Northern California Angora Guild

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Handsome Brothers

Chu's Ashka is definitely a buck maker. More than 75% of her kids are boys. Here are three of her very handsome sons, Makisam at the top, Bobbie Joe in the middle and Tyler at the end.

Bobbie Joe and Tyler have already achieve Grand Champion status; Makisam is waiting for his chance to shine.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Queen Bee

We all have heard of the expression "Queen Bee", an expression to describe a dominant female.

The real "Queen Bee" in a beehive is not just a dominant female bee, it is the key to the survival of this hive.

Our favorite judge Eric of PA is teaching us a lesson in bee keeping. He says,

"The queen from the first hive I started with was getting old. I'm guessing she was probably about 5 years old. I noticed a lot of 'drones' in the hive.

A drone is a male bee, drones don't collect nectar or do any work in the hive. They are produced from an unfertilized egg. Since a queen only mates once in her life, after time she becomes unable to lay fertilized eggs, so she becomes a 'drone layer'. Ultimately, this can result in the death of a hive since they need worker bees to collect nectar and care for the brood (babies).

I ordered a new queen from GA, and once she arrived I removed the old queen from the hive. I will be checking on her some time next week to see how she is doing, but in the meantime, I want to give the hive time to adjust.

I've attached some photos of a couple hives, as well as the old and new queens. We've been getting a bumper crop of honey this spring. The hot/dry weather has allowed plenty of 'work time' for the bees to get out and gather nectar and pollen. On wet, cool, or rainy days they are not able to travel far or at all to gather food.

There is one hive where I put a new super (box filled with frames where they build come and store brood/honey) on a Saturday and by Thursday it was nearly full of honey! Everyone around here has noticed a marked increase in the productivity of their crops and gardens since we started maintaining bee hives here."

Eric also says, "2/3 of all the fruits and vegetables we eat MUST be pollinated by bees".

We thank Eric for teaching us about the bees; this is not only interesting but also vital in understanding how our fruits and vegetables are produced.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Eric's Fantastic Mini Rex

Our favorite judge Eric of PA is sharing with us some exciting news about his Mini Rex.

He and partner Michael have been very busy working at their farm. They only attended shows in two weekends in the last two months.

In the Mini Rex National in April, they took BOV castor, 1st, 2nd, or both in all the castor classes. They also had 2nd place to the BOB (broken sr. doe) and 1st & 5th broken jr doe.

At the State College show on June 3rd, they had BOB/BOS, BOV/BOSV castor, and BOV broken in both shows. The show was held at Penn State University at the Ag arena. The first show they had RIS with a castor jr. doe HGF Living Dead Girl (first and second photo). The second show they did even better winning BIS with another castor jr. doe HGF Dragula (the third photo). These does were named after Rob Zombie songs.

They are also very excited about a young broken jr. doe HGF Do It, she's a granddaughter of a doe that they got from Allen and Randy in Monterey (Mesick/Shumaker's Crave); shown in photo number four.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cyndie Catches the Big One

Cyndie describes the first photo: "Judith MacKenzie McCuin, of Augusta , Montana was the judge for the Wool Show. She was amazing! Such a treasury of knowledge. I really enjoyed listening to her. She has been a textile artist for over thirty years. She teaches in the USA and Canada , her work appears in private and public collections."

Cyndie then talks about the second photo, "When all was said and done, the Grand Champion Fleece was one in the White medium wool breeds (52s-58s) class. A TEN POUND Merino/Border Leicester cross."

Guess what Cyndie did? She bought that fleece! She says:
"The most amazing thing happened to me! I somehow, managed to PURCHASE the Grand champion fleece! It was the THIRD Fleece I looked at! A true story! First I looked at a black Romney, and rejected it for a white Corriedale. Then I turned around and starring me in the face was the Champion Merino cross. It was meant to be. The fleece is so clean it looks washed! About 5 inches. And crimp! OH! I will be sending it to the local 'Klamath River Alpacas' Mill to have it processed with 20 percent Angora and made into roving. Yummy! I love going to Black Sheep!"

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cyndie at the Black Sheep Gathering

Cyndie just came back from the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon. She had a great time. She is sharing her photos with us.

Top photo shows Cyndie's loot. Cyndie has more wool collection than any of us, but she still could not resist these beautiful wool rovings. She says, "Of course there was shopping! My new stash of Wensleydale from the Bellwether Wool Company."

The second photo is Cyndie's camp under the oak tree. She went with her spinning group, seven of the group camped on the fairgrounds.

The third photo shows two Cashmere goats on display; the fourth photo is a kid Angora goat.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Emma, A Very Special Puppy

Our favorite judge Eric of PA is sharing with us the pictures of some very special people and animals, especially little Miss Emma.

Eric and partner Michael were looking for a guardian for their sheep. They considered llama or donkey; they eventually decided on a Great Pyrenees puppy named Emma.

Emma is a very special pup. She was bred by Cathy, the ARBA district 8 director. Cathy passed away in early June unexpectedly. Emma was her pick of the litter keeper. Eric and Michael are very close to both Bill and Cathy. Bill wanted them to have this very special pup; her name Emma came from Cathy's middle name. Eric says, "The Patricks' are very dear friends, actually like family. Cathy's passing has been very hard to cope with, so having Emma work here will be like having part of Cathy and Bill at our farm."

The top photo is Michael with Bill when Emma was picked up on June 23. Little pretty Miss Emma is shown in the second and third photos; the last two photos are the black faced Dorper sheep that Emma will be working with.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Remember When: Presentation of Broken English Angora in 2000

After Irene gave up presenting Broken English Angora, there were a few others who took out the development certificate. None of them actually did the presentation until Susan Clothier of PA tried her hand in 2000.

In the top photo, Susan is showing off her four presentation rabbits.

In the second photo, Susan walks off with a big beautiful smile on her face; the judges told her that her presentation was perfect!

There were not a lot of photos taken during this presentation and the lighting was not the best. A third photo of Susan grooming one of her show rabbits in a different show is added here to show her face more clearly.

In 2001, a dog attack at Susan's barn killed her presentation rabbits. ARBA rule requires that at least two of the original presentation rabbits to be used for the next presentation. The loss of her original presentation rabbits coupled with her other personal problems caused Susan to give up the presentation and then went out of rabbits.