The difference between the farmlands of Eastern and Washington State are significant. We learned how much we appreciate all the greenery of our side (western) and how very much this depth and variance of color affects our own perception of life around us! All of Washington state is experiencing record heat and drought, but vibrant color is still apparent in so many places.
You can see that Mt. Rainier does not have much snow left on it's glacial exterior and there is nothing on the hillsides surrounding; but there is still life in the trees and the grasses that are grazed by cattle. After all the days and hours of dry, brown hillsides and sparse vegetation (with few exceptions around the rivers), we were so happy to see the greenery again!
Ahhh, the joys of country living. Sometimes it's just a treat to enjoy other farms as we make our way home from a visiting or shopping trip....
Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds.
We have been busy with several activities in our area meeting, greeting sharing and teaching eager ~new and old~ fiber (and rabbit) lovers. At our booths, quite a few ask us questions on the ins and outs of rearing fiber animals, their feeds, as well as the many and varied ways of working with their glorious fluff! Several are so eager to glean they ask to tour our homestead and get ideas for their own fiber pursuits. We love encouraging and supporting families in these endeavors and this is precisely why we take time to keep our humble website and work to be involved in several public venues...
The weather has been either pouring sheets of rain or blasting heat. It doesn't make it easy for shearing plans. We've had to put off shearing for a couple of weekends now because of rain then the heat comes on in the week and we finally got to the point where we said - we'll just have to do it when we can - with what we have, scissors. All of our shears are out for sharpening, of course!
It seems 'Jack' has decided he only feels comfortable with 'Tech' doing the semi-shearing here. The poor guy is a rich, beautiful black with a TON of dense fiber on him. Remember alpaca is 4 times warmer than wool so he is actually hotter than the sheep! Armed with a pair of craft scissors, 'Tech' was quite pleased Jack is so comfortable with only him. Mom sheared the two Giant angora rabbits (not seen here) - they were happy and got to romp in the garden afterward for a treat - they didn't want to move around much due to the heat - even after their coat was off. They liked the carrot pieces much better!
They are all enjoying a small patch of extra long salad that they've quickly grazed. Limiting them to new, small paddocks every day is making quick work of this out-of-control yard that will be naturally fertilized and growing even better after they move along. Behind Tech, I hope you can see the length compared to what they have grazed. The variety in their diets is only improving their rumen function and enabling them to uptake a greater variety of minerals. Sometimes they like to graze together, sometimes we have the alpacas in first or last and the sheep at another time...
If you haven't learned about the benefits of mob grazing - take a look at what the Salatin family shares through their farming experiences at Polyface Farms.
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth. Psalms 104:14
This is our journey.