Wednesday, June 1, 2016

To Shear, Or Not To Shear

We got lucky.  Earlier this week, the forecast was for temperatures to hit near 100 today, but as it worked out, the heat held off long enough to de-fleece Pogo and Willa.  The expected scorching heat now isn't due until Saturday and Sunday, the weekend of the first 3D archery shoot of the year.  Of course.
 
We ran into a slight problem a few days ago when we went to use the old flatbed trailer.  Dale grabbed the tongue to drop it onto the ball, only to be engulfed in a swarm of very angry yellowjackets.  Luckily, he didn't get stung, but we had to abandon that trailer for one of the other ones until we could go back out with the tractor, in the morning chill, and blast the nests out of existence.  Which we did this morning.  Or rather, Dale did while I cowered on the tractor, picking the front of the trailer up as high as I could so that he could annihilate the numerous nests while the sleepy, cold but still angry residents buzzed all around him.
 
We then loaded the Super Deluxe Sheep Transport Box onto the flatbed.  The SDSTB was Dale the engineer's brainchild, and it has served us well.  He built it for the worst case scenario, one where we had to haul a small, angry rhino in it.  He hauled first a very fat and unwilling Willa over to it and we crammed her big butt in.  Then good old Pogo, half Willa's size and a lot lest feisty went in, and off we went to Romella's across the street where John the shearer and his young daughter were set up and already working on Ro's ram.    Pogo was next, and the old veteran ewe just went with the flow as always. 
 
Then it was Willa's turn.  As usual, she didn't want any part of the festivities, but we insisted.  And that's when I discovered that she WASN'T all hair and wool - that is one HUGE young ewe!  Half purebred Navajo-Churro, half (sire) Katahdadorpadovieot, her dam, Kayla, was no shrinking violet, and this apple fell right under that tree.  But John gently persuaded her that to cooperate was divine, and got her done without a scratch. 
 
Dale and John's daughter loaded the girls back in the SDSTB, and back we went.  Given that the heat may yet hit, I'm sure both girls will be relieved to have taken off those wool coats of theirs.
 
 Attacking the nests.  Note that Dale is using the double barrel, er, can method
 The SDSTB on the now safe to handle flatbed
 Twyla (with cape), youngest daughter Cassie, oldest daughter Ginger, Pogo and Willa in the back.  Don't tell me they don't know what's going on, they know something is afoot
 Two wooly sheep in the SDSTB, with hay bales for ballast
 Pogo goes under the shears first.  Love the look of resignation on her face
 Big, fat Willa, defiant to the end
 I know there is a Pogo in there somewhere
 Willa's face says it all
 Cannot believe how fat she is - on GRASS alone!!
Rejoining the harem, cool and comfortable

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