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Fiber Farming. January 23, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Politics and Society.
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It’s not uncommon in these parts to find farms where the primary product is hair.

Animals which get sheared for fiber (think “sheep” as a starter) are common in Western Massachusetts.

At a farm up in Hawley, goats and their man-servant:

Goats aren’t one of the fiber producers, but that guy is – tending stock is a job without Sundays or vacations.

Jacob sheep, noted for their multiple horns:

Generally four, occasionally six.  That’s news to me, but then, I’m a country boy, not a farm boy.

A Llama:

These beasties were roaming free, but with short leashes attached, which I suppose would make them easier to get hold of, if (when) you needed to.

This place was also raising pigs and Guinea hens, the latter of which played Chicken with me in the narrow road.  I knew my 4-Runner could win that one, but I really didn’t want to fricassee someone’s assets.  Or hurt a birdie.

Rural life continues in these parts, but it ain’t a get-rich-quick scheme.

By the way, these were all hand-held with Gizmo, my 400mm lens, from the driver’s seat of my running car.  They came out better than I anticipated without image stabilization (which is a whole lot more bucks that I didn’t have when I got Gizmo.)

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Comments»

1. lisahgolden - January 24, 2012

The expressions on the faces of the sheep and the llama strike me as amused. The sheep looks as if he’s smiling, the llama appears to be smirking.

That’s a hard life, I suspect, but I can also see how making your own way like that has its rewards.

2. Pamela Shrimpton - January 24, 2012

LOVE your goat pics in Hawley. I have goats in Hawley, too…only four Boer goats now but three are preggers, so just wait for April! Thanks for the great shots.

3. Pamela Shrimpton - January 24, 2012

Also, my pics are snapshots compared to yours, but in case anyone is interested, here are my gals:

http://forgehollow.com/blog/forge-hollow-farm-goats-are-cold-but-otherwise-okay

Thanks again,
Pam
Forge Hollow Farm
Hawley, MA

4. littlebangtheory - January 24, 2012

Lisa, sheep love being sheep, and so are almost always smiling! 🙂 Llamas I know less about, but I suspect he was daring me to get close enough to spit at…

Pam, your gals are beautiful – I can’t wait to see their kids in April, and might fish for an invite as the time approaches!

5. Pamela Shrimpton - January 25, 2012

Sounds like a plan!

6. mudranch - January 25, 2012

If you care to see more photos of Jacob sheep, wander on over to my blog. I raise them.
Beautiful shots!

7. susan - January 25, 2012

They are really lovely beasts.

8. littlebangtheory - January 26, 2012

mudranch, welcome! and I did check out your Jacob photos, they’re priceless (as are the photos of your grrrlie-dog Penelope! 🙂

Susan, yes, they’re beautiful, as I find most farm animals to be. Spring promises a bumper crop of cute farm babies!


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