Monday, September 08, 2008

Haircuts in September?

Last spring, before we could get Pearl's 9 inch fleece sheared, it got so heavy that she started rolling (in an attempt to roo it?) on the ground and rubbing up against things, which totally felted it right on her body. So, as her fleece was already measuring 4-6 inches, The Shepherd decided that he was going to have her sheared, now. Unfortunately, our regular shearer Marsha was not available, but she recommended a young fellow named Zander, who lives on Guemes Island - about an hour & a half's drive and a 10 minute ferry ride away. He called Zander and he was going to be available Saturday morning "anytime before 11:00" - so we made our plans - get up early - he loaded the sheep (did I mention that we brought Luna too?) into the trailer - I had to get up early (on a Saturday!) and off we went. Well, there are many beautiful places on the way to Guemes (pronounded guay'-mas) and you will have to trust me on that, because I left my camera at home (remember what I said about getting up early?)

Guemes Island is served by the Washington State Ferry system - They have a little ferry that probably holds 25 or so cars - we just made the cut for the trip over, and had to wait a crossing on the way back. But it was a nice day and surprisingly the girls were very quiet (probably so stunned by what was going on that they couldn't speak!)

Anyhow, Zander seems to have taken naturally to shearing sheep - he wasn't bothered much by their squirmy-ness (I however, was about ready to have a fit because Luna was thrashing around so much I thought she was going to break her silly neck). Even so, she got a beautiful haircut, as you can see, with nary a nick.

He got so close her skin looks like corduroy! Actually with the warm weather we are having this week, I hope they don't get sunburned.

So, sheeps were shorn, and we got back to the mainland, stopped and had a quick sub sandwich, then we headed to Camano Island (this time, accessed by a bridge, not a ferry) where The Shepherd was going to check on another one of his landscaping jobs.

He did these raised beds last spring. Don't these folks have a fantastic view!

And this bed along side the driveway, with another "dry streambed"

And this bed by their garage - these pictures were actually taken in April - everything looks very healthy and "grown up" now.

We were there for an hour or so, while he confered with the homeowners - I sat in the nice sun in the truck and read a good book. And the girls were very quiet.

The trip home was a straight shot up I-5 - Sheep unloaded and back in to the barn - where everyone looked at them and went "Eeek - who are you?" (no matter that they had all been together less than 8 hours before).

The other thing that was planned for the afternoon (before the detour to Camano Island was on the docket) was going over to my friend Den and Sharon's to look at, and hopefully, purchase some Alpaca fleeces to blend with some of our Shetland wool. Here is one of the fleeces we bought - this one is actually for Kathy at Sheep Thrills Farm in Arizona. The three we got were white, rose grey and a little lighter than this one. Hopefully they will mix well with our Shetland fleeces and be fun to spin as well.


Kara said...

Hi Tina,
I had a 4 of mine get "haircuts" yesterday too. Although I had got mixed reviews on doing so on a few of the Shetland "list" I asked my vet and shearer to look at the animals I was thinking to have done and they agreed with me. One wether had so much wool he was getting urine scald so I am really glad I had him done. Two of my girls were trying to shed on me anyhow and my ram was really long and had a 3 pound 6 ounce roughly skittered fleece weight. My shearer thought we'd have plenty of time for them to grow a good staple before spring.
I blended most of my Shetland with Alpaca this year. I get it back a week from Saturday. I can't wait. I am picking it up from Zeilinger's "on the road" truck at a local fiber festival. I will let you know how it turns out.

Kathy said...

I can hardly wait! Yummy, yummy! It'll be nice to have it blended to see what the yarns are like.
And I can't wait to see what you do with yours!!!! :)

Tammy said...

What nice, smooth hair cuts! The shearer did a great job. I'm thinking about hand clipping a couple of my little ones before winter sets in....Although I'm sure they won't look like that:-)

Donna said...

Since I am not allowed to shear my 30 sheep alone any more (per Tom and my back), can you email me or post your new shearer's contact information? Zander looks great!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Your Luna looks quite a bit like my Brava; Brava (and Braveheart) have that corduroy look at the skin, too. I've read that that corresponds to finer fleece, and it certainly seems to with mine. Congratulations on finding a great new shearer!