Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bidding Adieu to Summer

Where August and September went are yet another mystery in this whole thing of life. But, as usual, I have proof that something happened via the photos I snapped with my phone. M&A and I had talked about going to the Vashon Island Sheep Dog Trials back in July, but I had forgotten about it until M. called me to ask if I was still interested...I was and what was even better was that the day we could all go was also my day off. So no conflict. I got on the ferry and drove to Seattle, where I then met up with M&A and we were off!
We went on the final day, which was actually not the main event, which was held the previous day. On this day the competition was for novice/beginning dogs. They were still learning the tricks of the trade, but since none of us were terribly well versed in the sport to begin with, it was still quite interesting.
M. and I facing the wrong way and thus shrouded in shadows.
My phone does not take photographs from great distances very well. It was a pretty big course and the dogs had to run all the way to one end to get the sheep before maneuvering them through a number of gates and then back to the shepherd.

Slightly better?
Things really started to wind down a bit in mid to late August. We said goodbye to a number of ewes whose days as milkers had come to an end, as well as many a lamb that would not be making it into the milking flock. This involved much wrangling and shuttling from one field to another. And on the day the lambs (and pigs) were to depart the farm (and this world) everyone had to get up quite early to load them. Headlamps were key in this regard.
Oh how the chickens have grown. We took another photo to demonstrate the progress they've made and on this day we found our first eggs! Since then the chickens have really started producing. We usually find four to six eggs each day. Some are blue! All the chickens have also been named. They are: Penny the rooster, Benji (short for Benjamin Franklin), Persephone, Jane, Red, Beatrice, Gonzala, Volcon and Houdini. In this photograph I'm holding Houdini (on my right) and Persephone. W. is holding either Red or Beatrice (they're hard to tell apart).
D. who lives on the farm had a musical show at a local bar and we all came out to see him perform. A nice night.
E. and H. after the show.
And H. holding a drum that others beat.
This was a lamb that H. named Cowgirl. She is no longer with us, but H. will have her fleece forever.
On another visit to Seattle M&A made cheese-stuffed squash blossoms that were quite delightful fried up.
I also finally gave them their paintings. A. liked calm flowing waters and coffee, while disliking noise. M. liked "nice light" and foxes while disliking ketchup.
H. had an unfortunate run-in with a sharp knife when she attempted to whittle a stick.
W. set up a nice outdoor area for the chickens to enjoy and they surely have taken full advantage of their larger environment. Penny the rooster is just so handsome.
Often enough one of the chickens will lay an egg with TWO YOLKS inside of it. I never cease to be excited about this, though I now can tell quite quickly when it will happen (the eggs are definitely larger than the single yolk eggs).
A day when it was both sunny and raining simultaneously.
I continued to spend many of my nights sleeping at the beach, this was on one such evening.
And on one morning when I looked out of my tent I saw a coyote trotting by. My phone's lens was fogged, so I actually saw it much more clearly than this photograph would suggest.
On another night at the beach I was a bit annoyed by the cover band music I could hear at a festival clear across the sound in Mukilteo. It was not particularly good music, but boy did it carry. My annoyance lessened when a fairly substantial fireworks display started. Again, my camera didn't like the distance so I couldn't get a really good shot...but in person it was quite beautiful.

Me gussied up a bit to sell cheese at one of our weekly farmers markets.
Another tent night still life.
I went to Prima Bistro one early evening to partake in their happy hour and ended up ordering their charcouterie plate, which I enjoyed thoroughly.
Another tent view. The moon through the clouds. I was generally quite comfortable down there, as I had an air mattress, sleeping bag and plenty of layers (including Smartwool long underwear) and the weather held out for quite some time. I finally broke down my tent last week when the temperatures started dipping...but it was less the temperature and more the more frequent rains that caused me to give up the ghost.
I'd been thinking about cutting my hair for a while and finally decided to do so on my day off...but was then frustrated to find that none of the salons on the island were open on Mondays. Luckily W. had two visiting friends, one of whom is a professional haircutter. She offered to do it and I happily accepted. Getting one's hair cut outside is much nicer than a salon, is my new opinion on such things. I like the cut. It's a little shorter in the back than I had initially expected, but I think it looks nice on the whole. That said, I kind of miss my long hair and think that I'm basically just going to grow it out all over again.
On the same day as the hair cut, W. and her friends and her father and I went to a nearby beach to go salmon fishing.
I didn't catch any salmon but I did catch a little bottom feeder trash fish that I then threw back.
W. on the other hand actually caught a salmon. I think this was around 8 pounds. Very cool.
Another beach view.
I made a particularly delightful breakfast sandwich with our chickens' eggs one morning.
The sheep going in for the evening milking.
A harvest party bonfire.
C. and her college friends investigating a dead crab.

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