bonus episode: shearing day at long way homestead!
it was a sunny and windy day at long way homestead on april 30 when i attended shearing day. here are some highlights, including a team of volunteers skirting fleeces as they came off the sheep (our hands were so moisturized by the end of the afternoon!), tansy and ashoka both getting their annual haircuts, and some extended footage of the amount of work it takes to get a llama secured and relaxed enough for their shearing (llamas are often guardian livestock, but they still need to be sheared too!).
i was absolutely amazed at the strength and coordination of anna's shearer, stacey, as she wrangled each animal to ensure they were comfortable and calm enough for her to do her job. shearing an animal for fibre rather than just necessity also requires a specific method to ensure you get as much useful fibre as possible (sheep and other fibre animals need to be sheared for health reasons no matter what happens to their fleeces after the fact - imagine a long-haired cat that never grooms itself, those mats are uncomfortable and can cause skin issues, never mind the mobility problems that occur if you wait too long!). you can read more about the day here on anna's blog, and if you would like to be more involved in long way homestead's operations, consider their sponsorSHEEP program! getting to skirt tansy's fleece was such a special experience for me.
(re)watch my interview with anna here.