Friday, April 22, 2016

Spring on the Farm

Forsythia in bloom 
It seems like it has been a long winter, but really we haven't had much bad weather or snow up here on the mountain. It was lovely to see the warm weather finally arrive, though, and now that the temperatures seem to have settled into spring, things are bursting with life here on the farm.

Little setting hen
Last summer I bought some chicks, late in the season because of trying to get my father settled into a comfortable living space. My little barred rock hens and "Easter eggers" started laying early this spring and I've enjoyed gathering their colorful little eggs. To my surprise one of the Easter eggers started setting about a month ago. I wasn't prepared for it and let her keep only four eggs. The older hens broke three of them but she managed to hatch out a little Buff Orpington chick. Right now she's caged up with it separate from the others because the old hens are threatening the baby.

Fresh eggs!

Some of my old hens are laying along with the new ones so I'm getting well over a dozen eggs every day from a flock of 22 hens. There were 23 but one hen was taken by a fox near one of the outbuildings. I think she may have slipped off to set on some eggs out there and I didn't realize she wasn't coming in at night. I'm back to counting heads every evening when I shut up the chicken house!

Goat girls
The goat girls are doing well and I think we may have some little ones sometime between mid-May and mid-June. I borrowed a lovely boy from over the hill to visit with the ladies back in December, planning to only leave him here for two weeks. Right at the time I was going to take him back, suddenly there was goat love going on everywhere. So I left him another couple of weeks. I think it broke Martha's heart when I took her boyfriend away. Martha is the black one and Rose is the white one.

I don't have any good pictures yet but my friend Chris from Woolybuns brought me some German Angora rabbits last fall. If you look back to several years ago on the blog, I used to keep a sizable herd of them for their luxurious wool for spinning. I love having the rabbits back and have sheared enough since they came for some dyeing and spinning adventures. Right now I'm working on a yarn made from merino and the angora. I'm planning to put up a little house for them here at the top of Squirrel Spur and will enjoy having all the animals together.

The shop is open!
Greenberry House is open for the season and I am really enjoying getting the shop all set up and ready for the summer. Hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 AM to 5 PM, with stitching group on Tuesday evening. I have some wonderful new yarns and spinning fibers from Ocotilla's Mountainside Alpacas, a beautiful farm just up the Blue Ridge Parkway from Meadows of Dan. And about this picture; I took several in front of the shop that day and this cloudy spot appeared on two of them. Do you suppose it's my resident ghost saying hello?

Tired pups 
Knightley and Emma are accompanying me to the shop every day and they've enjoyed greeting customers and getting into the routine. Emma is such a sweet and motherly girl. Knightley was sniffing at something last night in the bedroom and she growled him away from it. When I went to check, I realized that he had been investigating a dying wasp.

New hand dyed Greenberry House yarns
Tomorrow morning I'll be heading out early for my favorite festival of the year. Olde Liberty Fibre Faire is celebrating 9 years and I think I've been there for most of them. I really enjoy seeing everyone and it's delightful to see what everyone has been working on through the year. Come join us if you can!

What I'm spinning: hand dyed angora to be plied with merino singles
What I'm knitting: Quill shawl by Jared Flood
What I'm crocheting: Everything is resting
What I'm reading: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Current sounds & sights for spinning along: Ally McBeal series on Netflix
How the diet is going: Diet?


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What an enjoyable post! Thanks for sharing a bit of your interesting life.


Anonymous said...

Hey leslie!
Glad to see you!

June said...

I have thought of you so many times this past winter! Glad you are still blogging. Don't know when I'll get up that way, although I'd really love to. My health has not been good for awhile now. Keep is a way for your friends to keep in touch!!

Becky Mushko said...

Wonderful post and pictures. Can't wait to see pix of the baby goats when they arrive.