There was excitement in the barnyard this weekend! With help and instruction from the very farmers who gave us Cinnamon and Emily, we had our first Shearing Day. Emily was sheared before she arrived here, being due to lamb, but Cinnamon has been ready for a trim. I think we've been just as eager to learn the process as she has been for a trim on these hot days we've been having.
With a family (and barnyard) audience, and an extra long 'teaching' shearing session, not only were Jim and Cheryl (of Gammon Farms) ever patient and helpful, but Miss Cinnamon herself was as patient as a sheep could be. I think the sweet somethings Adelaide was whispering must have had something to do with that. All went beautifully, smoothly....and her fleece was clean and dry and as lovely as can be.
More than just learning how to shear though, it was such a gift to have lifelong farmers and fellow keepers of Shetland sheep in the barnyard, captive as they were. Talking everything from worms to foot rot to the best local farmer from whom to get second-crop hay to registering breeds to our specific sheep - their personalities and lineage (it turns out Emily doesn't need anything with all that baaing she does, she's just mouthy like her Mama). Goodness, I think we consumed several books worth of sheep knowledge in that little shearing session. Not to mention, the feeling of comraderie and community. And we got faith and reassurance from those with more experience than we, that our little flock is healthy, happy and thriving.
And now, wrapped loosely in a pretty vintage bed sheet, taking up a rather large corner of my studio, are two moorit fleeces from Cinnamon, ready for what comes next (once I figure out what comes next, that is). Back in the barnyard, once all the other sheep realized this newly shorn gal was in fact, the same playful, silly, friendly Cinnamon they knew and loved, all returned to normal.