Rev is working!
Rev has several females due to give birth in April and May. He still looks just like this photo, and his fleece is perhaps better than at shearing 2015.
Of Rev’s buddies, Orion is certified, and Gaius and Princeton will be certified in time. They are closely related to most of our females, but should eventually be usable over Rev’s daughters.
Princeton and Rev
Orion’s full brother Rigel won best grey at Colourbration 2016, and Princeton's full sister won best grey at Colourbration 2015. Other close relatives have done well in the show ring.
The females due in autumn are daughters of Celtic Triumph and of Deep Blue. They are good girls and should do well with Rev.
Three crias were born here in autumn 2016. They are well-grown, pretty, and easy to handle. We did not particularly intend to have grey, but there was a 25% chance of grey from each mating.
The three crias
As I write, in mid-October, it is still cool here, with frost yesterday morning, and soil temperatures have restrained pasture growth. We don’t have the rye grass that takes off so well, and it is even too cold for clover to grow much. We’ve had enough rain, but nothing like the falls not that far to the west or south. What grass grows is being kept short by rabbits, wombats and roos. I don’t know how many of these graze here but it is a lot! Amongst the roos is this white male. I’ve been wanting to get a photo of him for a long time and he finally came fairly close and posed, looking at the crias.
I’ve updated the page of Royall’s publications. Otherwise there is not much to report.
News as of spring 2015 follows:
REV IS HERE!
- 1st Int Brown Male: Berwick 2015; Wodonga 2015; Red Hill 2015; Sydney Royal 2015
- Best Brown: Royal Melbourne 2014; Lardner 2014; Sale 2014; Berwick 2015; Wodonga 2015; Red Hill 2015
- 1st Adult Brown Male: Royal Melbourne 2015; Ballarat 2015; VIC Colourbration 2015
- Champ Brown Fleece: VER Fleece 2015
- Res Champ Int Male: Wodonga 2015; Red Hill 2015
We bred black and grey for many years in a focussed manner, but liked the colours of fawn through brown just as much, so we are doing something different in our remaining time.
Glenavon Rev is an exceptionally good-looking animal with a cheerful, lively, but compliant disposition. Although his colour is lighter than we had in mind, it is very bright. In style his fleece is similar to that of our better females. It is both long and dense. So we will be mating like-to-like in fleece, expecting a rainbow of colours.
Rev’s dam and sire are both good and had show careers. His dam’s other two crias were shown and won ribbons, and his sire’s offspring still compete successfully. The number of whites in Rev’s pedigree does not worry us. Light colours are epistatic to dark, so his colour is the lightest he carries. Since his dam had two brown crias with a light fawn sire, a lighter brown (Rev) with a white sire, and a black cria with a black sire, we think that with our females Rev will produce light brown through dark brown crias. There is an even chance that he can produce black with a black, and with our greys there is a 50% likelihood that he will produce greys. He may produce a paler colour than his own if the female carries a dilute factor.
We are not starting up again, but will have a few animals for pleasure. We do not intend to show. It is obvious that our soils make it disappointing. Even with the two males who placed first and second adult grey at the National show in 2013, keeping them in the paddock with the least difficult soil for four months was not sufficient. We were lucky enough to have well-timed rain, too.
We will have a few crias a year from our little group of females.
Apart from Glenavon Rev, our herd is comprised of five other males and eight females. We bought back six of the animals who were in the group that was last to leave here. They are Benleigh Silver Cloud, Mandy, Blue Angel, La Niña, Amelia, Morris Minor, and Orion. We purchased Timbertop CT Shiloh. And we purchased Gaius IAR 202072, Aurelia IAR 202073, and Claudia IAR 202074, who we bred. These were their names when they were here with us. With eight females the little herd is comfortable.
From left: Blue Angel, Amelia, Aurelia, Claudia, Shiloh, Princeton La Niña, Silver Cloud
Of the five adult females who stayed, the best is La Niña. She is a very big animal, weighing over 90 kilos in trim condition. She is unusually non-competitive and reserved, though her offspring are normal in temperament, just quiet. She has a good fleece: fine, soft, dense, and long. You have likely heard of her daughter who has this year been winning a lot of ribbons. Like other females in this line she makes a lot of milk. Her current cria, a light grey male, Princeton, weighed 42 kilos at 7 months.
