A lighter look for Spring

Newly shorn Icelandics enjoy their lighter look

Newly shorn Icelandics enjoy their lighter look

March 15, 2010

It gets cold in Texas. Not the relentless, soul-numbing cold of the Northeast, but cold enough, thank you, for two transplants to remember Marches gone by when it seemed as if Spring would never arrive.

This week, Spring did. And with it arrived Danny. For tenders of flocks from Kansas to Arizona, Danny may even be a more welcome sight than Spring. Armed with a kind soul, an efficient technique and industrial-grade electric shears, Danny moves from farm to farm a few times a year to lighten the load of woolly sheep.

This was the first time our current flock met Danny. We have four friendly souls who are hand-raised and four who are a bit more distant but generally amiable. None of them were very interested at first to go under the knife but Danny has his persuasive ways. One-by-one he marched them over to the canvas. Click, they were standing. Click, they were sitting down on their bottoms. Click, the shears glided along hidden contours. In a matter of minutes, each sheep had shed its coat and Version 2.0, sleeker and cooler, was revealed to the world.

And what interesting wool they shed! The big Suffolks provided bags full of thick white wool. The diminutive Icelandics provided more modest amounts. But their fleece was lustrous and quite spinnable. Frances can’t wait to get her hands on that!


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