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Buhunds Fibre Works Gallery
August weather here in central Alberta was still a little rainy but
not nearly as wet as we what we had in July. None of the animals seemed to mind as
our pastures stayed in great shape, lush and green throughout the whole month. This
month, Linda was able to attend a two day fibre seminar in Kelowna given by the
internationally recognized expert, Cameron Holt. It was very encouraging and has
given us added impetus to continue with our fine fibre focus in our alpaca and Shetland
sheep breeding programs. We have new pictures up of the dogs, sheep and alpacas so
stop by the photo pages for the summer pics.
Fibre Works Alpacas: Work continues on the Canadian Camelid Fibre Coop. The
incorporation documents have been finalized and have now been sent around to the industry
volunteers for signature. After they are all signed up, they will be submitted to
the Alberta Government Director of Cooperatives for review and approval. As this
group has already given our draft documentation a favorable review, we hope this process
will not take too long. Shelly, our premier alpaca female had her cria this month.
Named Moonshine, his fleece is amazingly crimpy and glows with a beautiful sheen.
We think he is likely white but may have a creamy overtone to his fleece. Lionel,
his dad is a light fawn and Shelly is white with creamy overtones. Moonshine is a
very strong and active baby, standing straight and square on all fours. Shelly is a
great mom, very attentive and protective. You can get to know them both at the
alpaca photo gallery.
Fibre Works Shetlands: We
had great fun halter training the lambs this month. The kids were particularly
involved and got to be quite good. Nicholas would catch and calm and halter.
Adam would gentle and lead them around, then tie them to stand for a short while before
ending the lesson. We used food rewards in the first lessons but gradually moved to
chin and chest rub rewards. Some of the first sessions also had a lot of leaping and
twisting and tugging (on the part of the lambs). All of the lambs made progress and
most would lead fairly well after the third or fourth session. We find that
the adult sheep are much easier to handle if they have been halter trained and it is much
easier to train them as lambs. Halo, one of our black twin ewe
lambs is for sale. She is on the right in the picture below. Her mom is
Dailley Sheba, a black, fine, crimpy, single coated twin ewe and her Dad is Mtn. Niche
Sheridan, a fine, crimpy moorit/musket. So far, Halo is staying black, is very soft
and seems to be single coated. Please email for more details.
|Lambs and Shepherds in training
Fibre, Yarn and the
Fibre Works Gallery: Norma Westcott of West Cottage Weavery
finished work on the black alpaca/white reeled silk cloak. It is a gorgeous piece of
work. The shadow weave structure gives a very unique pattern and the contrasts in
matte/shine, black/white and fluffy/smooth make it a very dynamic piece. You can see
a picture of it in the Gallery photo pages under "Sweaters, Vests &
Outerwear". Norma is now starting work on a series of fine tussah silk/fawn
alpaca woven scarves. While these will still have some of the colour contrast, the
weave structure will not be quite as dramatic as that used in the cloak.
Bergen Norwegian Buhunds:
The dogs have had a very undemanding summer. They did help a bit with the
sheep but had no regular chores to do (unlike the rest of us). The sheep managed to
ram the dogs a time or two, the dogs getting away through human intervention. We may
attend some stock dog clinics before we do much more work with the dogs and sheep.
Given the aggressive nature of our Shetlands, it is very easy to put a dog in harm's way
through ignorance. Coyote watch and the twilight howl did not seem to tax the dogs
at all. The coyotes mostly stayed away from the buildings and pastures though we did
have a coyote bitch denning in one of the more remote meadows. We think the sheep
would give the same rough treatment to any canine marauders and those stories of Shetlands
killing coyotes may have a grain of truth.
Farm Stuff: The barn is pretty much
finished except for interior work that will likely last for the next several years.
The work crew has started trenching for the power and water but our wet summer has made
the ground quite soggy. Frequent cave ins of the trench walls have slowed everything
down. The delays have frayed everyone's nerves but also have given us enough time to
reconsider and change the position of the waterers and the fence lines several
times. Now we just want them put in place as soon as possible. The kids have had a
great time clambering about on the clay piles and adding to the general laundry
load. They are the only ones enjoying the extended trenching process. The
green feed and grass hay were cut and baled with little rain. We got the alfalfa hay
put up with no rain so all in all, quite a good hay season for us.
No Wood Stain Yet
Limerick Link for August:
Our Buhunds are special and rare,
Canine buddies beyond compare.
At shows or the park,
They're always a lark,
With their smarts, their looks and their flare.