?Como se llama, llama?


Whether or not you want to know his or her name, every animal on our farm has one! And  we have an odd assortment of  “how they got their name” circumstances.  Through the years, our family has grown in number and species. We have loved each and every new addition. (Well, maybe not EVERY new addition, but I’ll never say that out loud and let it get back to them! hee, hee)

They all require attention, commitment, and dedication. I guess you can call that love, because most of the time we do it without a second thought; it is second nature to us now.

But, then there are those freezing “arctic vortex” winter nights, when I can’t sleep, because all I do is worry until dawn. They have their food, shelter, (and the horses even have their blankets on), and although I visit them every few hours throughout the night… I still worry.  It’s during those times, that I envy the sheep. They seem to embrace the cold!! They look like big “Hostess Snowballs” nestled down in the snow rather than in their straw and hay-bedded shelter.

The llamas seem to have it the roughest no matter what season and that’s when it’s most obvious that they are “exotic” to this region. Our climate in Kentucky is certainly no match for the Andes Mountain and yet, I selfishly can’t imagine the farm without them.

So, ?Como se llama? Well then, from Yerba, Stella, Strauna, Jenna, Viola, Mate, Fancy, Song, Dalai, Sera, Imax, Sweet Pea, Gracie, …..etc., etc.,….  We bid you good day!

“The North Wind Doth Blow..”

One of the most difficult things for me to face each year is winter. Days grow shorter, nights colder, hillsides browner, and skies bleaker. And yet, I love autumn! I am amazed with the changing colors of my world- the leaves, grasses, sky and sunsets. I love to hear the brisk breezes rustle through piles of crisp leaves and watch as it swirls them into the air. I love to breathe in the air of the clear, cold nights and believe that the stars are closer and even brighter than they are all summer. I love to smell hot soups simmering on the stove and hay stacked in the barn. I look forward to apple picking, pear picking, and finally… grass mowing becoming non-existent.DSCF5171

 

Throughout the fall months, the animals’ coats become thicker and their colors more vibrant as the sun’s intensity dwindles and the color is no longer bleached. I usually chide myself that I haven’t shorn the sheep that final sheering in late summer when I see them seeking a shady spot rather than joining the llamas and horses basking in the fall sun.

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How cruel and quickly winter can come upon us though. Sneaking in as autumn attemps to hold onto the last of the warm days and nights. It is during this time, when cold precipitation comes in the form of icy rain and temperatures hover in the low 40s, that I am the most nervous about the impending winter.

So much preparation needs to be set into place in order to face winter and all that it brings. We don’t routinely blanket the horses, but it is imperative that the blankets are clean, repaired, and easy to find in a pinch. That usually means in the dark on a blustery and frigid night with only a headlamp shining. Heaters for the water troughs need to be handy and in good working order. Hay needs to be stacked in the barn efficiently to make use of the limited space. Run-ins need to be prepped and altered for the winter winds versus the summer sun. So much to do and with each passing day there is even less daylight in which to do it!

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Now, add a Wool Mill to the equation and life is suddenly extremely insane, and yet, I have never been more at ease. I have begun to enjoy life as a journey rather than hope to be satisfied with the destination. Each day brings the challenge of trying something new and doing the best you can with the resources and limitations that present themselves. I tease the sheep that even though I could’ve used more wool for increased inventory at the mill, I’d never take it from them (that late summer shearing) just when they are needing it most.

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One thing I have learned though.. is that, just as winter comes sneaking in the backdoor, Spring will be peaking through the window in no time at all. “To every thing, there is a season…”

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