Wednesday, November 10, 2010

After the Shearing

Since I already posted a series of photos of the sheep in full fleece, I figured I should give equal space to showing how they look now, after they have been sheared.  It took a long time and a lot of work for me to shear the whole flock by myself, so I ought to celebrate a task well done with a photo shoot!

Wish is beautiful with or without fleece:

Xcarlett and Xanadu rest among the fallen leaves:

Tansy sure looks different without her glorious golden fleece:

Pandora is one of the first sheep I ever bought.  She's middle aged now, but she always gives me wonderful, stout lambs:

Willow looks so much smaller with all her lush fleece removed:

As I was shearing, I started to realize I have a shortage of solid black sheep in my flock.  It makes me all the more grateful to have lovely Sapphire, who is one of my favorite ewes:

Tawny strikes a pose on a small rock:

Rowena rests in the shade:

Two photos of pretty Tsarina:

Urbana, Regina, and Paris:

Moriah is the oldest sheep in my flock, 8 years old and still going strong:

Shearing Utopia reveals her excellent, stout meat build that had been hidden beneath her wool:

Although she's a "teenager" now, Xolani has retained her irresistible "cute lamb" face:

Although she is one of my most regal looking sheep, it's hard to get good photos of Paris, because she is very independent and wants nothing to do with foolish human shenanigans:

Let's not forget the rams!  Here are 3 of this year's ram lambs:  Xavier, Xerxes, and Xenophon:

Here are Nicholai, Xaq, Scimitar, and Ukraine, all hanging out together:

Here's Nicholai, the gentle old King of the Flock:

Scimitar is looking stout and handsome:

We trimmed Ukraine's horn because it was growing too close to his face.  We still have to trim the other one:

It was hard to take pictures of Xaq because he kept following me around wanting to be petted.  So far he's doing a very good job of remembering that he has to approach me RESPECTFULLY.  Breeding season is no excuse; I don't allow disrespectful, overly assertive behavior from my rams:


Debbie Cannatella said...

Fabulous shearing, Nancy! I love reading about the antics of your sheep and your pigs. Pre-shearing photos always make me want to run my fingers through their wool! I can't imagine how beautiful that fleece must be. Makes me wish I knew how to spin. But here in Corpus Christi, we don't get much chance to play with natural fiber. Not the thing here! But I'm hoping to move closer to you in about five years and settle along the East coast. Keep blogging. We keep reading!!

Anonymous said...

I have been doing some research on the Icelandic sheep and everyone says they shear them in the fall., Isn't this rough on them as winter is coming? I live in Michigan and the winters can be pretty rough.

Nancy Chase said...

Actually Icelandic sheep are sheared twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. The fall shearing is the one that produces the prime-quality spinning fleeces.

Icelandics, having evolved in Iceland for more than 1,000 years, are not very bothered by cold.

With the fall shearing, you just need to do it about a month before you expect the real cold weather to set in, so that the sheep have a chance to grow back a little fleece.

As long as they have an inch or two of wool, enough to eat, and a sheltered place to get out of direct wind and sleet, they have very little trouble with the cold.

Nancy Chase said...

Hey Debbie---that's great to hear that you may be moving closer to us. Do you know yet where you're going to settle?

Terri said...

Your photos and sheep look great. Most people don't realize the many hours that go into photographing sheep. They are usually doing non-photogenic things, like chewing their cud, licking their lips, yawning, etc.

Nancy Chase said...

That's very true, Terri. For every good picture I post on the blog, I have dozens and dozens of terrible ones!

V.R. Leavitt said...

The pics are beautiful!! You did a wonderful job shearing them Nancy. They look great.