Greene County Sheep and Fiber Festival

My idea of a lazy Sunday: waking up naturally, eating a light breakfast, and then sitting down with a nice book in the cool morning air. After working all week I feel that in order to take full advantage of my opportunity to rest I should do very little. However, this sentiment is not shared by the Masterson household. On my first day off, I got up at 7 o’clock to drive 2 hours out of town to the Greene County Sheep and Fiber Festival. “The what?” you ask. Let me show you:

…Ok so before we begin, I have to confess my failures. The festival was titled after the primary animal being presented: sheep. But there were also goats and alpacas at the festival because all of these can be sheared for fiber that we use in making clothes. So here is the confession. Though I thought I had documented this trip well, it turns out I don’t have a single picture of a sheep! However, I have many pictures of alpacas and goats, which I will now show.

these two alpacas were not particularly fond of the crowds so they just sat here all day.

You may be wondering, “What is the difference between an alpaca and a llama?” In short, a llama is almost twice the size of an alpaca, and it has a rougher coat. To learn more about the difference, consider visiting this link I found: Alpaca vs. Llama. While llamas have been bred to carry large loads, alpacas have been bred for their coats, which are quite soft!

This alpaca has a full coat. It might be time for a shearing soon.

 

In the summer months, it can be uncomfortably hot for a sheep or alpaca with a full coat. At the festival we got to witness a sheep and a llama being sheared for the summer. As the narrator of the demonstration explained, the animals do not particularly enjoy the process, but they do feel much more comfortable afterwards.

Remember the two alpacas from the first picture, the ones that sat down all day? Today was their day to be sheared too!

Snowflake, on the right, has just been sheared. His buddy Reunion came with him to keep him company.

Alpacas are herd animals and they don’t particularly enjoy being alone. If you bought a single alpaca and gave it a field for a home, it would run around the field frantically searching for its herd. I learned that it is very bad taste to own only one alpaca. Yes, the narrator told us that these two were buddies and they didn’t like to be separated. Snowflake wouldn’t get up to be sheared unless they brought Reunion, who was born during a family reunion, too. While the two animals are oddly unbalanced here, Reunion was sheared later in the day. I’m sure there were a few hours in which Reunion was quite jealous of Snowflake’s cool new cut.

Alpacas are tiny underneath their coats! This is not Reunion and Snowflake, by the way. This is a different pair of buddies.

 

Here are some goats being raised to graze and produce fiber. They are not milking goats.

 

This is an assortment of scraps from dyed sheep and alpaca fibers. They were being used as part of a felting craft.

 

The kind lady in charge of the felting craft center was very adamant that felting was a rigorous and time consuming process. She said it could take hours to make anything of substance! I left this table rather puzzled as to why then they had chosen it as a craft at an afternoon fair.

Although I neglected to take any pictures of living, baaaa-ing sheep, I did manage to remember to photograph my lunch, a lamb pita. The folks I went to the festival with said this picture is horrible because the pita is half-eaten. Well, yes, it is. But I didn’t remember to take a picture until halfway through the meal! I’m sorry. I’m deeply sorry!

My delicious half-eaten lamb pita

As we were leaving the festival, I spotted two more furry, white-coated animals. These two, also buddies, were riding in style.

Motor Home Poodles

 

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog. If you are lucky, tomorrow’s blog will actually have pictures of what it is titled after.

 

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