Friday, April 18, 2014

Cold Shower

Away and back again. My second presentation on livestock guardian dogs is over and done. Afterward I enjoyed a visit with my sister and family. Today I gingerly picked my way home again as our province is being swept with a springtime winter storm. A cold shower if you will.

When I left there was only a little bit of snow in the tree belts and valleys. Everything looked so hopeful for Spring. It felt like the shock of a cold shower to see the yard blanketed by snow once again.

I’ll enjoy this evening arrived fresh home and tucked indoors and then next up is earnest preparation for shearing on Tuesday.  Panels to move, building to ready, sheep to sort, meals to make. And prayers that the snow ceases and the sun shines to be said.

Monday, April 14, 2014

What Are LGD Puppies up to All Day Long?

They play, they catch lovely scents in the air, and they still sleep for long periods. 

In the morning they take walks around the sheep paddock with me, weaving in amongst the steer, the llama and the rams. They interact with Oakley and Zeus. Then it’s back to their own paddock and their own small band of older lambs that they hang out with. They get breakfast and then I leave them alone. I slip back out at noon to note where they are and feed them lunch. They explore and play some more.

I go back out again in the evening. We might do another walk around then. They might mingle with the stock dogs. Then I tuck puppies and sheep up indoors so they sleep near each other.

The pups can still slip through almost every fence, including the woven wire and sheep panel fencing. But if I set them with the sheep and leave out the reinforced front gate, they haven’t figured out to go around and get out the back fence. So they stay put, which works well for both of us.  I won’t hot wire the paddocks until the pups are a bit older... well, actually my reason is far more selfish, I don’t want to do it until it’s a bit nicer out.  :-)

Pippa scents the air, animals are downhill to the left

Thursday, April 10, 2014

On The Easel

Carving out little bits of time (usually early morning, before the sun is up time) to pick away at this piece. I know the photo looks fuzzy.  The un-worked parts are quite faded at this point. You can see that I’m working in more detail starting at the top left corner.

I delivered the male pup to his new home today and stayed to be a part of my friend Liezel’s shearing day work bee. There is something quite satisfying in seeing a flock of sheep sheared (and eating delicious homemade lunch and pie afterward).  I wonder if the shearers feel that way.

I still have board meeting homework to get to and another LGD presentation to get ready for, so just time for quick post tonight.  I’ll be doing an update on the pups soon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tangible Measurements of the Arrival of Spring

Morning walks now take place before breakfast because it’s decent outside even early in the morning.

I can detour off the grid road during my walk. I visit pastures I have not been to all winter.

Instead of full days for artwork, the days are now full, and I fit in time for artwork.

It is muddy everywhere - in a good way. The melt water is flowing. White guardian dog puppies are thoroughly muddy.

We now have trouble getting around on the fields with the tractor due to ground thawing and wet conditions.

There are small slivers in my hand from working without mitts.

Evening chores now take longer as the ewes are spreading further in hopes of finding grass instead of hay. Cajun is joining me again for evening flock work.

On a trip to town this past week I didn’t bother to pack the winter clothes in the car.

The Sorrel boots have been replaced by Muck Boots.

I’m working stock dogs each day again; getting sheep ready for a stock dog clinic in May.

The house has a faint, wet dog and manure odour, tracked in from throughly dirty and thoroughly happy stock dogs who now stay outside all day but I wimp and let them inside in the evening since their dog houses are still buried in snow.

We are preparing for shearing the ewes - April 22 if you’re interested in joining us. We’d love to have you.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Coming Off the Easel

I have not dived into that large sketch yet. I did finish up a series of four pencil sketches though and haven’t shared them here yet.

I did these for a couple different reasons. I wanted a series of four sketches that were of a common theme and/or told a common story. I was also in the mood to do some faster projects and working solely in pencil answers that. I also wish to try having some prints made (hopefully through a local printer) and thought starting with simple black/white pencil sketches would be nice and simple. 

These four are on tan colored paper which I thoroughly enjoyed working on just as a reprieve from black on white.