Jen Pietsch
Orcas Island, WA

I love spending time outdoors, gardening, running and raising my fleeced friends!
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Saturday, April 27, 2013

postheadericon Like a Bad Dream -- I am Back!!

Look it’s Me!
Well it has been a while.  I am still very much a farmer at heart.  I just haven’t had the itch to write.  Which is funny because there has been much to write about. 
I think I am a little like the swallows that I saw when I looked out on the pasture the other day.  All of a sudden they were back.  I always wonder what makes them all come back at the same time, but sure enough  they have arrived in force.  Well out of the blue here I am too. 

As I look out on the farm there have been a few big changes I will bring you up to date on.  First, we have put in more pasture.  Or shall I say, we have fenced more of our existing pasture.  Some girls like precious metals, I on the other hand really prefer four foot tall wrapped wire no climb fence, not that I am particular at all.  We haven’t added any new alpacas but Brooklyn and Autumn (aka Martian) are each expecting come late summer.  These will be our first in two years!  I am sooo excited.

I have acquired a new skill- sheep shearing!  I went with a couple of girlfriends out to the eastern Washington tourist Mecca of Moses Lake.  Last year we went for a week and learned all of the ins and outs of the classic Australian method.  It is kinda like dancing…with a big wooly sheep…who sometimes doesn’t want to dance.  We began to shear for other farms last spring.  This year we went back to Moses Lake for the one day advanced shearing class.  We all got certified at a higher level.  This year our spring has been filled with more and more shearing jobs.  Talk about a fun workout.  Last week we were lucky enough to have three big jobs in a row! 

One of our first jobs last spring was to shear at Shaw Island’s Our Lady of the Rock Monastery under the able guidance of Mother Hildegard who is the shepherdess .  She has a beautiful flock of colored Cotswold sheep.  It was an adventure for which we received payment of three beautiful purebred white Cotswold ewes.  Dolly, Lilly and Ulla Dula.  When fall rolled around we were lucky enough to head back over to crutch (shear the wool off the back sides of the sheep in preparation for winter lambing) and received a lovely young ram as payment .  Hello Joey!

I know you can see where this is going.  We now have three pregnant ewes!  Two of the ewes live at my house- Lily and Dolly and are beginning to get udders so lambs can’t be far off.  They brought along one of my shearing buddies ewes who lambed two weeks ago – Verna.  She had lovely twins- Petunia and LollyChop.  (They are all kinds of cute!) Ulla lives with her owners flock just the other side of town. 

Oh there is so much more to the Lily and Dolly story.  I’ll try to get to it in a  in a different post- I don’t want to wear myself out.  It’s all about pacing.

Well that is just a little update.  Let’s talk soon!