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Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home
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1st: Rugs and Fibre 2nd: The Land 3rd: Cats 4th: Wildlife 5th: The Land 6th: Rugs and Fibre 7th: Rugs and Fibre 8th: Dogs 9th: The Land 10th: Cats
11th: Poultry 12th: The Land 13th: Sheep 14th: Rugs and Fibre 15th: Fruit and Veg/ Garden 16th: Dogs 17th: Rugs and Fibre 18th: The Land 19th: The Land 20th: Poultry
21st: The Land 22nd: Rugs and Fibre 23rd: Rhea 24th: Dogs
1st: The joy of fibre
Jack's latest peg looming rug is growing nicely. We are using fleeces from our six older ewes, Mrs Brown and Mrs White (both Badger Face) and the four Shetlands Muckle, Ness, Whalsay and Bressay. These are all last year's fleeces and we are using the best of each one before consigning the remainder to use as compost for our pots next year. We are loving using their wool and choosing what colours should go next to each other.
And the new Glimakra Ideal floor loom is almost ready for our next alpaca rug. David will be using our own Suri fleeces, complete with their curly locks.
Working with our own fibre like this really is the perfect way to spend an evening.
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2nd: Rainbows and hay!
Quite fantastic - we have had so many rainbows over the last week or so - this one from yesterday was one of the best!!
Meanwhile today we had the usual mixture of sun and rain and amidst an afternoon downpour, the alpacas voted with their feet when we wheeled in the ex-cow 'hay trolley' for them. With 35 animals sharing the 'sheep' hay rack, and hay consumption now being one bale a day, we decided we needed to provide a second feeding station... less crowding hopefully and there shouldn't be as much wastage from this hopefully either.
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3rd: Sorry, but this seat is taken
It appears that David's seat in the kitchen is no longer available!!
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4th: Butterflies and ducks
Red Admiral butterflies don't actually fully hibernate, they roost when the weather isn't great and fly around when it is better. It was a lovely warm, dry, day today (our first for a while) so it was no surprise to see this chap(ess) enjoying the sunshine in one of our fields.
And the Muscovies too enjoyed the better weather, taking to the stable roof for a bit of sunbathing. We are loving having just these ducks again - they were in fact a little intimidated by the geese and their four duck followers and since their move to live with a friend, the Muscovies have been a lot more confident and visible in the paddock generally. We are very pleased!!
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5th: New grass
We moved the sheep and alpacas to Fruit Field today - this is now the last field with any remaining late summer/ early autumn grass left to be grazed. After this, we will simply rotate between here and Swallow fields until the Spring!! Hay consumption will now go up, probably to a good bale a day!!! Let's just hope we don't get too wet and have to bring this lot in at all....
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6th: Subtle
Someone is already being just a little possessive about the latest peg loom rug, the very 'unfinished' peg loom rug we might add. We need to get a move on then don't we?
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7th: Getting organised
It doesn't take long to fill a room when working with wool and fibre, we have just put up a few shelves (in our front room) so that our working space isn't quite so cluttered. We are ignoring the fact that both our spare rooms upstairs are totally unable to accept visitors at the moment, due to the forty odd bags of this year's fleeces... that's our next job.
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8th: Sparrow
Morning walk in the wet fields- alert, happy and beautiful - Sparrow, 16 months - at her best, and looking more like her mother every day!
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9th: The need for hay
It's not that there isn't any grass, but after a mere four days in Fruit Field, the message is clear: we need our hay now!!! The grass is obviously not sweet enough, not juicy enough and definitely not filling enough. We wonder how many bales 35 animals will start to get through in a week!!
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10th: More cat snuggles
This pairing is Pepper and Chilli. Salt and Nay, the remaining two out of our six, well, let's just say that the chances of finding them cuddling up together is rather a lot less than 'never-in-a-million-years'.
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11th: Grape the Drake
Grape is now eight and a half weeks old. We got him back in 2013 along with three of his brothers. We seem to recall we swapped them for a rabbit, that wasn't even ours but that we were rehoming!! We cannot quite recall the full story there. Grape though, became the chosen one as his siblings ended up in the pot. He is a gentle soul, number two now to Orange, our chocolate male who joined us three years ago but he will forever be our hero after having saved Jack from an aggressive turkey stag several years ago. Grape literally launched himself at Napoleon (all our male turkeys are called Napoleon) and saved Jack, we are sure, from some nasty scratches. Not sure how long male ducks live for but we hope he carries on being with us for a while yet!!!
