Archive for the 'Farm Animals' Category

Llamas Sheared

Our shearer, Emily, came back to the farm and took care of our two Llamas. They are much smaller (and cooler) now!

For those of you who remember the llamas from this previous post, Pedro (left above) and Tina (right above) are still here, while Napoleon has gone to live at another farm. Their coats were all matted, so the fiber had to be thrown away. Next time I’ll send them off to a fiber mill for processing.

Aren’t they cute?? They are serving as guard llamas for the small herd of non-fiber goats on the farm. And doing a great job!

UPDATE: Here are more photos of Emily working on Tina.


This past Saturday our goats were professionally sheared by Emily, who came by on her way home from Juniper Moon Farm. I have to admit, I’m such a huge fan of Juniper Moon Farm that I’m a little star-struck to have secured the services of their shearer. Small world! Unfortunately, Lucas and I were out of town for a wedding reception, so we didn’t get to see (and photo-document) the shearing – but I do have some before and after pictures:

Admittedly not a well composed shot, but it shows off their coats. It was taken about 1 month ago (the phantom hand is Lucas). It was so funny to watch them run around with all that wool attached – very floppy!

They’re so tiny now! And so leggy. And now I have two very large boxes with a fleece in each. I spent some time looking at Ivan’s (the larger one) fiber while it was still attached. There’s a high percentage of coarse, thick guard hair  – which isn’t great for spinning yarn – so I think I might just toss that fiber (though I hate to do it). But his sweet personality more than makes up for not getting to use his fiber. As for Hamlet (with the horns), I think I’ll have to spend some time picking through his fleece for areas that aren’t heavily laden with vegetable matter – this goat has a serious bramble addiction. Sigh.

This additional fiber is a nice kick in the pants for me – I need to sit down and process BOTH this fiber AND the fiber I harvested from Hamlet last Fall (which I’ve stored in cedar chips). Wish me luck!

Socks & Snow

Two big news items:

First, I finally finished the socks for my Aunt (raveled here). I really love how they turned out! Below is a photo before blocking – it looks like the feet are way too big and the legs are way too small, but they fit perfectly (yay!). Hopefully blocking will smooth out the wonkiness:

UPDATE (2/16/2010): I made my own sock blockers out of cardboard. The socks already look much better, even as they dry:

Second, we got LOADS of snow in Northern VA. Our second blizzard this winter dumped 32 inches and another system came by yesterday and dumped another 15″ or so. It is literally the snowiest year in our recorded history…which leaves us all wondering what is going on?!

Hubby and I went out to visit the goats on Saturday morning while the blizzard was still kicking. I decided to put my skis on for the trip to their pen – unfortunately, they were the downhill variety (why, oh why, didn’t I get into telemarking?), but still better than trudging through thigh-deep snow. Ivan was amused; Hamlet, not so much:

Hubby plowed a bit of their pen so they could move around freely, but Hamlet still decided to try walking through the deep stuff, nearly getting stuck:

They’re barely taller than the snow:

Ivan was in the mood to pose for portrait photos (isn’t he cute?):

I hope you all are staying warm and happy this winter.

Blizzard Aftermath

We woke up to a bright, sunny day with nearly 2 ft deep snow everywhere. For some perspective, here is the picnic table across the way from our barn – the first shot was taken yesterday morning; the second was taken today:

Our trail to the goat pen:

The goats looked great –  nice and warm and happy to see us.  Hubby got this shot of me feeding Ivan with Hamlet in the background, as usual. Notice my ski goggles!

Also, our cat Luna is a serious snow adventurer:

We’re leaving in a couple days to spend the holidays with my family out West, so this is likely my last post for the next 2 weeks or so. Enjoy the holidays & have a happy new year!


We’ve just been hit by the largest snowfall in December in recorded Virginia history. It started last night (Friday) and is just now (11pm on Saturday) tapering off. We’ve got a solid 22 inches at the farm and have been tucked in our barn all day. Although we did venture out this morning to feed and check on the goats – at the time, there was only 8 or 10 inches on the ground, but it was still enough to bury Hamlet up to his belly:

Hubby went in with the tractor and plowed a path between their shelter and their hay bale:

Walking the path:

Hamlet is looking very dainty in the snow; he’s got with lots of straw in his coat from laying on it to stay cozy:

Ivan wasn’t wary of venturing into the snow drifts:

That’s all for now – as I said, we now have more than double this amount of snow. I’ll take more tomorrow and post them for you to see the magnitude of the storm. So much snow!

Cold, Sunny Morning

It’s bright and sunny this morning with a crunchy layer of snow everywhere.

Ivan humored Hubby for a few closeups:

This morning, we also tried to get a photo with the goats for our holiday card.  My father-in-law volunteered to be the shutterbug, but (as you might imagine) the goats weren’t really into it. This is one of our many outtakes:

Oh well, maybe next year.


This morning we woke to a wintry mix falling outside, which quickly turned to snow – our first of the year. It’s been going for hours now; we probably have 4-5 inches already with more coming. Fun!  Earlier in the day, we went out to feed the goats and see how they were handling the snow – it was really coming down!

Here’s a shot of the goat pen, you can see our barn just peeking out from between the trees:

At first Hamlet preferred to stay inside their shelter (and I can’t blame him), but he finally came out into the snow with Ivan:

Ivan enjoys licking snow off the fence; you can just see his pink tongue sticking out in this shot:

Hubby petting Ivan (and wearing his hubby hat!):

We pulled some fresh hay out of the bale for them to munch on before we left:

Hopefully they aren’t too cold out there – they’ve got plenty of straw to keep warm inside their shelter, not to mention their furry coats. We’re going to check on them again later today.  Super fun!

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rambleonrosemary [at] gmail [dot] com

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