moved my agility equipment out of the way so Sam could cut down a few more of the pine trees that are in that field.  When we bought this place in '98, this little area was chock full of white pines, which I think were intended to be Christmas trees.  But they had not been cut or pruned and were so big that there was no space between them.  We cleared out most of them to use the space as pasture and over the years we have cut down more as they have grown bigger and bigger.

Sam will split this wood up into small pieces for us to use in the maple syrup evaporator.  But first I have to get out and cut all the limbs off and move them to a place where we can burn them.  Then I think we plan to finally rent a stump grinder and get rid of these 3 stumps as well as the ones left from the last time we harvested trees.  Then I can hopefully keep my agility area mowed.

This week I also replaced all the "heddles" on my big loom.  I decided since I would be threading hand-spun alpaca through the holes in the center of these heddles I would rather have nice smooth new ones than the old rather dirty flat steel heddles.  Look how nice and shiny those are!  And I can slide them across the bars with one finger.  So nice.

Here you can see the difference between the new heddles on the left and the old ones on the right.  I just this morning finished putting the loom back together and hopefully next week I will start to put the warp on the loom for my alpaca blanket.

 In the meantime, I am knitting a little shrug/cardigan that my mother requested.  It is the Abria  sweater and I am doing the cropped version and using a natural colored cotton/ silk yarn.  I hope Mom will like it.  She wants it to go with a dress she plans to wear to a wedding in June. 

My yarn is ready to be picked up at the mill, so I plan to make a trip up there this coming Monday.  Then I will be getting out the dyepots!

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