On Thursday last week I was digging some pink turtlehead for my neighbor, and apparently disturbed a nest of ground bees (hornets?). This was not fun. I was only stung once, but it was enough. These are little maybe l/2″ long streamlined looking yellow bees, who don’t leave a stinger and who sting so fast, it’s over before you know you’ve been stung. Fifteen minutes later I knew I’d been stung! My index finger swelled up like a sausage. I put ice on it, my hand started swelling; I put more ice on it…it seemed to help a little, at least with the burning and itching. Woke up in the middle of the night, with all my fingers swollen: quickly removed my “empress” ring (John calls me “Queenie” when I get imperious; for our 25th anniversary, he bought me a lovely saphire (sp?) and diamond ring, and I suggested it was my empress ring, since I used to flash my engagement ring at him when he called me “Queenie”. ), no mean feat, iced it again, took more benedryl and went back to sleep. Next day it was starting to swell at the wrist. I gave up: went to ER, just to make sure I wasn’t doing anything I should be doing, or vice versa. They were unimpressed, reassured me, and I went home. Today the itching has finally totally stopped, and the swelling is almost totally gone. I’ve not been knitting: my Irish Aran sweater sits in four pieces waiting for my hand to return to normal so knitting doesn’t hurt me or it. Here’s the border in front of the porch, where I met the bees in the turtlehead, front right.
The hand didn’t stop me from checking out Robert and Lasell Bartlett’s Lasseau (plural of Lasell? Just a weird thing I noticed…I know, I know, two s’s instead of one. Here’s a photo of their flock:
Relative to the hole in the head mentioned in the previous post, I purchased two of these lovely ladies, whom I have named Maple Hill Benjie Lasseau and Maple Hill Jacqueline Lasseau after Benjie and Jacques Lasseau. I had them barricaded in an 8 x 8 pen in the shed to acclimate. Today, they ate grain out of a scoop I was holding, and they’ve come over to smell my hand without stomping at me…so I thought, maybe I’ll just let myself in the pen and check their teeth to try to determine the age of at least the younger one. Carefully, I pulled aside one 5′ high panel, got in, and replaced the panel, turned around, took one step toward them, and whoosh! Both girls jumped from a standstill over the 5′ high panel. After a little cursing, I got out of the pen, and slowly walked behind them, moving to the left if I wanted them to move straight and to the right. (Years ago, I would have spent hours chasing them and trying to catch them. I’ve smartened up some.) We slowly made our way to the house, around the dooryard (side yard to most people), out onto the back pasture, and around to the lower pasture, where the rest of the sheep are. I closed fencing and opened fencing, and finally got them into the adjacent paddock to the flock, then opened the gate between them (yes, I did remember–this time–to turn off the electronetting before touching the fence!) and moved them all into the paddock I wanted them in, taking a total of maybe five minutes. I was so proud of myself, and grateful to them, I gave them all an extra measure of grain. The new girls went around smelling the old ones and vice versa, there has been a lot of baaing for the last l/2 hour, which has just recently stopped, hopefully because they are enough used to each other to think about eating grass, and NOT because they’ve broken through the fence and are on their way down to a neighbor’s yard. (These new girls are not used to electronetting, which is a psychological barrier rather than a physical one. The netting is there, but if you’re willing to take the shock, you can walk right through it.) I went back out and took their photos to show you: Jacqueline is on the left, Benjie on the right.
Jacob folks will notice these girls have black pigmented noses and white legs, something I usually try to avoid, but it is good to get this particular line of sheep, which seem mostly to have white legs and pigmented noses instead of big black muzzles and black socks and knee spots.
Allan is coming with another 120 bales of hay at 9 a.m. Then, I’ll have 500 bales in the shed…which means I need to get from 41 sheep down to 24 or 25 tops sheep real soon! Or else spend lots more money on hay. Hay was $2 a bale 12 years ago when I started this. It’s now up to $4.50 a bale, mostly I think because of the rise in fuel costs. Makes it much more expensive to raise sheep. Sheep prices have not risen accordingly, even though it takes twice as much money to feed them! Why is it that prices rise all along the way, until they get to the farmer!?
Have a lovely day! For Christy, my “mentee”, it’s back to school day. (Personally, I think it’s sinful to send kids back to school before Labor Day, but I guess that’s just because of what I’m used to from N.Y. state and N.J.