Once again I have been asked/volunteered to spin some pet hair. As always, it is an ageing pet that may not be around much longer, and the owner wants a memento.
Who couldn't love this face? She is soooooooo sweet and cuddly
This is Mardi (as in Mardi Gras), a St. Bernard of indeterminate age. Miss Mardi was rescued from a puppy mill, where she was used as a breeder. Her age was unknown at the time of rescue, but her owner has had her for a number of years. I met Mardi when I was working at Cardinal Hill Rehab Hospital, and she was/is a therapy dog there. Since then, her owner just happened to move into the townhouse next to mine, along with her 'brother' Great Dane. Since he works 24-hour shifts every couple of days, I am the dog-sitter, and Mardi and I have gotten to know each other very well.
Her undercoat makes great spinning material. I plan to spin enough to make into a scarf, but didn't get it done for Christmas, so today is a good day to get back to that commitment.
On the other end of the spectrum, three of my hens are molting. Abigail and Grace are pretty much done, and are at that tatty, half-grown-in stage. Nigella, the self-blue Cochin, began molting earlier this week. Both of the 'buff girls' molt gradually, but Nigella's feathers have come out in clumps. She only has a couple of feathers sticking up where her big poufy tail was, her wings only have a couple of feathers left and there are bare patches - with sprouting feathers growing back in - on her body. She is normally very friendly and affectionate, but when I tried to take her out of her coop to get a picture, I got firmly pecked! She wasn't about to have her picture taken when she's half nekkid! There are feathers everywhere. Nigella isn't very typey as Cochins go. Jasmine is my really fluffy girl. When she starts molting, it will look like snow in her coop! Messy as it is, if they are going to 'pick' this time of the year to molt, I'm glad that they are inside instead of out...they would freeze!
Maybe, if they are molting now, that means they will start laying earlier in the Spring than last year. Then they didn't start until JUNE! - and three of them are still plenty young enough to lay regularly.