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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Visit to a Farm

The girls (Thing 1 and Thing 2) and I visited a local sheep farm yesterday and had a great time. I honestly don't remember if I've ever been to a real farm (Sturbridge Village doesn't count).
Two of the sheep were friendly and we were able to feed them. One ate out of our hands. It was so cool, way more gentle than feeding my lab where you want to count your fingers. These two sheep were the youngest and hadn't been sheared yet. Their coats (do you call it fur or hair?) were slightly damp and I thought it would smell like wet dog (which is fairly pungent); it didn't at all and it wasn't smelly either.
Thing 2 got in there and fed the sheep. I think Thing 1 fed the sheep once because I put the feed in her hand.
After feeding the two younger sheep, we put what was left in a pan for the rest of the sheep. It's interesting to see all the different color coats. They are Icelandic Sheep.
There were bee hives too. The owner of the farm took out one of the panels to show us the honey. I was standing about 5' away from the hive. Thing 1 & Thing 2 were probably about 10'+ behind me, asking if there shouldn't be protective clothing involved and reminding me how they didn't like bees. I amazed myself going so close, but they really were only interested in the pollen, the honey, and of course The Queen! It was fascinating to see the bees in action.

I got an interesting education on the different roles the bees play in the hive. It is literally a whole other world.
The farm land dates back to the 1700's. Here is a wagon wheel, it was more than waist high on me. I love this kind of stuff (hence the Sturbridge Village reference).
The cutest things things by far, were the Guinea hens that had just arrived that day - BY US POSTAL SERVICE! That blew me away. Apparently bees are sent the same way. I never gave any thought how any of these things WOULD be transported, I just never imagined it would be by mail. Sure enough, though, there was a box loaded with air holes with postage on it. Gives me a whole different perspective of the range of things postal workers must come across in their day. "Guess what came through the post office today..."
I love this picture of the jumble of them. Their coloring changes when they get older and they loose the cute racing stripes on their heads.
Here is how the coat looks after it's been sheared. Thing 2 thought I had pulled out an ear. :)
All in all it was a great field trip.

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