Happy Thanksgiving!

by Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—

          equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
          keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be

The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart

          and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy

          to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

          that we live forever.

Big Weekend Plans

The breeding ewes have spent the last six weeks or so in one of the hayfields, giving some of the pasture paddocks a rest.  They spend the day in temporary fencing, coming inside the pine grove paddock’s perimeter fencing at night.  We have moved the large temporary paddock twice which has allowed the ewes to graze a large portion of the hayfield.  We have followed this plan for a couple years and it seems to have really improved the hayfield along with eliminating many of the weed problems.
This weekend we plan to move the ewes back to the barn paddock and begin hoof trimming and crutching in preparation for breeding season.  It won’t be long now… the circle of life begins again.

Greener Pastures

The yearlings, wethers and ewes without lambs are busy bio-mowing a new section of the barnyard.  This portion includes our dyer’s garden where they are working on the weeds and fertilizing a bit. 
That accomplished, we then tackled the more complicated task of moving the ewes and their lambs into a new paddock.  This proved to be somewhat comical because as soon as we opened the gate, all the mamas ran through, but the lambs… uuhhh, the lambs… uummm, only the oldest, Maebh’s ram lamb, followed. 

There is definitely something wrong with this picture!  Now, in the lamb’s defense… the gate is small and it no longer opens all the way (having once been knocked off its hinges by an over-enthusiastic ram), but honestly… honestly, the grass really is greener on the other side.

We decided to leave the gate open so that the ewes could sort things out, and slowly, one by one, they came back looking for their little ones; eventually coaxing their lambs through.  Happily, by late yesterday, most of the families had migrated to the new paddock, and we should be able to close the gate today. 
In other…  really good… news…
Poppy’s head is healing nicely and she has rejoined the yearlings in the barnyard.
Ceres has really perked up.  She is eating well and loudly greets us when we open the barn door.

Moving to Summer Pasture

We must say that the back paddock has become a very busy and noisy place, having been invaded by 50 lambs and their mamas.  So, much to Betty Lou Moo Moo and Beefcakes relief, they have been moved to the summer pasture on the ‘almost back forty’.


They are now most happily located away from all the noise and confusion that comes with little lambs.  The grass is growing, the spring is going strong, the watering trough is over-flowing… all is now right with their world.