Monday, September 23, 2013

Changing Seasons

"Pikkupojat" vaimoineen lahtevat kanoottireisulle.

Marja's green thumb is evident in our flowers.

Hammock repurposed as a swiss chard drying rack.

September brings clear air and low flying clouds.

The sheep enjoying fresh grass.  Because of our wet summer I could not pasture them in the lowland until now.

I generally carry a stick with me whenever I go inside the electric netting.  Our ram Gunnar sometimes thinks it would be a good idea to butt me.  I tend to disagree with him.

There's really nothing wrong with this corn.  Johnny just wrinkles his nose to raise his glasses.

Shucking corn in the garden.  The chairs were Johnny's idea.  He had ridden 50 miles on his bike that morning.

Stripping and bagging corn after it has been boiled immersed in boiling water for 4 minutes to lock the flavor.  Once again, we were a few days late in doing this; it was still sweet, but had lost a bit of its freshness.   Corn waits for no man.

 Paul Hornung came out and sheared all ten of our sheep. 

The boys eagerly awaiting their turn in the barber chair.  I penned up the sheep for a day so their stomachs would be empty and they wouldn't poop on the shearing board.

The shears are powered by the hanging motor via a cable drive.

Grandpa came over to watch.  It was a chilly evening, but the effort of wrestling the sheep apparently kept Paul warm enough.

It's a shame that such beautiful birds are destined for the freezer, but very few roosters live more than a few months.

Gunnar, the last customer.  Paul has an amazing way with sheep.  They struggle very little, and almost seem hypnotized.  I guess he's a "sheep whisperer". You need a good back to be a shearer. Notice the leather mocassins that Paul wears. They allow the shearer to easily slide his feet on the shearing board and slide them under a sheep when needed. Paul shears each sheep the same way, first shearing off the belly wool (which is the loose wool at the edge of the board) and then moves the sheep through a series of positions to take off the fleece off in one piece.  The bags are Marja's feet contain the individual fleeces.  If you know any handspinners or felters interested in good summer lambswool, let them know.

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins.....

Gunnar and Ragnar with their new look.  Shearing seemed to energize all the sheep, especially Ragnar.  He has been challenging Gunnar every day and they have butting heads regularly.

A September Sunset.

A Sunday afternoon haul - 4 pails of blackberries.  Note Marja's red fingers.  She wore here biking gloves to protect the backs of her hands from the thorns.  This has been a record year for blackberries, and also a good year for black bears.   Black bears feed heavily on blackberries in the fall before going into hibernation and need a lot of stored energy.

Our new cat, Ilkka.

He is very friendly and like all cats, appreciates comfort.

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