Rosemary was the second sheep we got from our friend Donna. She rescued five Romney’s from a woman who couldn’t keep them anymore and was going to send them to market. Donna could see the beauty of their wool and took them home.
First we were only going to take one of them, Izzy. Donna said Izzy had the best wool. But eventually we took the four ewes. Donna kept the ram.
Rosemary hadn’t been shorn in a couple of years, and her wool was matted and even felted on her body. I helped Donna and a few other friends hold Rosemary down and cut some of the matted wool. She wasn’t easy to catch or hold. Only half done, we got Rosemary in the back of Donna’s Subaru and drove her to our farm.
Eventually our shearer came and cut off the rest of Rosemary’s wool.
It was impossible to know what her wool was like back then, but it turns out it’s different from my other Romneys. Rosemary’s wool is a tight curl and so rich in lanolin, her bag of wool, though not the biggest is always the heaviest.
Rosemary is a beautiful sheep with a lot of attitude and poise. She’s not as friendly as some of my other sheep, but she’s not standoffish either and always willing to take a treat from me.
Once again I got a photo of Jon taking a picture that he used on his blog.
This time the picture was of me and the sheep.
I was taking a video of the sheep eating, which I posted on my blog this morning. I think that’s when Jon got the picture of me, because in the photo I’m smiling and I know I was enjoying hearing the sound the sheep were making eating their hay, enough to smile that much.
It was somewhere in that time of getting the video (it took a few takes) that I looked up and saw Jon taking my picture and I got the photo of him.
And that big lump of wool with all the hay in it in, the front of the photo, that’s Griselle eating breakfast.
Unless there’s snow on the ground or it’s really cold, I try to entice the cats (with their breakfast) to come up from the basement in the morning and spend sometime outside.
I know this is my own little quirk, thinking the cats should be outside for a while during the day in the winter.
They’d probably be very happy to spend the winter in the basement, cuddled up in their cat beds, hunting whatever mice creep in for the winter and knowing, as usual, they can depend on me or Jon bringing them two meals a day and treats before bedtime. (Our bedtime not theirs).
And truthfully, it’s not much different for them outside than is in the basement, unless the sun is shining, which doesn’t happen much this time of year. It’s not that different because Minnie takes to the barn, sleeping all day high up in the hay bales and Flo spends her day sleeping in the woodshed.
Today was one of those days that Flo really did want to stay outside.
Minnie ran back into the house the first chance she got after eating breakfast. But at 2pm, Flo was still outside, sunning herself on the back porch. Her fur was warm to my touch and she walked away when I held the door open for her to come in the house.
It was cold day, but at times, the sun had an intensity that threw dark and distinct shadows and warmed the fur of any animals smart enough to soak it up.
Fate looks pretty majestic in this photo I took of her, but she’s actually a fun loving dog with a sense of humor. She is seldom so serious.
She behaves differently when she’s around the other dogs and even around Jon than she does when it’s just the two of us.
When it’s just me and Fate in the studio, or on a walk, we’re tuned into each other. She pays attention to me, not by walking or sitting next to me, but by intuiting what we’re doing. In my studio she goes to her crate or in the warmer weather sits outside, when I begin to work. When we walk, she’s usually ahead or just behind me. She always waits for me if I stop walking.
We each occupy our own space and are completely aware of the other at the same time. My walks in the woods would not be the same without Fate’s company.
I got her from Daryl, the same farmer that I got my Border Liecester’s and Cheviots from. They’re kind of unusual around here, they originated in Central Asia, but Daryl’s daughter has been breeding them and sold us Kim about five years ago.
They can survive in hard conditions, drought, heat and cold and store fat in their tail as a reserve.
Kim’s wool is very different form our other sheep. It’s long and straight and mixes well with the Border Leicester, Romney and Cheviots. It’s also very warm and strong and is great for felting.
Karakuls are known for their lambs pelts which are used to make hats and coats. It’s soft and tightly curled and expensive.
Kim is a somewhat skittish, but she’ll nose her way through the other sheep for a treat. She has a sweet face and keeps an eye on Fate when she circles the sheep, stamping her foot if Fate gets too close.