The Year Begins!

It has been a long time, with no posts since last fall…just at the end of our shepherding year. But time does fly…and it seems that there wasn’t much of it this year; at least no time for blogging…

The winter would have been restful in many ways…we had a mild and dry few months, and only had to plow snow twice…very strange for our valley. But I was away from home a good deal (now working mainly in NM…still in hospitals on the Navaho Reservation) and when I was home, it seemed that every hour of every day was spoken for.

Brook spent long hours and much good time in the guitar shop…making more beautiful guitars, the culmination of which was attending the Wintergrass music festival in Bellevue, WA with four of his guitars. They were played by many, and admired both for their beauty and for their sound.

In the short dark days of winter, we both revised our web-sites: the Brook Moore Guitars site and the Stonehaven Farm site (and as you can see from the menu at the top, I integrated our blog into the new web-site).

So now it is almost spring, and we begin the cycle again. We sheared last Friday and in a monumental effort, our shearer Clint Goodwin, did all the sheep on our “shear list” in one day…79 sheep were shorn, fleeces rough-skirted, bundled and stored away in the wool room. Lots of friends came to help on Friday, and it was a wonderful day. We all brought out to the barns more food than we could possibly eat, but we did our best!

The weather turned unseasonably warm for the two days following, and the skimpily clad sheep had warm sun on their backs. We fed them in the barns in the mornings and evenings and all seem to have done well.

Now newly shorn, we can see how the pregnant ewes are looking. We are one month away from lambing and it is always thrilling to anticipate the new lives…to try to fathom which ewes will twin and which will have singles, and to dream of colors and patterns. We will lamb 7 ewes this year, and anticipate around a dozen lambs….fewer than any year since our very first lambs in 1998.

But this is part of the plan; this year should see our flock growing smaller by 20 to 25% as we continue with our flock reduction. There is no sales list for 2012 yet…and it doesn’t look easy. I had my hands on every fleece just 4 days ago, and there wasn’t one that I didn’t want to keep!!!


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