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12th: Mud control
It's that time of year when we start putting spent hay in gateways and in the front of field shelters to soak up some of the wet and mud. The beauty of it is, we never run out!!!
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13th: The utterly adorable Chips
Chips!!! Our Hebridean bottle baby! Adore this sheep in every which way possible. Runs over for a chuckle, gets stuck in with the 'big' boys and girls, and is as rotund as she is tall!!! We sooo don't want her to grow any more!!!
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14th: First Suri Rug
Exciting.. the latest rug is finished. This is a sumptuous honey coloured rug made entirely from our Suri boy, Adrastea. Those locks are as silky soft as they look.
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15th: Raspberries
We think this may be our last day for picking raspberries - they are now starting to taste a little tired and are no where near as juicy. We have probably picked somewhere around 7-8kgs. Not bad for a dozen plants in their first full year. We are thrilled.
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16th: A little help
Sparrow joining in with David's post-run stretching this morning!!! Always the keen-bean!!
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17th: First fibre sales
Very chuffed to have posted our first fibre orders today: 100g lots of of best alpaca fibre 'firsts', washed and dried and ready to use. We are packaging using recycled materials as much as possible (this box used to contain packets of cat food), without (hopefully) compromising the look of the product.
We hope we have very happy customers when these boxes arrive!!
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18th: Autumn
Never fails to impress and raise the spirits!
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19th: Living the dream
A man, his dog and a a feed bucket!!! And that view!!!!
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20th: Newbies
We bought a few more birds this week (which is obviously helping to progress our determination to cut down...). The ducks are a pair of female muscovies, bought in to help imbalance the male/female ratio for the spring! Drake and Orange need to be able to spread their love else we could have some unhappy ladies. And the chickens... well, we are getting three eggs a day just now, not quite enough for us, the dogs and our two regular orders for Lynda and Inge!!! We have got eight: four Columbian Blacktails, two leghorns and two Blue Marans Hopefully when they have got over the shock of being moved and stopped moulting, they will help get those egg numbers back up. Of course come the spring, we will have too many - eggs that is!!!
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21st: All together
After five years, we finally realised today that the best 'shed' to be our 'winter machinery shed' is the one in Oak Field. This is because this shelter will almost definitely not be needed over the winter due to the field being too wet for the sheep and alpacas and so only used by the rhea who never use a shelter anyway!! And so this afternoon we had a happy couple of hours moving our topper, trackmaster, harrow, poo picker-upper and land trailer from Fruit Field. This necessitated having all the gates open between the fields and this it was that at one time we had dogs, rhea, sheep and alpacas happily mixing. What a glorious sight - helped by the very blue sky!!
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22nd: Suri Rug Number Two
David at work on our latest alpaca rug. This is spun fibre from our second Suri boy, Ganymede. This rug will be approx 32 inches by around 60 ish and may or may not be for sale, as it is entirely possible we may like it too much.
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23rd: No longer chicks...
Our young rhea are now between three and six months old and they are getting very large. We still shut them away at night as they are not yet fox proof and won't be till the spring, but during the day they wander round the Viewing Area and Poultry Paddock. Here they are amongst the willow (and nettles). They are a close group and it is getting harder and harder to think about parting with them. If only we could be sure they were all females, we wouldn't mind keeping them all!!!
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24th: Daisy!!
A wonderful afternoon with Michele Rose and the amazing Daisy - 6 months old and an utter joy!! She coped with our manic gang of six by showing the perfect mixture of confidence and knowing her place. We walked all seven dogs round our fields where the game of chase went on and on and on, they played in the house, had supper together and then we all enjoyed checking out the alpaca rugs in the front room. Sparrow and Daisy became the best of best buddies and played and played and played. Meanwhile the humans all had a jolly good catch up having not seen each other for well almost a year and a half!! It was just the most fabulous afternoon.
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