|Welcome to Nine Oaks Farm on the web...
The flock at Nine Oaks Farm began in 1992 with the introduction of Meighan and Gaylan. Meighan was black-factored and was registered with the Black Cotswold Society. Gaylan was registered with the American Cotswold Record Association which registers only white Cotswolds. In the fall of 1997, Seamus, a Black Cotswold ram, was added to the flock to replace Gaylan.
Today's flock provides a beautiful variety of lustrous whites, creams, gray, brown and silver fleeces. We shear about every eight months, weather permitting, resulting in a staple length of 6 to 8 inches. Lambs are sheared at one year of age. This rare, one-time fleece is wonderfully soft and luscious with a staple length of 8 to 10 inches.
Selected breeding stock is occasionally available for sale.
The photo above was a very special moment which I was blessed to have captured on film. Duncan was a very small lamb just a couple of days old. He had fallen asleep on the floor between my kitchen and dining room. Dodger came up and circled him several times as dogs are want to do when they are selecting a place to rest. Once situated he also fell asleep. I turned from my sink full of dishes to see this endearing sight. Softly I stepped around them and hurried to fetch my camera. Quietly, I sunk to the floor and carefully framed the shot. Knowing I would probably only have one chance I silently took a deep breath and held it as I clicked the shutter. The next moment they both looked up at me with sleep blurred eyes wondering what I was about.
The photo has had a great run. It first appeared on the cover of The Shepherd Magazine. Upon seeing it, an artist friend asked permission to paint a likeness which went on to be selected as the fundraiser poster for an area animal shelter. I later entered it in the photography competition at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival where it won second place. One of the sweetest moments came one December evening when I received a phone call from Margaret McColl of Yocom-McColl requesting permission to place the photo on their website. She had fallen in love with the image and framed The Shepherd Magazine cover to hang on her office wall across from her desk so she will see it each time she looks up. In truth, the image seems to touch all who see it and, thus, it has become our farm logo.
Duncan quietly left this life on April 11, 1998, the day the Peace Accord was signed in Northern Ireland. It seems a fitting memorial to a sweet and gentle spirit that loved everyone he ever met.
Dodger passed away peacefully in October, 2005 just short of his 15th birthday. Though he was never successful as a herding dog he more then made up for that short coming by being the best nanny to any baby whether wearing fur or feathers.
Their image has touched so many hearts and continues to do so to this day. It never fails to bring a smile.