Sunshine and Rain

Storms were building last night as we were butchering chickens. The rains came with streaking cloud lightning that lit the sky in pinks and oranges as I packed the finished birds into the cooler. Not again! Last time this happened, we lost the big sugar maple swing tree!

But the winds stayed calm, and no damages were sustained. This morning, the clouds are thinning into veiled wisps as the sun tries to come out and play. Sunshine and rain. We certainly can’t say there wasn’t enough rain this year!

The lawn grows like a weed, and the pasture is staying green. Every morning, the sheep eagerly anticipate heading out to graze. Sun and rain. This, along with healthy soils, gives the grass the needed energy to grow, and the grass gives the sheep the needed energy to grow.

Not only are the 90-plus lambs growing bigger every day, but they’re also growing out their wool coats in anticipation of winter. The fluffy hair that makes their warm coats traps air and keeps them warm despite the cold and snow.

By spring, the sheep have wool coats five to six inches long, and it’s time for shearing. 400 pounds of fleece is stuffed into boxes and sent off to regional mills to be processed into beautiful yarns. The curly coats are washed, brushed, carded, and spun—even dyed into enticing colors.

Some of the yarns that came back this year were spun into rug weight.  I just finished a punch rug hooking piece using some of these deliciously colorful yarns, depicting a sunflower and dragonfly.  It looks like summer—reds, blues, greens.


It reminds me of the sunshine and rain that were the foundation of the whole process—from sunshine and rain to grass, grass to wool, wool to yarn, yarn to a colorful rug that brings that sense of summer sunshine into the home.

Summer is fading fast, but the sunny memories (and the stormy ones) live on all winter through the yarns made from the wool of our sheep.  So here’s to sunshine and rain, those key ingredients that keep the farm going through the growing season.  Those wooly coats are growing well—more yarn for next year!  See you down on the farm sometime.