Soon the Fall

Next the sauce

Next the sauce

Another moment to pause and reflect on the passing seasons…Why do we only slow to make entries when the changes are noticeable? Daylight is growing shorter, daily average temperatures are falling, leaves too. The farm’s wooly inhabitants grow longer overcoats, put on their undercoats of fine down. They embrace the coming winter without a conscious thought. Are we humans too detached to recognize the need to yield to seasonal changes ourselves?

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The Vortex Returns

Swirling sheep? No- just more of this season’s fickle weather. 66 to 16 to 60 to -6, howling winds and blinding, blowing white out conditions. Sounds normal for the DaSnow beginning...againkotas, but not so normal for Mother Nature in southern ¬†Pennsylvania. She’s having a tantrum. She’s creating beautiful scenery, but under it are frozen waterlines, crummy driving conditions and school schedules that will run into summer. The herd and flock seem to be handling it all in stride as long as the hay and water keep coming. The handful of alpaca even lie out in the open field with backs to the wind and everything covered in white- except the big dark, long-lashed eyes.

Maybe we should be like them. Embrace and enjoy it. …oh yeah- Work! Snow Day! Wait for daylight. Warm up the diesel. Start to plow. Find some knitting and a cup of tea until then…

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Summer’s Dyeing

Oh when the pot boils and steams, these are the days of dyers’ dreams!

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Heading into the end of summer

It’s greener than I ever remember an August to be. Sheep are in the meadow. Goats have mowed the fencerow. Apples are doing the ripening thing and the corn is going toward dryness on the stalk. Butterflies are hitting the bush pretty hard. They must know…

Butterfly bush

Butterfly bush

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Summer of heat, drought and storms

Farming in the Mid- Atlantic teaches you patience and planning–and learning to realize that your plans get altered. Weather and climate determine how most farming progresses.

Summer color

Field Thistle


You learn to manage weeds on the weeds’ schedule. Mow them down. They make more! It’s the give and take of nature.

Leicester Longwool Ewe

Care for the flock when they need it.
Bake bread when the temperature allows it.

Whole Wheat and Honey

Spin in the Tour De Fleece.

alpaca handyed, tufted, beaded yarn


more beaded tufts into yarn

In fact, spin almost every day for a month. Lots of yards get finished.

Manx Loaghtan fiber

More Manx


Triple plied Finn Wool


And even more… Spin a fine yarn

Mohair in watermelon colors of summer

To be Navajo plied

DO a bit of wet felting with the Guild.

Wet felted wool onto alpaca

And tend the flock once more.

BFL x Cheviot mule ewe, Great Mom!

Find them some shade.

In the Shade of the not so old apple tree


And continue to care for the bottle babby until weaning in the heat of July. She’s doing fine.

Leicester Longwool Bottle lamb


Check your weeds again…They’re still growing, even when the hay has gone dormant.Summer color

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Friday at last…

What a beautiful end to this week! What a difference from last week!  Ten inches of snow pre-Halloween was a bit much. Luckily we had gotten a large load of hay the week before. After an early spring of coolness and continual rain came a summer drought. Late August brought us more rain, an earthquake, another 13 inches of rain from Lee and now this?

Animals are getting ready for fall. The autumn colors are in full blaze. Now it is the shepherd who needs to catch up, but hey- we get another hour this weekend.

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A Week of Temps ABOVE freezing!

hairpin lace

hairpin lace bulky weight Cheviot/alpaca earwarmer

The weather is changing! I can finally see grass in the pasture as the snow gradually leaves on the south facing slopes. What snow there is has gone through fluffy, granular, sugary, slush, back to ice and finally hard packed and slick on the paths. The goat and sheep tracks have broken through and gone to earth. Ground Hog’s Day has passed with Punxatauney Phil prognosticating an early spring and Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. The sun is shining, wind is picking up and spring is oh so close! Hay comes today and the barn cleaning is soon. The buds are starting on the apple trees. I can hardly wait!

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