Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sheep Shearing Day (2/14/09)

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of visiting Rising Meadow Farm in Liberty, NC for their annual open sheep shearing. It's about an hours drive from Durham, through some lovely rural areas, which made me long for a home in the countryside.

Rising Meadow Farm
Rising Meadow raises Corriedale, Morrit, and Pulled Dorsit sheep, which create a lovely natural palate of neutral fleeces -- from fluffy whites, to caramels, to a deep chocolate browns. It's enough to make me want to take up spinning! Although I managed to hold off (don't need another addiction right at this moment, heh).
Sheep waiting to be shorn
To shear the sheep, the shearers would pull a sheep from the corral, flip them onto their backs, and start shearing away, turning the sheep as they went. They used old school hand shears, which to me looked terrifying but they handled them with ease. After shearing off the entire fleece in one large piece, another person would bring it outside of the barn to be skirted (picked through for any leftover vegetable matter (or other) matter. Then the fleece would be weighed and put into a large garbage bag to be sold.
Shearing

Skirting Fleece

Fleece from "Puffy"
I got to pet my first llama. Every field with sheep also held a few llamas, who offer protection from coyotes and other predators.
Llama
Although the activity of the day was sheep shearing, they did have the added attraction of showing off a few lambs born just that morning. They are adorable! They mostly were sleeping, with their mothers staying over them protectively. The barn had classical music piped through the speakers to help with the calming mood, even with hundreds (seriously, hundreds) of visitors coming through.
Lambs born that morning
Some more photos (and then see more here):
Fleece (still on the sheep)

Sheep waiting to be shorn

Sheep waiting to be shorn

Shearing

Fleece

Lamb

6 comments:

  1. I love this photo collection - what a great way to remember this day for years to come. It looks like a wonderful day. Those baby lambs are so precious. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  2. Sounds like a lovely day! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I wonder where I could find a baby lamb to snuggle?

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  3. What a wonderful day! It sounds so much fun. I'm with you on the home in the countryside thing - I want one so much every single time I leave the city!

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  4. This looks like so much fun! Great pictures. The fleeces look very clean and tempting.

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  5. Oh wow, what a day! Looks like a great farm, I lvoe that they have classical music for the sheep. Those little lambs are too cute for words!!

    - Julie

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