Sunday, September 30, 2007

What happens when you try to sneak up for a photo

The days are still warm in Marana, AZ. Today, Sunday it was in the 90's and thought I would take some pictures. The bottom picture I took from the side of the house. On the right hand side of the picture is Double D. He is my oldest buck at about a year and a half. Next to him standing is Cherry Berry......half mountain goat......there is nothing she won't jump on or try to eat. To the left of her is Samson my newest buck. His father No Size has produced some awesome mohair and I am hoping Samson will as well.
So I thought I would sneak out from the patio doors. As you can see from the top picture it didn't work so well. I really tried to be quiet but once can see a little of him, he is the black and white one, got one look at me......his belly went off and he came a running. They soon discovered that I didn't have any food but that didn't stop them from I gave up on the pictures for now.
One day I will get a few good ones.

Two batts that I created with some help from Kathy

Kathy Withers is just great. Two weeks ago I went over to her ranch to begin learning about carding. The carder that I am using is on the left and to the right are the batts that I created. They are still from Double D's fleece.

The next step for me will be to take the batts back over to Kathy's and start learning how to spin them. Oh boy, hopefully I won't get stuck in the spinning wheel. I can see if fingers all up in the wheel and Kathy saying 'What did I get myself into'.

I am having lots of fun learning new things.


My Top Secret drying process...

So, what can you do with a tank full of nothing. Well, make a mohair drying unit out of it. I put a small fan in the middle of the tank inside blowing up.....the top where the mohair is on is a screen mesh....only obstacle is the middle piece of glass. It holds the tank together so I won't bother it.
This is still Double D's fleece that I am working with. After being washed it came out pretty good. After it drys it will be ready for pre-picking and then carding.
OK, so maybe it's not so Top Secret but I thought it was a good idea for me.

My Top Secret mohair washing process

Well, it could be....somewhere. OK, maybe not. I think it is the orange buckets that make the process or maybe the big spoon. Yep, it is the big spoon that makes it all work.

I was just impressed with myself for beginning to process some of my mohair today. The mohair is from my buck Double D. It was from his second shearing in April of 2007. In the next post you will see my Top Secret way of drying. OK, it could be........


Are you looking at me...

I woke up one morning to see Abby laying like she owned the place. I think she does. So I had to take a picture.
The only thing I can think of at 6 am was her saying to me 'Are you looking at me'.

Whew - What is that smell..!

On Monday I came home, opened the door to my house and whew…..what a smell. It was something rotten. I thought, did Abby, my dog bring something in….hmmm. I walked through the house going man that smell is just awful but, where is it coming from.

Well, as I got close to the patio… became apparent to me. My carrion cactus was blossoming all over the place. When I took a closer look, WHEW……that is exactly where the smell was coming from the cactus…and with the full sun on them they were just a smelling the whole place up. Funny, after the sun goes down the smell goes with it. In a week or two they will have all flowered and smell will be gone for another year.

The blossom is pretty and I like them because they are big.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Oyster - Come back to me - Where are you Oyster

Well, once the shearing was done....I was, oh my, where is the rest of Oyster.
I didn't realize their necks were so skinny......Their was like nothing left of took several weeks before she started looking like herself again. Once she started to grow in I felt better....not that she cared but, I did. I thought to myself......I hope someone doesn't she her and think I don't feed her enough....I overfeed that way it is.......but after a few weeks she started looking like MY Oyster again.
I won't be shearing her this October because she will be too cold so she will be sheared in April with the rest of my herd.
This Picture was taken about an hour after the shearing and shots, everyone seemed to be running around a lot cooler and eating like there was no tomorrow.
Oyster is just so darn cute.

Oyster - Right before being sheared.

This picture of Oyster was taken in April of 2007 right before shearing.

Boy was I going to be in for big surprise of what she would look like....or should I say, what was left of her.


Farley - My Companion Goat

This is Farley my companion goat. I got him when he was six months old and had him fixed so I could separate my buck and not leave my buck by himself. My buck and Farley became good friends.......over time that is.
When I took this picture the only thing that came to mind was a song from Christina Aquilera.......'I am beautiful in every single way......words can't bring me down'........
Look at those ears........he makes all kinds of trouble too.....from stampede's to wiping out in the dirt because he is running too fast....but I love him anyway.
He is also the only one who lets me know when his fat belly is hungry.......then I know it is feeding he keeps me in line. I tell him that I work for goat feed to ensure his belly stays fat.....quick where is the food.

Samson - The Mohair that he will produce.

Samson is another recent addition from the Withers Ranch. He is one of No Sizes bucks. No Size is still producing fine mohair and hopefully his babies will as well.
I named him Samson because of his locks of is so soft.
As you can see from this picture he is settling in well with my gang. This picture was taken on Saturday, 9/1/2007, it was a hot day and everyone was just laying around trying to stay cool.

Marble - Caught with his protector (Oyster the Llama)

Marble (the sheep next to the Llama) recently moved to my house from Kathy Withers ranch. You may remember a post from her Blog talking about Marbles first haircut. We left some fiber at the top of his head because we were concerned about how my other goats would react to him. Well he fit in just fine.
He was so docile that we had to show him where the food, water and salt lick was. In fact the first few days I had to walk him over to the food and chase the others away for him to eat. He is much better now and is pushing others out of his way. I am so glad because I don't think I could walk him to his food and water everyday. I'd love to but, I have to work for goat food.
Well, Marble took right to Oyster the Llama thinking he found his mother again. Marble was right by Oyster's side no matter where she goes. You may also recognize Oyster, she is also from Kathy's ranch. Oyster is so sweet, she has turned into a natural guardian of the goats. Marble followed Oyster around everywhere.....when Oyster would be out of sight Marble would just bleat until he found her. At times I would help Marble locate her because he just sounded so distraught. It was just so cute I had to do it.
Oyster doesn't seem to mind the following except during feeding......Oyster does spit, just a lite one, at Marble to let him know that this food is hers. He is getting the picture.
He still follows her around as this photo was taken about a week ago and shows just how close he likes to be with her. Where Oyster is Marble is close behind. And, who could resit Marbles look of 'Just love me'.
More to come.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Something New for me

This will be my first post to my first Blog.

As I get comfortable I will be posting about raising my Angora goats and new friends I have met along the way.

One person I would especailly like to thank is Kathy Withers. She really knows her stuff about the goats and how to feel the best mohair. I really appreciate all her help and knowledge that she has shared and continues to share.

The link to her site is: