Sunday 17 May 2009

Tig, you're it! Passing on awards!

It seems that I have committed a blogging faux pas. I've just been reading through past posts and comments and found that while I was busy moving house I was awarded the Honest Scrap award by Scout. Sorry Scout that I didn't find this until just now, but thanks so much for thinking of this little blog.

So now I have two awards to pass on. This will be a wordy blog so please enjoy the photos of my beautiful dogs...

Honest Scrap Award rules:"When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to said person so everyone knows he or she is real. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have 7 friends. Show the 7 random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Weblog.” Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon. List at least ten honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on! "

So here goes with ten honest things...
1. According to Jung's personality test I'm a Dominant, Introverted, Abstact, Thinker!
2. I really hate upsetting people and am really hard on myself if I think that I have.
3. Usually I haven't upset anyone... I can be a bit over sensitive!
4. I tend to have fingers in too many pies and don't believe in "spare" time.
5. My beliefs are strongly Druid but I don't practice any religion.
6. If I won the lottery I wouldn't quit my job... but my sheep would have nice big fields!
7. I've never felt so comfortable with anyone than with Chris. He's my soulmate.
8. I'm an avid reader and always have at least three books on the go.
9. Now and again I really like to dress up nice and be a bit girly... but not too girly!
10. I secretly really enjoy indulging in a bit of trashy TV. I'm a bit of a Casualty/Holby addict!

So there you go, that's a snapshot of me!

I hereby pass on this award to:

Emilie's Scrapbook Emilie comes from the Stunning Alpine town of Chamonix but now lives in Askham, Cumbria with her lovely boyfriend Ian. They were our neighbours before we moved. I think Fox and Whisper still miss their collie Cally! Emilie is so creative with her scrapbooks and photography.

Michelle's Boulderneigh blog always looks lovely with it's snazzy backgrounds so is well deserving of a design award. Her photos of her lovely flock and garden give a lovely insight into her life and I love the fiber projects too, especially the socks!

Nancy's A Shepherd's Voice blog always has such stunning photos of her beautiful sheep, they always make me smile. I always wanted spotty Shetlands, but now I'm very keen on having an "HST" flock :o)

More gorgeous Shetlands and super photos can be found on Corinne's Crosswinds Farm blog. I enjoy reading about Corinne's menagerie, although the undead chickens were a bit scary!

There is always something going on at Rayna's North Star Shetlands blog whether it's guessing the colour of baby mice, or watching a very vain peacock with a mirror!

For a bit of sheepy variety, a mention must go to Claire's Whispering Acres blog. Here you will find Icelandic sheep, along with a whole farmyard full of goats, donkeys, Llama's and many more.

I love the tales of life on Mim's Desert Peach Farm, there's always something going on. I also love her LGD Jake... and the sheep of course :o)

So there we go, consider your blogs awarded!

Now to pass on the Butterfly Award.
In no particular order here are ten fabulously cool blogs that deserve an award, and regular reading.

1. More wonderful Shetlands: Tammy's Kalwa Taure Shetlands
2. The blog of the Maalie King himself
3. My very good friend Chris Sperring's blog
4. Wildlife surveying star Cally's blog
5. Scout and Mirk both have great blogs. They're news hounds!
6. Wonderful wildlife adventures at Wildlife Around Us.
7. Garrett has all the sheepy answers at Ramsay Farms
8. Fabulous food and lovely livestock at Antiquity Oaks
9. Proper Yorkshire life with Denise at Being a Smallholder
10. Shetlands and sheepdogs at Silveraurora

So I have to limit myself to ten for now... but there are many more. If it's listed down the side of my blog, it's cool! Trust me!

This was a very wordy post. So here is one more self indulgent photo of my gorgeous boy...

Naughty lambs and cool blogs!

Today us lambs had a hard day. The shepherds got us all into a pen, and then we helped by finding all of the little gaps that a shetland lamb can wriggle out of!

They gave us nasty tasting medicine, checked us over for ticks, and then drew a blue line down our backs with some smelly stuff. The Shepherd wasn't impressed with the colour and said that none of the lambs in his flock were BLUES! We weren't very chuffed either.
The Shepherdess SAID that it was for our own good. Another shepherdess from across the pond has given this blog a COOL award!

Which we now have to pass on...

Saturday 16 May 2009

Growing like little mushrooms!

