Fave Photos From the Past Week

Fave Photos From the Past Week

It’s been a big week for several reasons, including lambing and sugaring season. Our first lamb arrived on Monday, and so far, we’ve collected 65 gallons of sap! That’s about a gallon and a half of syrup.

So without further ado, here are the week’s top photos:

Continue reading “Fave Photos From the Past Week”
A Speech and Some Sheep: Sharing Joy from the Indiana State Fair

A Speech and Some Sheep: Sharing Joy from the Indiana State Fair

“State officers!”

Our heels spin in the dust of the infield. The grounded hot-air balloons to the right form dark silhouettes against the silver sky. I squint in their direction, looking for the source of the voice.

A 4-H member in a red t-shirt emerges from the early morning haze, a wide blue lanyard swinging around her neck. Her short brown hair frames an excited grin.

“Meg!” I exclaim. “Hi!”

“Hi! I saw the jacket and knew it had to be you, so hi!”

“I’m giving a speech at the Opening Ceremony. It’s starting soon, we need to go.”

“I’ll be there, too!”

I wave, she gives me her usual salute, and my teammates and I spin again and rush to the FFA Pavilion to meet our supervisors.

Continue reading “A Speech and Some Sheep: Sharing Joy from the Indiana State Fair”
Our Ring Sheep

Our Ring Sheep

Some losses are worse than others.

Yesterday afternoon, we discovered that our beloved ring sheep, Szarlota, was dead.

It was devastating. She was the first Shetland I bought, and she had won her class at a show in Colorado. Her genetics and conformation were good, and I planned to build a flock from her quality and beautiful personality.

She’d come up for a scratch on the chin, and the day I went to buy her, she followed me around, begging me to take her home. (The full story is at the end of “Sheep Make Everything Better“). Continue reading “Our Ring Sheep”

Sheep Shearing School

Sheep Shearing School

One of my favorite sounds in the world is the hum of sheep shears.

It’s a murmur and a buzz as the shearers clip wool, a natural, warm fabric, from a sheep’s body. The blade and comb whir back and forth. There’s a clap at the end as the shearer sets the clippers down on the wooden shearing platform and releases a brilliant sheep, which scrambles through a small door to its friends in the holding pen.

And there’s a special magic to making that sound. Continue reading “Sheep Shearing School”

Sheep for My Birthday

Sheep for My Birthday

examining ram
Analyzing a ram.

Over the weekend, Jeff (the significant otter) and I hooked my great-aunt’s horse trailer to the truck and drove halfway across the state to visit a farm full of Shetland sheep. The farmer was reducing her flock numbers and let us take a look at the ewes and rams for sale.

The sheep were closed into the basement of an old, wooden barn for the morning, and as we entered, they watched warily, fleeing when we stepped into their flight zones. Colors of all sorts decorated their wool: black, brown, spotted, white.

One of the white sheep was nicknamed Cloud.

Her registered name was New Zealand. Continue reading “Sheep for My Birthday”

Sheep Make Everything Better

Sheep Make Everything Better

DSCF1032ALast week, I ran to my recently established sheep pen to find a little ewe, two hours old.

Jumping up and down a bit, I climbed in and checked if she’d eaten. She was a healthy lamb, friendly and enthusiastic.

Five minutes after taking this photo, I nearly collapsed and relied on great support to make it back to the car and eventually to my bed. I slept for four hours with no dreams, unusual for me.

But after that, I had a little lamb to visit. I named her Dahlia, after the flower. Her mother’s name is Daisy, and the dahlia flower is in the same family as the daisy.

Plastic chairs sit right next to the sheep pen so that I can watch the three amigos live life and browse peacefully through the hay. Continue reading “Sheep Make Everything Better”