Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
I heard someone talking the other day about how his kids to making New Years ReVolutions. Kids come up with the darnedest things, but I’ve decided that it’s a great idea. I could use a personal REVOLUTION in my life— how about you? Resolutions are so easily broken, but a Revolution would be hard to put aside. What’s on your list?
I hope your holidays were merry and bright. Almost all my kids with the families and dogs, came to visit for Christmas. It was a rare treat! And that followed a trip to the Sequoias for Thanksgiving. What a wonderful few weeks.
Fleece projects are a great way to while away some holiday and rainy hours. Looking through the last shearing is inspiring me to play more with natural colors. I’m fascinated by the range and variety of colors alpacas present us with. Here is a pictures of some suri fleeces placed in color order. It would really be fun to have a skein of each color and crochet something using this natural “rainbow” of shiny suri colors.
What fiber projects are you working on? If you care to send a picture, I would love to include it in my next blog entry. :-) It’s so much fun to share creativity. The endless creativity of the human mind is a thing of wonder!
Speaking of rainy days….. I’m thrilled that our hay guy was able to get our hay delivery here just before this current series of storms. It’s safely stuffed into our hay barn. We go through several loads of hay each year to keep everybody fed and healthy. I’ve discovered many things about hay over the years. We have it tested and make sure it’s of the highest quality in order to produce our fleece and beautiful crias. In fact, good nutrition does away with almost all health issues— just like us. It’s amazing the see the improvements over time.
On the 26th of December we had a surprise visit from our friend Christina Marie (yes, you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram). Christina is a wild animal handler and falconer, and we have often been visited by her bird-abatement Harris Hawk, Bruno. This time, however, she brought her new trainee to spend some time getting socialized: Luke. Luke is a Barn Owl and is nine months old. What a treat! She let any of us who wanted to hold him using her glove, and pet him. He’s not quite as cuddly as Bruno yet, but what a beauty he is. We never know when Christina is going to drop in, but we sure enjoy her visits.
It has really been raining! I’m so grateful for the catch basin Farmer Don made to catch run-off and keep us from flooding. We used to have a regular river running through the ranch whenever it rained, but now it stays behind the berm. It has created its own little ecosystem at the east end of the ranch. Sometimes we even get to see the inhabitants. Look closely… And by the way, if anyone likes Nettle Tea, you are welcome to come pick as much stinging nettle as you can. Just give me a shout.
Speaking of catching rain, our soil improvement project is getting underway. We have an appointment with the NRCS— Natural Resources Conservation Service, an office of the USDA— next week. We hope to glean some advice as to how to proceed in our soil improvement venture, maybe some mentorship, and some guidance toward finding funding for the projects. I’m really excited! There are actually quite a few agencies available through federal, state and local government to help with these things.
If you have any expertise in this area and would like to join us on our quest to create healthy, water-retaining soil at Windy Hill, please contact us at [email protected]. We have one experimental cover crop growing now. I’m watching to see when it wants to go to seed before we rototill it under and plant forage on top. Thankfully there are many constructive things we can do while we watch grass—and alfalfa and radishes— grow, like reading about Carbon Farming, hedgerows, swales, and Climate Beneficial Farm status. The learning never stops when you run a ranch!
Until next time, have a wonderful January. We’re really excited about the crias we have coming this summer. We do have some weanling males available for purchase, as well. some friendly mature females who make great companions.
Call for an appointment to see them. They’ve all just had a great rain bath!
Every year my Christmas tree acquires more creatures as ornaments. I like it so much this year that I am leaving it up, in the British tradition, until 12th Night— January 6. I might even go longer. Is there any date when a Christmas tree MUST come down…?