From left: Amelia, with Princeton below, Claudia, Silver Cloud, Mandy, and Shiloh
Of the other females, each has something to offer, so we hope that each might have a worthy daughter. Benleigh Silver Cloud, a dark grey daughter of Purrumbete Inti, is older but quite healthy and lively. Mandy was Cinderella’s first daughter and has been a good animal as well as a bit of a pet, but she is older now. Blue Angel is not special in any way and tends to be thin, but reminds me in appearance of World Class Grey Pearl (an important animal in our breeding, although we did not own her). Amelia is Flora’s last cria, which is enough! While the other four all need good pasture, plus hand feeding in hard times, Amelia is young, fat, and needs mating.
Of the two males who stayed, Morris Minor, Mandy’s most recent son, has a bent neck from being kicked as a young cria. With that and white spots, he is just a pet.
From left: Rev, Orion, Flea, Gaius
Orion is by Tarraganda Lodge Ekeko and out of Gigi, and is a full brother of Rigel. He has grown to be a very good male, up at the same level as Rev, but is closely related to half of our females. He is an odd colour, with a light brown roan top line fading to white with occasional black primaries on his sides, so he would be unlikely to show successfully. We will use him when we can.
Arcady Flea is a nice boy and by Arcady Tarantino, a stud male I have admired for years.
Gaius is by Deep Blue and out of Timbertop CT Giselle. He is one of the smartest and most pleasant animals we have ever had here and hopefully will be good enough to use in time, though, again, he is related.
So, this is our little herd.
In late January 2014 we took off for Princeton, New Jersey, in the US, where Royall was employed as a visiting fellow for one semester. We arrived in snow, in one of the coldest winters they have had in many years.
During our stay we came to know or to know better a number of people and still treasure those relationships, however brief.
One of the attractions of being in the US was the access to music and dance. We had booked some concerts before we left. Although the weather was difficult we still managed to do quite a bit. Once spring came we did more. Princeton is not far from New York, and, since we are old, our train tickets were half price. We did wish at times that evening performances were scheduled earlier. Sometimes we didn’t make it home until after 1am and the walk from the train station to our apartment seemed very long!
Amongst the highlights of our trip were seeing the Dance Theater of Harlem perform. We last saw them in Madison Wisconsin in 1982. This time the program included “Dancing on the front porch of heaven” by Ulysses Dove. The pas de deux with two men was particularly moving. I last lived in the US continuously in 1978, so the changes in attitude to sex and colour that I found in 2015 were very refreshing.
Another highlight was the visit of John Eliot Gardiner to both Princeton and New York which allowed us to see live performances of Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Vespers. At Princeton the tickets were only $20 and we sat about four rows from the stage in a very small theatre to watch Orfeo.
Other events and experience varied widely, from watching a masters class for countertenors to having dinner at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, where my parents (my father was a New Yorker) had dinner in 1946. We saw operas, major dance events, a number of concerts, went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and saw the new Whitney. Little things like walks, a chance conversation on the subway, a trip to the botanic gardens with friends, the view of the Hudson River from their flat where we stayed several nights, all figure in our memories.
The ballet, a street scene
The highline and the Oyster Bar in Grand Central
The Trade Center site from St. Paul’s Chapel, where I went to Bach at One, and an orchid show at the Botanic Gardens
Ceiling New York City Center, for ballet; Times Square on our way to St Mary’s to hear Maddalena
So all in all it was a successful visit. Royall’s stay at Princeton went well, and he very much enjoyed being just down the hall from a correspondent he had never met. It was a pleasure to be in such a congenial department and university.
We even took a weaving course from Armando Sosa, a Guatemalan weaver, and struggled to warp a loom.
I was able to visit my mother twice during our stay. Then, two weeks after I got back she went into the hospital, and less than a week after that I flew back to the US to be with her and my sister and brother. She passed away June 24 at the age of 90, clear of mind and resolute, as always. The three of us did what needed to be done in New Mexico and then flew to our homes. Although it was an awful experience, I did very much enjoy being with my brother and sister.
So now we are back here on the farm and are quietly retired, enjoying our small group of animals. We repaired and replaced broken parts of our stereo system and are listening to music. Royall is working on a book. I am pottering around, painting a little. Both of us still spin, though less than before. From time to time we take a trip to the coast, and we always enjoy the wildlife here.