Shearing Day!

This weekend was a big “work” weekend for me. First was shearing day at Meridian Jacobs, a nearby sheep ranch. I’ve been reading all this post-humanist social sciences work about networks of animals, things, and humans, and shearing day was all that. The sheep, the shearer, the shears, the metal gates separating groups of sheep, the volunteers wrangling the sheep through the barn, the ear tags and spreadsheets to keep track of individual sheep, and of course the fleeces. I brought my camera but forgot to bring a notebook to jot down my observations, so ended up texting notes to myself to transfer to the computer later. It actually worked pretty well and might be a reasonable solution to the problem of how to take notes unobtrusively in the field.

The "dance of agency" between sheep and shearer. They didn't always agree on who was leading.
The “dance of agency” between sheep and shearer. They didn’t always agree on who was leading.

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Super-cute puppy.
Super-cute puppy.
Systems for categorizing and tracking fleeces.
Systems for categorizing and tracking fleeces.
Skirting fleeces (removing dirty and coarser sections) and examining the fiber quality.
Skirting fleeces (removing dirty and coarser sections) and examining the fiber quality.
Britch (wool from the legs) is coarser than the rest of the fleece and gets processed separately.
Britch (wool from the legs) is coarser than the rest of the fleece and gets processed separately.
One of the rams tried to head-butt his way to the ladies, and ended up tied in the corner.
One of the rams tried to head-butt his way to the ladies, and ended up tied in the corner.
Newly nekkid sheep out for a stroll.
Newly nekkid sheep out for a stroll.
One more obligatory  cute puppy picture.
One more obligatory cute puppy picture.

2 thoughts on “Shearing Day!

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