Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm

Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Alpaca Days this weekend!


Cyrus and Royal
We celebrate everything Alpaca with our annual Open House this weekend,  Saturday, Sept 29th and Sunday,  Sept 30th from 10 to 4 each day. Come and visit these beautiful and majestic animals as well as some of our other farm friends. We will also have spinning demos, felting demos, refreshments and fun. Mother Nature is calling for some questionable weather but we will still be open for visitors! Our farmstand will be filled with everything we make here on the farm!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Getting the bees ready for fall and the coming cold weather...

We are underway preparing the bees by feeding them daily, we are using lots of sugar!
 Today I took the final "Super" (the small box on top) off the last hive which was our strongest and overwintered hive...
they had lots of propolis gluing the hive together. This is a Queen Excluder which had to come off...
I inspected the hive and found them to have lots of pollen and honey reserves for the upcoming cold season...
and I even got a great shot of one of my queens. Look at her attendants watch over her, the hive was on alert because of my presence...
and last "The little Hive that could". If you go back on our blog to the spring, this hive was from a split that was done from an Observation Hive I take care of at the Nature Center where I work. I did a total of three splits and combined from that hive netting a very strong hive. This hive is very promising for the winter and has done quite well. The queen is strong and has plenty of brood as well as them having lots of honey reserves. We will put the Candy Boards on in December which provides another food source and hope that our "girls" get thru the cold season until next year. This has been by far our best honey production season. I have learned well from these creatures that continue to amaze me...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blessed Autumn Days are here!

It's official, those wonderful days of Autumn are upon us! I found this old file picture of our Yorkie, Zoe on a fall day looking out over our pumpkins. My favorite time of year and my favorite things...pumpkins, scarecrows, simmering cider, apple and pumpkin pie, fall leaves, the crisp smell in the air, hoodies, festivals and fairs, autumn walks, the smell of wood burning, spinning and knitting, and the feeling of home...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chillin' on the last day of summer..

 
Well we have reached the official end of summer. I was out taking pictures of some of our Alpacas for an upcoming event and had to share! "Cyrus" on the left and "Royal" on the right just chillaxin" on this last day of summer. Hail and farewell to one of the hottest summers on record, we welcome fall with open arms...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Rose update!

Well off "Rose" went to the Vet today and she was none to happy!
She went to see Dr Carlson and I was very worried about her prognosis but my worries were turned to optimism by the Vet and his staff. He stitched her uterus back into place and did not see any form of infection! However, "Rose" is retired, she will never lamb again and of course this is the first time he had seen a prolapse from a sheep that was not even pregnant! She will live her life out here on our little farm and already has a legacy of a daughter and a granddaughter, our white little ewe, "Daisy".

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Poor Rose

 Poor Rose has prolapsed and we have tried everything!
 Excuse the quality of this picture but you can see the problem is clear...
we have tried everything to keep her tucked back in, even duct tape! I have consulted with other Sheperdess' as well as a Veterinarian. They all gave me advice but the over all consensus is, this is very abnormal to prolapse when not even pregnant. So it looks like Rose is retiring if we can get her through this and keep her healthy. Everything I have read points to being overweight (which she is!), genetics, selenium deficiency and a whole list of possibilities. So hopefully she will go in tomorrow for a tack or possible amputation of the uterus all together and be done with it. It is breaking my heart and she is so stressed out from me catching her everyday, giving her antibiotics and checking her. My poor Rose...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Off to the Mill!

Okay, I admit it, I am a fiber hoarder! Over the past two years I have just been stashing away my alpaca fiber and "Babydoll" sheep fleeces. I still had lots from years prior to spin. Our son was moving back home and I had to make room for his return so I took every bag out on the deck...
went thru each and every one of them...
 pulled out my trusty screens (that I got at the dump!)

and began skirting the fleeces...

 had to decide who was going to the Alpaca fiber bank and who was going to the mill...

just look at the crimp in this picture to the right and the one down to the left
...wow!

I drooled over their beauty ...


and managed to get all of them into 3 large boxes. There was a lot of decompression going on! So off to the mills they went yesterday, the next time I see them they will be beautiful.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Honeybees making Propolis...amazing!

I was lucky enough to come across this amazing find the other day, bees collecting to make Propolis!

At the base of a tree, where it has an opening I saw a bunch of honeybees busy at work collecting.

I had only read in books but never actually witnessed the process of how they do it. Bee Propolis is a substance made by the honeybee that provides protection against harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi. Propolis is plant resin collected by bees from trees and plants for use in the hive. It acts a a glue, they seal everything with this substance which is usually an orange resin type substance making hard at times to even get the hive open. The bees mix in substances derived from pollen and active enzymes to form a potent protection for their hive.
I must say I feel blessed to have seen this for myself. We all need to take a walk sometimes and see what nature is showing in today's matinee'.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Textile show treasures!

Over the past couple of days a local Historical Society was holding a Textile Show. I bought these cool assorted buttons...
 and went home and sewed some onto this bag that I knitted adding some Alpaca, felted and added a zipper...
I picked up bags of threads in many colors, unused as well as dyes...
and then I spotted these, headbands and bracelets that were calling for beautiful handspun yarns to be wrapped around them in wonderful glory. I love this time of year, I come alive with inspiration and creativity! The possibilities are endless!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cooler temps spark creative inspiration

 The summer was so hot this year, it was hard to get into any projects and hard for me to stay inside in the nice weather. These two spools of yarn have sat on my wheel all summer...
 numerous knitted bags awaiting zippers to be sewn into them...
needle felted pictures ready to go into frames...
and a pile of fiber and wool to be spun. I must say that I bid ado to August and the unofficial end of summer. I look forward to getting back to my projects, awakening my creative side and as I turn the calender into September, the cooler temperatures, and all my favorite things like country fairs, apple picking, pumpkins (which I will be harvesting), cider, roasting a chicken in the oven, hoodies, the smell of fall on a crisp day, and the beautiful colors of the trees. The turn of the wheel of the year will bring us back to this time next year once again...