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Discussion Starter #1
but am ready to return to Shetland where the temperatures are in the 50s and 60s, not the high 90s we're having in Kentucky! I had a great time--who wouldn't in a land where every where you turn there are sheep, gorgeous sweaters in the shops, cute little spinning wheels in all the homes (sadly, many no longer used)... Fair Isle was the best. They had the annual hill gathering when they round up the "hill" sheep who live wild on about half the island and bring them in for shearing, castrating, and vaccinations. Watching the dogs work the sheep was great, and it was fun to see the islanders turn out and work together. I clipped some of those sheep as well as some of the sheep that live on the farm/croft where we were staying. There were some gorgeous fleeces!
I'll try to post some pics when I get to a faster computer. For now I'm hunkering down under our ceiling fans in between moving soaker hoses out in our parched garden and wondering why we live in such an inhospitable climate :)
 

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There you are :dance: You were gone for ages. I've been anxiously waiting for you to get home. Can't wait to see pictures and hear more about your trip.

Welcome home!!!!!

Did your garden survive?
 

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Welcome home! I bet you did have a wonderful time. I can't wait to see pictures. Tell us more.... I think your vacation may become my dream vacation.

My first questions are, does Shetland just have Shetland sheep or do they have other kinds too? How come everything from Shetland is so small? Is it cause Shetland is small and they breed for the smallness?

Isn't this heat horrible? I keep saying I'm going to go to Alaska if it doesn't end soon but I think I'll go to Shetland!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Deb, Shetland sheep are descended from the original mountain sheep that were on the island in neolithic times. They are small because there's just not a lot to eat, and the land is rocky and rather precarious in some places. Over the years many of the purebreds were crossed with other breeds, especially Cheviot and Suffolk, to get bigger, more meatier sheep. Still, a number of old-timers just let their sheep graze in the hills, and the original Shetland in the wonderful colors survived. On Fair Isle, especially, the "Hill" sheep are mostly pure Shetland although you do see some Roman noses of Cheviot in some of them, and not all of them can be easily "rooed" (where the fleece breaks and you can pull it off.) A couple of years ago, though, there was some sort of financial incentive that paid old-timers to sell off their flocks, so many of the purebred Shetlands were slaughtered. I would guess that you'll find more purebred Shetlands in the US than in Shetland. It's all very confusing because you can call any wool from the Shetland Isles "Shetland wool."
 

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Hi Christy, I can't post pics from my home computer--the connection's too slow. I'll post some in a few weeks, though, when I go visit my parents who have a high speed connection. Thanks for asking, and I hope you're coming back to life--I'm sure your granny would want that. Sending good thoughts your way....
 
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