Shearing Day

Saturday dawned with sleet, hail and strong winds… not the best way to begin shearing day.  Joe and Melvin made short work of our 37 ewes as we ooohed and aaawed over each beautiful fleece as it came off and was bagged.  We vaccinated with CDT, checked FAMACHA scores and checked body condition.  By the time we moved the ewes back out to pasture, the skies were blue and the sun was shining.  What perfect timing!
Lambing will begin in the next couple weeks.  And of course we can’t wait to get our hands on all those gorgeous fleeces!

Happy Easter

“O primavera! Gioventit dell’ anno.”

The first warm buds that break their covers,
   The first young twigs that burst in green,
The first blade that the sun discovers,
   Starting the loosened earth between.

The pale soft sky, so clear and tender,
   With little clouds that break and fly;
The crocus, earliest pretender
   To the low breezes passing by;

The chirp and twitter of brown builders,
   A couple in a tree, at least;
The watchful wisdom of the elders
   For callow younglings in the nest;

The flush of branches with fair blossoms,
   The deepening of the faint green boughs,
As leaf by leaf the crown grows fuller
   That binds the young Spring’s rosy brows;

New promise every day of sweetness,
   The next bright dawn is sure to bring;
Slow breaking into green completeness,
   Fresh rapture of the early Spring!

“Spring Song” by Edith Wharton

Signs of Spring

Coltsfoot, daffodils, maple tree blooms, bulging bellies and finally…
Little Mister 1401 – born on Saturday, out of Maire (my+ra), one of the yearlings, and an unidentified suitor.  He is small, weighing 7 lbs 8 ozs but really just the right size as Maire is a yearling and not yet producing much milk.  We were a little worried, but he is gaining weight so we’ll let him continue to ‘encourage’ her to produce more.
The remainder of the lamb arrivals will be pretty spread out as it took as several weeks to get all the breeding groups in place last fall.  The timing should be pretty good as the pastures are just beginning to green-up after the long, harsh winter.

Signs of Spring

“Spring has returned.
The earth is like a child that knows poems.”
~Ranier Maria Rilke

Not quite sure if you can see it or not, but there is a slight hint of red in our mountains, a sure sign that spring is finally arriving.  Flocks of starlings are flying through, coltsfoot are blooming by the roadside, bluebirds are back at the nest boxes and maple tree buds are swelling. 


Saturday found Hermione seeking a spot to rest and stretch out a little in between eating massive amounts of hay.  Sunday morning she spent a lot of time coming in and out of the barn, checking on Hannah and her twin rams.  Her lambs had dropped so we checked on her several times during the day, hoping that she would have them in the barn so that it wouldn’t be too difficult to get them in a lambing jug. 
In the end, she chose to have them out in the field, where it was warm but cloudy and a little windy.  Only a second-time mama, we managed to get Hermione and her twins into the barn with only a little crazy running and not so gentle head butting of the shepherdess.  We had the lambing jug all set up with a big feeder full of second-cutting hay and a bucket of molasses water. 
The first born, a ram, weighed 10 lbs 5 ozs, and the second, a little ewe, weighed 6 lbs 14 ozs.  We were a little worried about the ewe at first and made sure that her brother didn’t hog all the colostrum.  She was up and going strong last night when we went back to the barn to check on them.
Hermione was the other ewe that was caught during the October Snowicane.  We now have about 10 – 14 days until lambing begins in earnest.