Saturday, August 27, 2011


Here they are, at daybreak, the first morning on our farm.

Our starter Soay flock consists of 5 sheep, all from Carla at Rhyant Rock Farms.
*ahem-later edit* SIX sheep.  There are SIX sheep. 

It was really nice to meet Carla (and Larry, too!) after the last few months of correspondence.  She was tremendously generous with her information and infectiously enthusiastic about the sheep - and sheep in general.  Not that we needed inspiration for enthusiasm! The boys have helped through each stage of the process of researching and getting ready for flock's arrival.  
 All 4 of us have been so excited about becoming Shepherds!
The oldest of our little mob is Winniandy, and she is the undisputed leader of the group right now.  She's two years old and has come to us with her ewe lamb.

The sheep are very small, even as adults, and are supposed to be good 'starter sheep': they don't need their tails docked, or to be sheared.

 They seem to have settled in okay, and are busily munching down our back pasture area, the area that will eventually be more for the rams.

I think our learning curve is entering it's steep phase...there is certainly a lot to know.

And, for the fellow fibre lovers in the audience, I have already spun up a teeny tiny sample of fleece (Winniandy is still shedding) into's a short fibre, so I'll probably end up blending it with other fibres until I get better at spinning it.  I've been reading about Soay-specific spinning and fibre preparation techniques, and am chomping at the bit to play some more.

We've taken about eleventy-seven-hundred photos of them all already, and are still getting to know who is who a little.  Three of them are very distinct looking, even to our untrained eyes, but I keep getting two of the ewes confused.  As long as they don't expect me know each of their names to call them to dinner, I think we'll be okay.


 The ram lamb's name is Yorick, which I absolutely love.  He's very cute, with lovely markings and colouring.

So, in among all the other changes we have in our lives right now, we are now a farm (as Max said, "We're a REAL farm now, because we have farm animals").

For those who have been in closer contact lately...yes, we did sell the van, but it won't change hands until later next week.

Randy leaves tomorrow to go to the coast in preparation for his knee surgery, which will take place in the middle of next week.  Our thoughts are all about his speedy recovery and increased mobility. His pending surgery would completely occupy my head if I let it.

The course that I've been writing with my colleagues launches on Sept 12, at Selkirk College.  I'm still working on aspects website which will be the portal for the course, both in this iteration as a pilot, but also in the iterations to come. More pieces of the site are there, but not visible until we go live. We're currently putting the finishing touches on everything, and getting ready to work with some real live students.  It's so exciting, I can hardly stand it when I think about it sometimes.

So, yeah, lots going on right now.

Change can be really good, not baaaaad.


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