Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Early Spring

If you are tuning in to this blog from Northern Ontario, it will not be a surprise that I will mention the weather.  It's like July weather, with temperatures in the 20s and people walking around in halter tops, shorts and sandals.

I've had a hard time getting time to update the blog this month.  However, I remembered to take the camera outside a few times to catch the signs of spring.  Like the alpacas venturing out into the fields for the first time, as they sense the approaching spring and search for that first blade of grass.

 
I know that I should keep them off the pastures right now, but I'm a bad farmer....I like to see their enjoyment as they kick up their heels for the first time since the winter socked them in close to the barn.  I'll give them some time to stretch their legs before I close off that pasture so that the grass has a chance to start.

 
This was another scene from a week ago.

 
Today, the only snow you can see anywhere is at the shady edge of the woods.
Warm and sunny for the last several days. Short and halter weather indeed.
Of course, spring fashion is in full swing here at the farm. 


 
I had a beautiful walk to check the fence this morning.  It feels like the earth is coming alive after being frozen and buried under snow for several months. 



I finally finished spinning up some dreadful rovings that I had accidentally semi-felted in the dyeing process.  I think if I had purchased the fibre, I would have thrown it out and not thought too much of it.  But when you watch the fleece being grown on the backs of your animals, and carefully skirt and sort the fibres, wait for months to get it back from the mill in roving form and then dye it (usually successfully)...this stuff has your heart and soul in it.

So I thought I would try to salvage some of it.  It was tough to draft so, the resulting singles were pretty uneven in diameter.  Lots of lumpy spots.  But actually, after plying and washing it, it appears to be a lovely soft, interesting yarn.  It will no doubt knit into a beautiful textured fabric.  I love the colour.  I only have about 200g, so I'm leaning towards a hat and mitt set.  I keep thinking of a little girl's jumper dress though.  Perhaps I will have to hang up the yarn in a place I can see it often.  The answer will come to me.

We've been trying to tame a homeless cat for about a month.  She's a nice little cat, but very nervous.  My daughter and I were able to cage her and bring her to the vet for shots and a checkup.  Thankfully, we think she was already spayed, is in good health and was well behaved in the vets office.  The vet and I beleive she is probably about three years old.

We think one of the renters of an old farm up the road left her when he moved out.  Another neighbour started feeding her, but when he got a dog, she was frightened away.  We suspect she's been living in our implement shed for the winter.  My daughter has named her Mittens.

Our hope was that she'd become our new barn cat, doing mouse control in return for food and lodging.

We kept playing this game where we would coax her with food into the barn, then pick her up and put her in the hot room (which has a cat door) to eat and get used to us petting her.



It did work most of the time, but it sure made chore time a lot longer.  She is very nervous of the alpacas and really tried hard to convince us to bring the food outside for her.

She is more interested in becoming a house cat.  She leads us back to the house, all the while talking to us about how she really is a princess, and not suited to the barn.  She spends a lot of time lounging on our deck.

I don`t think the barn mice are in any danger soon.

 

4 comments:

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

That green handspun yarn is so spring like. Beautiful shade of green.
Hopefully, Mittens will soon understand the joy of working for a living :-)

Prudence Puddleduck said...

Easter colour yarn indeed! I have been thinking of you and the ladies of the woods! How fortunate you are, especially this time of year. Mother nature really shows off....HMMM Cats? they are tricky as they know more than we do. Mittens does look quiet regal for a feline.
♥Debi

Leigh said...

It is a busy time of year! I've felted yarns in the dyepot too, *sigh*. Still, I do love a lumpy bulky yarn for some projects.

So cute about the alpacas. And I hope you make good progress with that cat. A good cat is so handy to have around.

luckybunny said...

I know it the weather has been unreal - although it's more seasonable temperatures here right now, sitting at freezing or just above. But there were days I was lying out in the sun thinking summer was here for sure! It's been an easy month, we've really been lucky. My guys would love to come to your place, they are all locked out of the pastures and completely ticked off! lol. I too love that shade of green! LOL about your mouse patrol!