Today I managed to grab a bit of "me time" and sat in the sunshine dosing with the flock,
They were having some quiet time of their own and most were curled up with their mothers. Here is little Kate with her dam Sheilhope Gruna. Kate is a stocky little ewe lamb who likes to play rough and tumble games with the boys. Kate will be grey when she grows up.
My little angel Lunde with her dam Sheilhope Girlsta. She has the longest legs of any of the lambs and likes to show off how high she can jump as she chases round the field with the others! Lunde is an HST musket."Wiggy" is a most handsome little ram lamb with wonderful square conformation. He might be seeing a couple of shows this summer :o) He should hopefully keep his deep brown colour as he shows no sign of the ag gene. Here he is with his dam Bartiestown Rachel.

Braeface and Baz are far too grown up to sit with their Mams now! Baz's horns are coming through well now and are nicely spaced.

And then there's Sullivan or "Piggy" as we currently call him. He is the fattest and now the biggest of the lambs despite being almost the youngest! I'm sure that Ruby ought to have twins. I called him Sullivan because this means "Black eyed one" in Gaelic.

Tomorrow everyone is getting fluke, worm and spot on administered and feet trimmed. Wont I be popular?!

Sunday 10 May 2009

Rock Dogs

Before Chris and I went down with the horrid colds that we are now suffering from, we took a trip down to the Fairy Isles at the end of a sea loch close to our house. It was windy but beautiful with the pink thrift in flower, new spring leaves on the trees and rich blue-green of the sea.

Chris took along his fishing rod which kept both him and the dogs occupied even though there were no bites on this occasion! The whizz of the line followed by the splash of the spinner was very exciting for the dogs. Luckily the water was a little too cold for them to get too enthusiastic!

Fox and Whisper tested their climbing skills on the rocky shoreline

and explored the fascinating new seaside smells among the sea weed. They were completely oblivious to the seals watching them just a short way off.

Unfortunately without my SLR and long lens I couldn't get good photos of the seals, so instead I tested the waterproof claims of my new work camera on these super brittle stars that were hiding in a rock pool.
The pooches weren't at all keen on coming home!

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Soggy Lambs

It has now been lashing down with rain for the last 72 hours. Not good for young lambs. This morning they tried to all fit under the stile for shelter.

Some of them were a bit cold and shivery this evening so I administered Kick-Start to those who I thought would benefit. Can't do any harm and it might help to give them a boost. Then I put extra straw down in the hut so that they can snuggle in and get warm and dry. I just hope that they all stay in there.

Interestingly it seems that those with the old fashioned longer and less crimpy fleeces are feeling the cold less than those with super fine tight crimps. Has anyone else any thoughts on this? It seems pretty obvious but it might well have a strong bearing of the type of Shetland I breed in future. I'd rather have warm healthy lambs than the very finest crimpiest fleeces; afterall, I am in Scotland now!

Monday 4 May 2009

Fishing for sausages

Yesterday, unlike today, was on the sunny side and so Chris, Fox, Whisper and I set out to enjoy our local surroundings. We wandered up to one of the higher lochs and got off the paths to explore properly. It's pretty hard going pushing through conifers one moment (unless you're as small as the dogs and can run under the lower branches) and stumbling through knee high heather the next, but it makes life more interesting. We found signs of many deer, foxes, and red squirrels and watched a pair of merganser courting.

We found a lovely spot at the water's edge for a picnic and Chris began to fish for our lunch.

The biggest fish he caught however was this one...

So it was lucky that we'd also brought sausages!

Friday 1 May 2009

Whisper is 1!

Our gorgeous little girl is now 1! I can't believe how much has happened since we got her and how fast that time has passed. She has gone from being a funny little puppy with her head permanently in the clouds, to a beautiful clever young lady... with her head in the clouds only most of the time, a state which we refer to as being "Whisper in La La Land!"

She is the most cuddly of border collies, quite the opposite of Fox and will throw herself at you for a cuddle, sneak under the duvet when she gets the chance or curl up on the sofa with Chris and I. She manages to combine being a most girly girl with being a total tomboy. She has no concept of looking before leaping, and rarely flinches as she bashes her way through brambles, branches or indeed other dogs or people who stand in her way.

She has shown herself to have amazing potential on sheep and I can't wait to get organised up here and begin her training proper.

Happy Birthday Whisper! You've managed to fully embed yourself into our little family and we love you lots. We're very proud of your birthday acheivement of learning to swim!

A beautiful Beltane

Happy May Day every one! Of course, it being May Day today means that last night must have been Beltane: the ancient Celtic celebration of fertility and the arrival of summer. In Edinburgh there is an annual Beltane festival something that Chris and I would love to attend but have never quite managed yet. Usually we would be sitting around a fire somewhere with music playing and beer flowing.

This year however we are rather far from home and also still tending the ewes and their young lambs closely, so we settled for a romantic stroll along the estuary watching the mist over the water and a stunning sunset.