Tuesday, March 11, 2008

False Spring?

Things have FINALLY started turning around, at least as far as the weather goes, here at Oleo Acres. The creek, once almost to the underside of the old bridge, is still high but not flooding. We have been promised weather in the 50s lulling us into the idea that spring is here. Those of us who have lived in this area for a long time know full well that "It ain't over yet!" - we still will have winter until the end of May, or maybe mid-June. The birds are singing spring songs and scoping out nesting sites. The nurseries in town are getting in pansies and violas. All tempting gardeners to buy and plant now.

I have always said the definition of an optimist is a gardener in Flagstaff. I am guilty myself of buying plants early only to have Mr. Frost and his cousin Mr. Frozen let me know they are still in the area. My DH is the same...we both enjoy having lush green plants around and hate to have to wait until June to plant much of anything. But we know better. And even though I know better, I still look at the vegetable and herb starts in the stores and drool.

I happened to get this picture of Skit and Colin this morning. The sun is behind them so it's not the best shot of them, but they had this "look" on their faces. I think they were almost glad to see me this morning. There was no pacing the fence line waiting for food and demanding "Hummpf!" on their lips, and no demand for cookies as I was late to the barn this morning. The young wethers are now in the pen with Big Brother and Dad. I will be able to clean out their pen in the barn and transfer the ewes to it while I ready the other end of the barn for lambing jugs in anticipation of our mid-April lambing. I find myself happily waiting as a child would Christmas. What will the Sheep Stork bring this year? What colors will they be? How many ewe lambs this year? I had to have a talk with Skittles about the abundance of ram lambs last year, telling him, "No, no, Skit. Girls only this year, Skit!"
The chickens have been enjoying the warmer weather. To the left of center in the above photo is Slick, our Ameraucana rooster. He's a bantam rooster, but don't let that fool you. We have the happiest 11 hens anyone could wish for. Nice to see a rooster happy in his work.

I had to remove the coats I had on the girls to keep their fleeces clean. They were beginning to resemble sausages ready to burst out of the casings. From the front they have the appearance of big fluffs of brown marshmallow on four toothpicks with all that fleece. Most have at least 5 to 6 inches of fleece. Keep your fingers crossed that I can find a shearer before the end of this month.

OK, Girls...remember...girls only this year. I talked to Skittles and he assured me he would do his best for girls. How about a couple of nice horned ewes while you're at it? C'mon Loretta and Ailee...pass those genes on...I know you can do it!

Posted by Picasa


~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I am sitting in my office with the door open, temps in the mid 60's today, more to come tomorrow. I posted pics of green things coming up in my weed/flower bed... talk about a false sense of security. The trees/bushes are all thinking its spring and start to bud, about mid April it will snow again and freeze for at least one night and day, doing in the flowers on many-a fruit tree. The next day it will be in the 80's and the next the 90's lol this is Nevada, if you dont like the weather, wait a minute :)
Sounds like you have the same problem.

Leigh said...

Well, it that isn't "real" spring, it looks close enough to celebrate! All your critters sure to look like they're enjoying the beautiful weather.

Sharon said...

Oh boy, good luck on finding a shearer soon - don't want those beautiful fleeces to be heaved!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Aw, go buy yourself some pansies and bring 'em indoors if you need to. You deserve some color, too!

Rascal said...

Looks like a very lovely day at your place. Lots of lovely sheep fur too.

Tammy said...

Am so glad you are getting a break! Even if it is 'false spring', enjoy it while it lasts. We have had a wonderful week of warmish weather. It's suppose to turn off cooler again this weekend and maybe spit some snow. This makes me bitter, and the tree frogs won't be happy, but HOPEFULLY our Spring is really just around the corner. Shearing is Saturday after this one, so am praying for clear warmer weather.

Katie said...

I too, raise sheep in Arizona. My ram is a registered Navajo Churro that I breed to a purebreed Suffolk and a piebald Dorset/Cormo mix. This past Feb./early March both my ewes delivered large triplets w/o assistance. No losses and they are gaining incredibly fast.
My shearer is coming in on March 24th. She comes up from Willcox, Az. and has quite a reputation as being an excellent shearer. She also travels to Grass Valley, Ca. to shear for many folk up that way. She will be in for the week but is pretty booked, she will also be shearing on the reservation.
If you have any interest in speaking w/her, you can reach me at rockinaranch@gmail.com. My name is Kathi Anderson (aka Katie).
Your place looks wonderful. I am a small time shepherdess but enjoy raising the sheep and I am learning to spin and knit. I've been in the ranching for two years now.
Talking w/others about sheep would be a Godsend for the rest of my family as their eyes are starting to roll in there heads from all my overexuberant rantings about sheep.