Friday, March 29, 2013

Can spring finally be arriving at Huntington House?

Can it be? The coldest, snowiest, cloudiest March like a lion, out like a lamb? It is 52 degrees today, a warm watery sun up in the sky this March 29th...beautiful day. As I went to do chores this morning, I noticed the hyacinth poking their little green shoots up by the lamb here in the herb garden! What a true country dwellers treat! Mack, one of our Pygora goats, is beginning to blow off his winter down. Sadly, I lost this fleece, since I could not shear him when the fleece was ready to be taken, the end of January. Too cold out. Even inside the goat shed. I just recently invested in 2 Amish made goat coats. The next fleece WILL be harvested when ready, sometime in December or January. If you wait even 2 weeks from the time you see that the fleece is ready for harvesting, it will begin to mat and ultimately felt before blowing off. You can see in the photos below that the silvery down has started separating from the dark under coat. This undercoat is actually the guard hairs, wiry and coarse. These need to be separated before spinning the downy fleece. They will become the outer coat of the goat once the fleece comes off. The goat will wear this darker coat as the new downy fleece starts to come in over the summer. When the days start to get shorter, it signals the downy winter coat to start growing in in earnest! Lauren and I will begin clipping off the goats' fleeces, and put them in the compost bin this weekend. The boys will be sporting their new Amish blankets tomorrow night! This will keep them toasty until the warmer nights have arrived. They will look very different once they are shorn. I will post pictures soon!

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