Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer's End

The end of August doesn't always feel like the end of summer.  It's still hot and sunny, the grass and leaves are still green, flowers and gardens are still producing......but the clues are definately there that the season is changing.   If you're on schedule with your work it's not cause for alarm.  If you're behind you start hyperventilating into a paper bag.  Happily, we're pretty much where we should be for the date.  (Hey, statistically we were due!)

Remember that field of oats Andy put it?  They really ripened over the last week and the moisture meter said 11% so they were ready to be combined and put in the bin.

Literal 'amber waves of grain'.

We are fortunate that a fellow farmer a few roads over acquired an aged combine and agreed to cut our field in exchange for some hay for his cattle.  The man who did it last year was unavailable, so we were actually looking for a combine ourselves, but this is a much more sensible arrangement.

The cavalry coming over the hill!  (Sort of)

At this point I had to leave and take some boxes to the UPS depot.  I was only gone a bit over an hour, but when I came back he had gotten this far.  Notice the dust coming off the machine as the dry straw and grain get a thorough threshing.

Nearly done

We're as happy to have the nice clean straw to bed the sheep barn with as we are the grain. 

Another sign that summer is almost over is the NY state fair.  It runs for 12 days, with the last day being Labor Day.  Our tradition is for me to go up on the day of the Fleece Show with my entries and whatever friends are available, do a four hour stint in the Wool Building demonstrating spinning, and then spend a few hours seeing the sights with those friends.  Andy isn't a big fan of crowded venues...... or long drives (two hours each way)......or hot he's just as happy to wave a fond farewell as we trek off and he stays home to take care of things.  After spinning, we eat a bunch of good stuff, go through the animal barns........

Lucille makes a new friend.

..... and then check back at the Wool Building on the way out to see how the judging went.

Wheeee !

Those four with the big purple ribbons are Rocky (Cotswold/Border Leicester), Jazz (purebred Cotswold) , Ashes (another Cotswold/Border Leicester cross) and Cessna (CVM/Rambouillet and Border Leicester cross).  Yes, there were other fleeces there.  Yes, I'm VERY happy.  Yes, they are all for sale and will be at Finger Lakes Fiber Festival if they aren't bought by spinners at the fair.  The other four of the eight I entered took 1st or 2nd in their divisions, so I earned just about enough premium money to fill the truck with gas. 

Tomorrow is a work day in the barn - weighing and checking eye scores on all the ewes and ewe lambs - and Sunday I go back up to the fair to pick up the fleeces.  Then it's full steam ahead to get as much done as possible for Fiber Fest. 

So the technical end of summer doesn't mean much to the work load, but I think at least today is ended, too.

Pooped pets



  1. Congrats on your fleeces...they are always so nice!

  2. Woohooo!!! Good jobs all the way 'round :-D.