Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Old Reliable

It happens every winter without fail. Our outdoor water sources freeze up, one by one. The faucet by the back door is the first to go. Then the line to the stock tank in the barnyard. Finally, the water hydrant by the milk house. Not even a heat lamp can bring it out of hibernation. This is when we turn to "Old Reliable", the hand pump on our deck. It's right over our well, a shallow, sand point well dug in the 1800's. So, we get a good workout, hauling buckets of water to 50+ sheep.
I enjoy the quiet of winter after the holidays. It's a good time to get caught up with sheep paperwork (registrations), read, work with wool and dream about spring lambs. Most of the year there's so much to do outside, indoor tasks get neglected. Whether it's the daily task of moving the electronet, filling stock tanks, famacha checks, along with gardening, building upkeep, etc. Winter demands are few... hay twice a day for the sheep, water for the heated buckets, mineral feeders filled, a bit of hoof trimming. The pregnant ewes are mellow. If they're not eating, they're dozing in the barn or basking in the winter sun
on their south facing porch.
This is Gretchen, a triplet ewe lamb out of Deidra. She is one of my wild, skittish girls. I hope she settles down soon. Several of Fudge's offspring have his high-strung temperament.
I think it's the leadersheep genetics.

Ewe lamb Garland, Pippi's super chunky girl with the most annoying voice I've ever heard. No quiet baa's from her. Whenever she sees me, she bellows loudly

Grace, another 2009 triplet ewe, sitting in her favorite spot.
She is so much like her momma Charlotte.
Not a flocker, content to do her own thing.
I like that in a girl!

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