More Adorable Than We Can Handle

We are up to 14 lambs, with one ewe left to go.  We were prepared for lots and lots of babies, but many of our ladies did not twin, which has been a blessing.  We are pretty tired from taking care of all of these adorable babies and their mamas!

Even so, the adorable levels here have gone through the roof and it’s hard to not be out playing with them and watching them frolic ALL THE TIME!

Today our friend Lisa came with her little one to meet the lambs and took some pictures for us.

Thanks, Lisa!

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If you’ve been watching lambcam, the best time is  evening (after 6 pm).  That’s when the lambs get playful and will run and jump around.

 

 

 

 

Spring Slam

It’s that time of spring where it’s really crunchtime.  SO much work to be accomplished before the true heat of summer hits.

It also happens to be lambing season!

Even though I am completely exhausted (We check on our ewes and lambs every two to three hours around the clock), I’ve been managing to still get a fair amount of work done.

We took delivery of hay yesterday:

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It’s gorgeous.  This picture does not even do justice to how soft and green it is.  It smells heavenly, and I imagine it tastes it as well.

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The goslings and ducks have graduated out of the brooder and into the poultry tractor so they can roam around on fresh grass.  Pretty soon they will have a big pen out back with a giant water tub to swim in.

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Wild irises are growing up around the edges of the stream (I am crazy happy for these lovely volunteers!).

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My blueberry bush is fruiting!  If I can manage it soon I will be putting in a peach tree or two as well, to compliment the three apple trees we planted last year (yes, we have many years to wait before they fruit, but it will be worth it when they do!).  I also managed to put in two basil plants, and if all goes well later this week I will add two more plus some lavender and rosemary bushes.

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Neve and I put down straw in the front garden along all of the pathways to discourage weeds, and I managed to get all of my bean poles staked and roped for the beans and peas that have sprouted.

I leveled out a spot next to the beehive for our second hive, which is going in on Tuesday (eventually I have to level out the first one as well!).  The first hive is crazy productive and I  had to add a third hive box on top since they’ve already used up the first two!

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I cannot wait for our first honey harvest!  Speaking of which, one of my new favorite things is to watch the bees returning to the hive laden with pollen:

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They are very docile bees.  I have their hive situated in my garden, and I have been spending a lot of time quite close by them weeding and working with spring plants, and they haven’t bothered with me one bit.

I haven’t gotten to the back garden yet, but that will be squash and tomatoes, and the growing season for them is longer than for the spring crops out front, so I still have a little bit of wiggle room.  When I am not quite so cranky and tired I will get out there and get that started (hopefully within in the next 4 or 5 days).

In the meantime, the best part of our days (and nights) is cooing over (and snuggling) all the little cuties we’ve been blessed with so far.

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I can’t think of a cuter reason to be so tired!  Six lambs, roughly 9 pregnant ewes left.  Let’s get this done!

 

 

Surprise Lamb

I’m going to steal Susan’s blog post again – it’s sooooo much easier than running back in the house, cleaning myself off and writing one myself!

A lamb made its way into the world while we were at Tractor Supply.  And I thought for sure my two sheep would lamb before any of Susan’s sheep did, but nooooooooo.

 

by Susan on May 15, 2014

Amy came home from the feed store and found this little surprise awaiting her.

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photo 5Another ram lamb, born to Georgia this afternoon. We’re calling this one Stauton, because Austin Val asked.

Farm Fresh Lambs!

We’ve had a lot going on here lately, and I’m going to let Susan tell you all about it (from her blog post today):

Amy and Neve welcomed two new members of the flock yesterday! Twin ram lambs made their appearance between 10:30 and midnight last night. Both are in great shape, as is there mama, Willoughby.

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The winners of our naming convention vote were Pat Hommel with Virginia Place Names and Kari Bahana, who nominated London Underground Stations. We have chosen to name the Cormo lambs Virginia Places and the Colored lambs for the underground stations, which meant that Pat and her family got to name these two lovelies.

May I present to you, Monticello and Galax, the first member of our 2014 flock.

Neve On The Job

Everyone caught the nastiest virus this week, and I am still suffering through fever and sore throat and stuffiness.  Fortunately for me, Neve is over it already and has been out checking everyone and taking care of feeding for me.

Yesterday I sent her out with my camera.

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She even took video of Piper’s back end for me!

I don’t know what I’d do without that kid!

 

Of Birds and Bees

First of all, happy May!!!  And happy first day without rain in way too long!!!

To celebrate this first day of a (hopefully) warmer and (hopefully) drier month, I was able to get out and take pictures to share with all of you.

First up is the tiny bird’s nest I discovered in the small garden cabinet I keep on the front porch.  I went out to fetch some lambing supplies and the mama bird swooped out of the nest, nearly hitting my face.  I know there are eggs in there, and I occasionally see her leaving and returning.

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Fortunately she put her nest on the top shelf of the cabinet, which itself is in a fairly out-of-the-way place.  Since our baby bunnies hopped from their nest and out into the world (on Easter, no less!), it will be nice to see tiny baby birds soon.

In other, rather more exciting news……we have honeybees!

My friend Amy raises honeybees, and she contacted me on Monday to let me know she had a swarm, if I’d like to collect it. It was in a rather nice cluster on a branch of her peach tree.  I grabbed one box of my empty hive and dashed over.

Of course, I totally forgot I had my friend Erin’s beesuit here, so I went with a bee veil and gloves, along with a thick flannel shirt.

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I stood under the swarm with my hive box while Amy shook the tree branch downward (normally you could cut the branch and lower it onto your box, but this was a big, main branch of the tree).

I was instantly covered with what felt like thousands and thousands of bees, and they were heavy altogether.  And I only got stung once, through my shirt, which as it turns out, was not thick enough.  Lesson learned.

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I carefully lowered the box and we watched the bees form a steady line into it, meaning we had caught the queen with the initial shake.  At dusk the bees were all in and the box was covered and taped up for the ride home!

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Welcome home, bees!

I had a hard time finding/making a level spot in the front garden for them, and at some point I will have to make some adjustments to get it a bit more level, but for now they seem pretty happy.  And BUSY!

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There was very little activity outside the hive the last three days because of the pouring rain, but today when I went out to open the hive and check, they were extremely active.  More bees than I could count were returning into the hive, their back ends heavy with orange pollen.  Inside, there was an astounding amount of comb built, and it looked like they were starting to fill some of the comb cells.

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Sorry for the less-than-stellar pictures.  It’s hard working a camera through a bee suit, while holding a frame in one hand.

I fed them quite a bit of sugar syrup while the weather was bad, since they weren’t leaving the hive, but it seems they are finding their way now.

Next week we are waiting on delivery of a second hive and my friend Louise will drive down from Northern Virginia to deliver a second colony.

I am crazy excited for all of the pollinators we will have for the gardens this summer!