Well, it’s the second full day of Spring.
Although the signs of the season may not be immediately obvious, a trip to the barn reminds us that Easter weekend is around the corner.
It is hard to see the scale in the photos, but Ella’s new little girl (just 12 hours old) is pretty wee – particularly compared to the porkers (lambs, not pigs) we’re still bottle feeding 3 times a day. Those 5 will knock you over if you aren’t careful! I haven’t been able to get a good shot of them, as they are always throwing themselves at you – full force – to see if you might, by chance, have a bottle in your hand, or pocket, or sleeve.
Everybody takes advantage of any sun beams that make their way through the windows (which isn’t all that often, lately, given the amount of snow piled up. Millie’s twins (on the left) seem to be the only ones that don’t come over to investigate at bottle time. We’re feeding 5, but there are often at least 7 poking their nose in and making things difficult.
Lastly, my apologies…I thought I had introduced you all to this little sweetie, but as I looked back through the (very infrequent) posts, I see that I’ve just thought about it.
Sylvia (who is a good mom, but has been battling pneumonia this winter) had two little ewe lambs – one white and one black/spotty, as is usual for her. This little girl is definitely not as precocious as her slightly older sister, but she’s starting to get the hang of things, and pushes her way through the crowd to take her place at the bottle line-up.
Lambing 2015, Round 2, has begun.
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Well, technically, this photo was taken on the last day of winter.
(And, yes, that’s snow piled up on the outside of the greenhouse, in the background of the picture.)
I hope you are staying warm, and dry, wherever you are (and, if you’re really lucky, have access to some fresh, local veggies to welcome in the season. Or, at the very least, some nice wine.)
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I hope, wherever you are, that the wind is not howling too loudly, and the drifts have not piled too high.
After lots of rain and soggy pastures keeping the sheep out of the fields for much of the first part of winter, we’ve been hit by a crazy amount of snow in recent weeks. Something else to keep the sheep in the barns.
The sheep are tolerating it, and, so far, are not trying to venture out across the drifts.
The lambs have been behaving themselves, too – and Gertrude’s triplets managed to keep their sweaters on.
Most of the time.
Rupert thought they instantly looked better once they put their sweaters on – “much more mature”. I pointed out that the turtlenecks have that effect (and also served to cover their wrinkly backs).
They are still being bottle fed…the “green girl” and little boy are getting something from mom, but they need a little supplement, too. The “red girl” (named for the colour of crayon I marked her with, for Rupert’s sake) is getting all of her milk from us. And she is very vocal about it every time we come into the barn.
We have to be careful about not being fooled into feeding her too much. But it can be hard to resist that persistent cry…and that face.
They are doing quite well, though. Down to just four feedings a day (no more 2 a.m. bottles!), and they have outgrown their sweaters.
Which is a good thing, since Millie had twins this afternoon, and the sweaters are needed elsewhere.
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…brings the first lambs of 2015.
I guess Paprika didn’t want us to get bored.
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The weather has been a little unseasonably warm…and the mud has kept the animals from getting out into the fields.
I think the young ones have been going a little stir crazy.
Colder days have arrived, however, and the first batch of pregnant ewes are showing their situation (and complaining about it, at times).
However, Loretta (our
best favourite ewe) is always steadfast and sweet.
Wishing you all the best of the season, and a happy, healthy and heartwarming New Year.
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You would love the sights and sounds and smells and tastes on the farm these past few days.
The ewes are doing the long August walk to and from the back pasture morning and night (no thanks to Hazel, of course), and the lambs take turns escaping under the fence to find the better clover.
The little piggies are brave and social and love having their foreheads scratched.
The eggplant are excellent for stuffing (“Just like a delicious pasta supper, without all the carbs!”, you grinned), and the tomatoes and cucumbers are perfect for sandwiches (“Just one more…”).
The garlic is harvested, the blueberries are ripe, and the evenings spread a cooler air over us as we sleep (great for yoga in the cabin, no doubt!).
I know you would even take delight in the industrious pollinators that keep us surrounded with beauty and sustenance.
It has been one year. The farm has been through a full cycle of moons.
We think of you every day, and are grateful for the lessons you taught us about opening our hearts, extending our arms and appreciating the bounty of our community.
The cycle continues.
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