Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mid winter on the ranch.

Since Christmas we have had some cold windy weather and some really nice weather.  More like the roller coaster weather you would get in March and April.  We got the barn cleaned out during some of the nice days in January.  So it was warm enough to thaw the barn out.

Then end of January Tammy and I flew to Reno, NV to the American Sheep Industry convention.  Close to 600 sheep producers from all over the United States attended.  We toured a new facility that was making wool into house insulation.  They are a small operation that is just working into a niche market.

When we got back the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo was going on.  Tammy helped at the Farmers Union Booth a couple of days then prepared for the sheep shearing contest.  There was a sheep shearing contest with contestants from surrounding states and far away.  One shearer from Pennsylvania.  Two young ladies competed in the wool handlers contest, one was from West Virginia and one from Mississippi.  There was two local wool handlers.

This picture is from two years ago when the contest was in the Civic Center, now it is out at the Fairgrounds.  I didn't hear how many shearers competed, but must have been over twenty maybe close to thirty.  There are three classes, beginner, intermediate and professional.

Then the weather got warm.  Up to 70 degrees here one day.  We tore out some fence that the flood from last June had wrecked.  We never got around to fixing it.  Part of the reason was my hip hurt too much, but now it is pretty much healed so I can do about anything.  Marshall is here to supply some extra muscle.  

This is low wind break fence for a little sheep shed.  The tin is old cyanide containers from the gold mines in the hills.  You see a lot of fence on this place that is made of tin from the containers pounded flat.  They are probably seventy or eighty years old.

We got a new guard dog pup last week.  I say pup because he is eight months old.  He probably weighs 70 pounds.  We are working on a name for him.  He is protective of the lambs we have put with him.  We are all getting acquainted.  Hope to have some pictures for the next blog.

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