Well here we are on the denouement of a week that ranged from shearing llamas and burning stumps, to a surprising tractor acquisition. Whew! What a week! Well, let’s start with last holiday weekend. It was a rush to get the house in somewhat of a better shape because visitors were coming! This time it was Tim’s parents and his niece and nephew. We trudged up and down the stairs cleaning and arranging and organizing everything in sight. Still, there is so much yet to be done.
The weather has been hot outside for a typical May in the Pacific Northwest. This also meant that we really needed to jump on shearing those llamas. The weekend prior I constructed a llama chute within the corral in the barn and Saturday was the day we would focus on giving these boys a sorely needed haircut. They have 3 years worth of fiber on them and I know they will be completely different animals once they have those fur coats bagged for the summer. So, aside from working on the house, we had to devote an entire day to this task. It was our first time shearing anything and it meant putting all the book learning and farming mentoring into action. Let me just say it was a very full day.
We started with Yago and kept Uber for last. At least that was definitely the right call. Yago braved through the entire experience. Uber was spitting all over the place. When all was done, you can tell it was our first time because there were plenty of those dreaded "second cuts" which would cause lumps in the spun yarn if used. That’s ok, with all the dirt and debris, I was just happy to finally see what the conformation of these guys was really like under all that fiber.
We spent the next day, Sunday, back at the house focused on more tasks, but the later portion of the day was down at the stump piles as our rental backhoe arrive Sunday evening. With daylight lasting way past 9:30pm, we started right into the first pile. After getting it going really well, the backhoe promptly broke a hydraulic line. $*&%!*&%%$!!! Things quickly came to a halt. (We’d return to more burning once another backhoe arrived on Wednesday, and even with that full day of burning, there is still a bunch of stumps to go.)
Of course, the next day was Memorial Day. We regrouped and moved our burning chores to an upper pile closer to the house. While not the same roaring bonfire, it still keep our guest entertained and conveniently closer to the restrooms. It turned out to be a fun day.
Tim’s folks arrived the next day and we quickly settled into a routing of fun time, good meals, card and dice games. What a great time! Of course I’d be slightly remiss to mention the highlight of their visit…a tractor purchase! Thank you Arnie! We found a 1990 Ford 250C tractor with only 450 hours on it and in great condition. So now it’s official, we have a tractor! This ain’t no little kid’s toy either! This sucker hauls! The bucket alone is large enough to do some serious lifting. We got a brush cutter to go with it so watch out pastures its mowing time! Arnie, Tim’s dad, gets all the credit, thank you so much!
We took Tim’s niece and nephew on a llama hike with 3 of the boys on a nice sunny day. Of course, now that they were shorn, it meant I could try out the llama pack. Yago again was my test case. What a trooper! He will do whatever is asked of him! It worked out so well that Glenn and I went out on another hike to see if we could go further exploring Canyon Creek (we only got so far before the kids got a bit weary). Glenn and I packed a lunch, put everything in the llama pack and took yago and Uber up the mountain with the dogs. It is perfect weather for hiking and the views of the valley below are just spectacular! You can here the whoosh of Canyon Creek echoing up the canyon walls as we hiked along the Green Mountain side.
Be sure to check out all the pictures from this past week in the photo albums…lots to share!