Late Winter

As we go through our normal day to day late winter chores, this year we’re busy getting ready for some early arrivals.  Nine of the ewes were bred early by two ‘bad boy’ fence jumping rams and are due, not in April with the rest of the flock, but in the next couple weeks.  It is a challenge to adjust our usual spring lambing and feeding routine to a winter one, but we’re working hard on the logistics.

We’re also working with Tilly, the family milk cow (wow, it feels really great saying that) who will be having her first calf in March.  We’re so excited about this addition to our family and our daily routine.  So wish us luck for the next month or so, it’s been a long time since we’ve milked a cow.  Oh, and be sure to stay tuned for the baby pictures ☺


Hosanna, another of the lovely ‘twelves’, is coming around the end of the feeder to see if another bale of hay is on its way.  She isn’t disappointed, as it is feeding time.  After a couple of mild days, temperatures are back in the single digits this morning. and there’s a couple inches of new snow. We’re hoping to get the breeding groups all back to the barn today.  Hope it warms up a little 🙂

Joining Madge at The View From Right Here for Weekly Top Shot

Winter Feeding

The sheep and the rest of the animals have worn icy paths between feeding areas and shelter.  They traveled back and forth, back and forth to eat and then to find shelter from the snow and wind.  We’ve been feeding the two groups farthest away from the barn via sled, as the snow got too deep for the ranger. 
We should have changed the rams’ marking crayons during this most recent storm, but decided not to. Four of the ewes were marked the second breeding cycle.  We decided to take the chance that they were caught the second time around or that they will be bred by the clean-up ram.  As soon as there is enough snow melt, we’ll break up the breeding groups and move all the ewes to the barnyard.  While the snow has been beautiful, we are really looking forward to a few days of milder weather.

A Murder of Crows

After waking up to yesterday’s gothic-like weather of constant rain and fog, it was no surprise to hear a very loud flock of birds causing quite a ruckus.  It sounded like they were down in the hollow, but on the way to the old barn to get a load of hay, here they were.

Hundreds of crows literally covered the hayfield.  Many of them were visiting the puddles in the barn lane for a quick drink.

Holding my breath like Melanie Daniels in ‘The Birds’ (wink), I tried to slowly drive down the lane.  The crows stayed ahead of the ranger, constantly taking off and landing, all the while filling the air with their loud, racous cawing.   Some took to the trees, covering the tops like leaves.

As I got closer to the old barn, the crows flew faster and farther, heading down in the woods towards Wolf Creek.  By the time I backed up to the old barn doors to load hay, only a few remained in the tops of the trees… still scolding me loudly for disturbing their great gathering of crows.

If you haven’t had a chance to see Nature’s ‘A Murder of Crows’, please do so.  It is fascinating.  You will observe crows in a whole new manner.  You can watch it on-line here.