Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Second Class Citizens No Longer
As I have probably said before, my Shetlands arrived on my front lawn in 2000, tossed there by an owner who discovered she was more a horse person than a shepherd. We quickly put up electric net fencing and they stayed on the lawn for 5 years. They were funny and the lambs cute. They never got sick and didn't need me at all except for a bale of hay and grain daily. I sold the lambs and fleeces and kept the nucleus flock small while focusing on my growing Bluefaced Leicester flock. My son,Tim always referred to the blues as the "Diva flock" while he loved the Shetlands and their quirkiness. It wasn't until several spinners who had purchased my Shetland fleeces at Maryland Sheep and Wool began to email and reserve fleeces did I start to notice the beauty of the Shetland fleeces. After all these years, I was suddenly spinning Shetland and loving it! Thanks to Garrett Ramsay the history of Shetlands and breeding for specific colors and fleece types became interesting. Now that the last Blues are almost gone, the Shetlands have become my solace. I spend so much time with them that they stand and look at me as if to ask "Is there something wrong?" I've tried to move them from their little lean to barn behind the stone wall into the big bank barn but they don't want to go. Shetlands don't seem to fit in a proper barn. They like to lie in the snow and eat it in place of water in a tank. The recently sheared Shetland fleeces were so beautiful and so varied in colors (thanks to Garrett's input) that I've got a new focus and not missing my Blues as much. The farm is off the market too so I guess the Shetlands will be first class citizens for a while.