Life after Work

Meet the Cotswolds

Cotswold Sheep, High Castle Ranch, Wilhoit, Arizona

I found out recently that there is a farm with Cotswold sheep not to far away from us, in Wilhoit (outside of Prescott) . John tried to surprise me by ordering some fiber for me, however since I hadn’t specified “washed” or “unwashed” he decided to change plans and arranged a visit to High Castle Ranch to meet the sheep and their owners in person.

We arrived shortly before 10 am and shook hands with Diane and Mark who we liked immediately. Probably not surprisingly, we found a lot in common. They found their farmstead about 6 years ago, got sheep, and left urban life in Phoenix behind.

And the sheep are simply adorable! They are a herd of 20+ Cotswolds in all kinds of colors, with a great disposition, the friendliest sheep we have met yet! They would just stand there and let us pet them, or even approach and nuzzle us. Their fleece is soft and long, and has a great sheen, especially the white. Diane told me that people buy it to make Santa Claus beards with it and that’s exactly what it looks like, perfectly white, curly, and soft. I got some white (both washed and unwashed) and some beautifully variegated gray fiber (washed). John took some photos of the sheep and we left around 2 pm. We hope to return soon, maybe when Diane is shearing? Based on her website, shearing a Cotswold is quite the experience. Not because it is a huge struggle, they seem very mellow, but because the color of the fiber can be so different underneath the top layer. Actually, after seeing John’s photos at home I was wondering why I didn’t get some more of the other colors, but I reckon there will be another chance.

When we left, John and I were in agreement – these guys are kind of where we’d like to be 5 years from now. Who knows, maybe there’s hope for us?

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