Shearing today went remarkably smoothly, though I suspect the shorn sheep might have a different interpretation.

Shearing day-0009

We needed extra help at the beginning to convince the sheep to cooperate with the gathering and sorting process, and folks stayed on to watch the start of the shearing.  We had sheep crowded into a pen just beyond the shearing floor so it was easy for Bruce to grab the next customer.

Shearing day-0020

For me, the most remarkable part of the process (other than Bruce’s stamina, shearing 31 sheep in less than 3 hours) was seeing what my ewes look like under all that wool.

Shearing day-0024

Shearing day-0027In these two images, Bruce is shearing the mother of lamb #701, who I recently wrote was getting nearly as big as her mother.  Without her fleece, it’s not at all clear that the ewe is bigger than her lamb.

Shearing day-0047And as I imagined, we ended up with an impressive pile of fleeces by the end of the morning.

Shearing day-0063My next project is to figure out if anyone wants to buy the wool.  Bruce was very pessimistic about the prospects, pointing out that the synthetic fiber industry had not only stolen the market for wool, but also the name, since most people no longer associate “fleece” with a shorn sheep.  To be continued…