Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What's Wrong with this Picture?

It's what, mid April? Spring? So what's this all about?

So, Friday, we get off work at noon. As we head to our cars its starts this wet sloppy snowing. All thoughts of working outside went out of the window. It's not like I don't have plenty to do in the house, its just that its SPRING and that means working outside. Right? Planting garden? Mowing yards? Playing with the lambs? Nope. It was cleaning the house, doing laundry and ack.... catching up on paperwork for the Fire Department (I'm secretary for our local Voluntary FD).

Along comes Saturday, hmmm... it's bound to be better. Nope. See above pictures. It rained alot (which we did need) and then this is what I was greeted with when I went out to do chores. Snow. Real snow. Acting like it meant business snow. Sure it was pretty. All that white stuff on a green background. Pretty enough to bring out the camera. Were the sheep impressed? Nope. They weren't a bit happy about it all. (And for those thinking poor sheepies, why didn't she feed 'em inside---the barn isn't big enough to hold 18 (+ lambs) pushing, shoving, hay hogging sheep without someone getting squished in the process. The barn is plenty big enough for normal 'let's all take a nap' peaceful sheepie behavior.) I broke out the good stuff for the sheep--even the rams got some of the good stuff, because it's hard to say no to their poor naked little selves. The sheep all hung out in the barn (except for forced hay grabbing) for two days. The baby lambs were worse than a bunch of school children on a rainy day. They got into all kinds of stuff that I didn't even think the sheep could reach. They used the feed trough's for giant sheep litter pans. Once in awhile they or their mom's would drift down to the Shetland barn, then everybody would lose everybody else and much wailing would ensue. Rouen's little ewe lamb 'somehow' got into Blue's (the merino ram)pasture---his pen adjoins the barn. I wasn't sure I was ever going to get her out of there. The boys were remarkably patient with the little brown squirt.

It was with great relief that I watched as the sun warmed up the world on Sunday... and saw 29 sheep trot out to pasture! Yes! That night it was a different world. Drowsy and content quiet sheep stood or lay around, soaking up the last rays of the sunshine.

We needed all the rain and I'm sure the nitrogen in the snow will help. It's warm and springish now and has been since Sunday. The grass looks funny though. It looks more like the grass in a late, dry summer. The emerald green of the early spring is gone, now its a washed out green, with swatches of pale gold running through it. I suspect it's damaged from the hard freeze we had the week before. The grass growth has been set back at least a week or two. I'm so very thankful that I have enough hay to last a while now.

We are all still working on cleaning up from the ice storm. We've gotten several of the majorly big brushpiles burnt. I've raked and reseeded them and am hoping the grass grows on them. It's starting to look a bit better around here, although there are still a couple of areas that need cleanup around the farm. It was quite exciting for a little while around here the other night, when one of the burning brushpiles set two trees on fire..... Everything is fine. Really. :-) No Fire Department's were involved in this incident.

Ariel posing as the Collieable Snowman

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