Friday, March 27, 2015

The butterfly flapped its wings in China

and I'm still trying to recover from the hurricane of ill winds over the past 6 months at Tyche's Run.

So very many unintended consequences of the slow fence builders last summer. At least there are upsides to butterflies.

The Leicester lambs arrived to a makeshift, temporary pen with insufficient grass; which led to a parasite explosion and the death of Cricket; which led to my distraction from the main flock; which led to a broken leg in Cain; which led to Cain's need for surgery; which led to the unintended release of the three little Black Welsh rams into the main flock in the middle of breeding season on the same day their original castrations were scheduled and then cancelled; which led to the abundance of unintended lambs this spring while I'm in the middle of a high workload; which has led to my distraction from the main flock; which led to my overlooking the fact that little Jethro, my very favorite little ram lamb, was not drinking; which led to his collapse on Wednesday; which led, ultimately, to his death at the vet school this morning.

I am a very lousy, and very sad shepherd today.

Butterflies, please be still.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Baby #10 needs a name

I am a ewe lamb. 
I need a name or the lady will call me Babysheep, 
just like Babycat. 
I am not a cat. 
Somebody think of a name for me.

So far, the siblings and cousins of Baby #10 are called

Jack and Jill (Bo Sheep's twins)

Hullabuloo (so big she made her mother Bo Welsh scream at her birth)

Coyote Lullaby (Sally's ewe lamb born during the snowmelt)

Echo (Mary's ewe lamb)

Fortissimo (Lucinda's ram lamb) 

#7 and #8 ewe lambs from Eve (Hey, what are we? Chopped Liver? We need names too.)

Miss Clara (Emmylou's ewe lamb)

The mother of #10 is Patsy. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

A note from Miss Clara


I am baby number 9. I was born in the middle of the night Friday night. That makes me about 2 days old in this picture. The farmer lady brought me inside for the night because my mom has no milk and I just can't get warm outside. This is the first good sleep I've had, wrapped up in the farmer lady's coat while she did chores at midnight last night. One handed. Go farmer lady! I'm tiny -- tinier than my first 6 sisters and 2 brothers, but not quite as tiny as my 7th sister who was born just this morning. She's REALLY small. Her mom doesn't have any milk either, but at least her mom lets her try to drink.


The farmer lady is a bit behind or she would have written herself. She'll catch up one day. Or not.

Me? I'm off to nap again.

Faithfully yours,
Miss Clara of Tyche's Run

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A night to be born

Ewe lamb number three, Sally's daughter, 
arrived late last night during the great snow melt-off. 
A chorus of coyotes greeted her across the fence line. 
The mist and howls swirled alike. 

From the barn door.
Turn your volume up.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Ok, not really. It's just that her ears seem so bigggg.

This little one was born yesterday afternoon. Her poor mama, Bo, really struggled to push her out. That wide load? It was one big singleton. Her big floppy ears make me think that Johnny Blue really is her daddy. Huh.

I was on the ball this time and saw the whole thing.

I did not know that sheep can scream.  :-o

Fortunately, nothing went too awry, and the little one did finally emerge. And nurse. And survive the night. A lamb hat trick.

We'll have to wait and see about tomorrow.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

And it all came tumbling down

No lambs yet. The ewes are all acting like nothing's going on.

Silly sheep.

Just as well, cause..

I am buried at work. The weather continues to provoke us all. The girl who usually helps with the ponies has been away for two weeks -- during the worst of the weather while the ponies are all inside. Of course. And the teenager, well, has been acting an awful lot like a teenager lately.

If something doesn't break soon, I just might. Let the lambs incubate a bit more. That's ok with me.

I snapped this photo on my phone on my way home from work yesterday. Seemed appropriate. It's the barn at the corner down the road. Seems it finally gave up the fight.

In better days (from Bing Maps). 

Makes me a little sad.