"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Spot on Black Sheep

~~~A basket of wool from my Delilah, my Jacob / Romney ewe who started out as a very black sheep and is now a charcoal gray sheep. I spin the wool up and this is what I have for my effort.
It is 2 ply, and yes, she is a black sheep. Her wool is getting lighter and this year I think I would call the color of her wool 'charcoal brown '. I do not think her wool is a true black and it appears to be fading into a nice brown as she ages.~~~ ~~~This is my new lamb.( below ) Bartholomew. I am sure my daughter and grandchildren will shorten his name to BLACK BART. I am sure I need black fleece to spin black yarn, and Bartholomew was a necessary addition to my flock, don't you think ? Well, maybe Hubby could have been very happy and content without one more baa-ing , woolly, hay chomping animal on the place, but he DID haul little Bartholomew home after all. Isn't he cute ? He is the same age as the other lambs he is confined with. Bartholomew is a Black Welsh Mountain ram lamb...soon to be wether, a fancy term for 'castrated male sheep', shhh......don't tell him.
~~~"Baa baa black sheep have you any wool, yes sir, yes sir, three bags full." Yes indeed, my Delilah gave me at least 3 bags, or to be precise, one BIG bag of black wool which I think is quite nice.
~~~"BLACK WELSH MOUNTAIN SHEEP : The black Welsh Mountain is a small, black sheep with no wool on it's face or legs below the knee hock. The rams are typically horned,and the wool, always black, can be used un-dyed for many cloths."..." The wool is black , short, thick and firm to handle and does not require dyeing." quotes from Wikipedia. So, here again is little Bartholomew. He is very easily handled, and becomes calm when I pick him up. Very unlike my Jacob sheep. Very nice and I just might halter train him so he can be easily handled by our grandchildren. ~~~When you hear the term,' the black sheep', you usually think of someone who stands out in a group in an unfavorable way. BLACK SHEEP is an " English language idiom which describes an odd or disreputed member of a group, especially within one's own family. The term has been looked upon either positively or negatively depending on the era and culture which the term was used. " Wikipedia ~~~"The term originated from the occasional black sheep which are born into a herd of white sheep, due to a genetic process of recessive traits. Black sheep were considered commercially undesirable because their wool cannot be dyed, as white wool can. In 18th and 19th century England the black color of the sheep was seen as the mark of the devil." Wikipedia ~~~The black sheep in my flock have NOT been my troublesome and unruly sheep. The black sheep have not needed to be dealt with in any extraordinary way. The black sheep stand out simply because they are black ! They are different in appearance. Really , the black sheep are desirable to me. I want the black fleece and I want to spin up the black fleece. ~~~I don't want to pontificate on the scriptural and spiritual comparisons and analogies of white / black sheep. I do want to say that because the black sheep stand out in appearance from the more common white sheep ( in my case, spotted sheep ) their behavior and tendencies readily call attention to them. ~~~So maybe my analogy or comparison is not the typical one we might see and hear about so often. If we as Christians, meaning 'Christ Followers", stand out because we call ourselves such, and call attention to ourselves because we are Christians, do we really and truly represent Christ, The Son of God,? Do our attitudes and behavior stand out as truly Christian, or just STAND OUT ? ~~~"All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth;Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before it's shearers, so He did not open His mouth." Isaiah 53: 6,7


Daisy said...

Very lovely post, Kathy. I always enjoy the quotes and scriptures you add. They give deeper meaning to your post and make me think. :)

Bart is a handsome fellow. He has such a sweet and innocent looking face. Very kind and generous of your husband to agree to bring him home for you. :)

Pamela said...

Oh! I am so happy you got a Black Welsh. Merlin, my little "flock boss" is a Black Welsh wether. I hope you are going to be as happy with yours as I am with mine. He's quite the little character and really deserves his own posting. So very serious all the time but ever so gentle.

I can't wait to see the wonderful yarn you spin from his fleece. You have got to keep us posted on how it goes with training him to lead. Mine was leading after just a few days, but the "teaching" part involved him not falling down but THROWING himself down on the ground. His eyes would roll back, his tongue would loll out and his little feet would jerk around as though having a convulsion (no, the collar wasn't too tight and there was no tension on the lead).

After a few tries of this, he figured out that it wasn't getting him anywhere so he just sort of shook himself off and walked along as nicely as could be.

Like I said--quite the character!

LindaSueBuhl said...

I enjoy the fact you get sheep for the color they add to your wool. We wether our little meat goats at very tender ages (we do banding so try to get them banded before their 3rd week). This year we'll keep most of the little males by using that very effective technique - some of our does haven't gotten to keep one of their offspring (we've normally only kept does - selling the males) so I am going to keep a baby for each no matter what gender. I appreciate the scriptural lessons of herding animals - the Lord does watch over us much like good shepherds watch over their flocks. Always a joy to stop by - I loved your posting about the nice chair next to your pond - restoreth your soul - so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Kathy had a little lamb, it's fleece was black as coal. And everywhere that Kathy went, the lamb was sure to go... followed by a bunch of other sheep baaing really loud cause they were 'starving' since they'd been fed an hour ago and well, she was outside so the least she could do is drop them 6 or 7 more flakes of hay don't you think? ( that's how the nursery rhyme should go. )
Thanks for the pics of the little guy. He's cute.
~ Autumn

noble pig said...

What a sweet little lamb! Love the dark hair. Why do they have to grow up!

Jo said...

Aw, what a nice post! I am absolutely in love with Black Bart. It has always been my experience that the so-called Black Sheep of any family is always the most sensitive one, and the one with the most heart. I think the same analogy can apply to anything, can't it? We are so quick to rush to judgment based simply on what a person look like. Give Bart a little scritch behind the ear for me.

I love your Adirondack chair overlooking your duck pond, too. Gosh, you live in an absolutely Heavenly place!

KathyB. said...

Thank-you Daisy. Poor Hubby, putting up with all the animals and repairing what they destroy, I know he loves me , he wouldn't put up with such things if he didn't.

Pamela, you had me laughing ! I can picture your Merlin doing the 'throw myself down' routine. We had a Nubian that saved those kind of antics for when our son walked her around the show ring. Just imagine, a big Nubian , belly up, legs waving in the air as your son is seriously trying to impress a judge ! That might be one of the reasons he took to horses and does NOT own any goats !

Thank-you Linda Sue. How many goats will this make for you ?We too , band our sheep. And, keeping sheep has given me more insight into scripture than I could ever have gained without them.

Autumn, I guess you would know about the baaing as we cannot hear each other speak when the sheep know I am outside and near a wheelbarrow.Like the verse, we should learn it that way, makes more sense doesn't it ?

Noble Pig, that is what is nice about this breed of sheep, growing up won't mean he is big!

Jo,I agree with your sentiments on the black sheep type of people. I think the follow the flock group frustrate me more....but do make for a very controllable group. Just think of the human analogies there.