Have You Ever Had One of Those Days ...
Nature Notes: The Director's Cut

Sheepshearing Day!

We had such a fun Earth Day ~ out in the wind and the sun ~ at the Gore Place Sheep_looking_2 Sheepshearing Festival!

We've been to this annual event before, so we knew to get there early before the crowds. But as we pulled onto the bustling field, it seemed everyone had the same bright idea!

Nell_2 We spent the next two hours walking over the grounds ~ perusing craft stalls, petting wildlife, sampling treats and learning all about sheep and shepherding. The Wellscroft Farm sheepdog demonstration was just fascinating to watch; we were in love with half of the dogs before it was over. :)

A most friendly beekeeper entertained us with tales from his 40 "hobby" hives as well asAlpaca_2 his "bee humor" ~ "What's the only bee that lasts only a month? A Maybe!" In the meantime, I found a lovely Celtic Cross candle made out of beeswax to take home.

In one tent, while my boys met a golden alpaca, I met its cheerful owner who hosts educational programs at her farm. I must have HOMESCHOOLER stamped across my forehead, because she had me Sheep_on_the_run1_1 pegged right away; after she described her numerous classes for small groups on cheesemaking, pollination and orienteering, I left with her card and left her with my name.

We chatted with a cheerful woman who was spinning away with what Sheep_on_the_run2_1appeared to be a lovely gray wool ... turned out the wool she was spinning wasn't wool  at all ~ but the hair from the dog at her feet!!

We admired Colonel Bailey's 2nd Massachusetts Regiment in all their Regiment colonial finery, and enjoyed the bluegrass music of the Pine Hill Ramblers ... by lunch we were quite full ~ minds and tummies!

Of course I can't help but plan a follow up lesson next week, once we can tear ourselves away from the squirrels ... Before we start, I'm going to mine a few ideas from a recent post by Melissa Wiley at Here in the Bonny Glen.

I thought we would read a few picture books ~ Pelle's ShepherdNew Suit, Warm as Wool and Charlie's New Cloak ~ and talk about the steps from sheep to sweater. Afterward, we might purchase some sheep's wool to clean, card and possibly spin and dye. The gorgeous yarn for sale at the fair sparked a renewed interest in my knitting, so I'll be stopping in at Mary's Living Knitting blog for ideas and inspiration.

RoseTo learn more about the sheepdogs we marveled at we'll read Only One Woof by James Herriot and I'm sure we'll find time to watch the movie Babe just for fun.

I hope you've enjoyed a peek at our day at the fair! (Please click on the thumbnails to get a better view). We'll keep you posted on our wool lessons as they unwind ...