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.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring...Day Two

Ice encased miniature daffodils

It's still raining, and is grey and deary. Hmm...sounds allot like all my posts over the winter. However next week is suppose to be nicer with more extreme temperature fluctuations (70s). With all the rain we have gotten things should really go green in a hurry.

The trees wear clattering necklaces of ice

I'm still a little bitter about yesterday, but that is the way it goes, I reckon. I've been preparing for weeks for Shearing Day. House cleaned and shiny (which it won't stay), things mostly picked up and tidied outside, panels moved around to set up catch pens and alleys, needed equipment carried out to the garage.
Not to mention the food prep. The roast is cooked and shredded and will go into the freezer, ready to pop into the crock pot to be made into BBQ sandwiches. The worst part is I had some good help lined up and willing to devote their day to 'the cause'. Now the shearer is pretty much booked up most weekends so I'll have to go to a weekday, when everyone has to work. It's pretty hard to pull it off without some help.

I also (in vain hopes) went ahead and got everyone into the barn(s) the night before, which now will make them super suspicious and not so easily tricked into going up. I'll have to re-set up the catch pens tonight. Even the ram and wether went up nicely. Callum (the wether) won't be that easy again, since he hates being confined with his bully brother.

There was the usual drama with Rouen, the super watch sheep. I had everyone into the catch pen, contentedly eating hay, so I tried to slip up there and close up the gate. Well...Rouen saw me coming and she started to make her move. No hesitation on her part. So I ran the last few steps which of course made all the sheep frantic and try to bolt. Through last second slamming the panel across the opening I stopped the stampede, and the only escapee was Rouen, but it was close.

I went ahead and shut the rest into the barn, and set up another catch pen for Rouen. I expected a long drawn out walk down, but surprisingly she came right in the new pen. I started folding the pen down to a smaller space so I could catch her easier. At the last second she saw a two inch opening between the panels and made a dive for it. I also dived and grabbed her. So there we were at a standoff of sorts. She was down on her knees, head through the panel, determined to get out. I was down on my knees, with a tight grip on her determined to not let her out. The panels acted as a head stanchion on her and I couldn't get her backwards, not to mention that they were toppling down on us. After much muttering on my part, and unwiring a panel I got us to the barn and shoved her in. I mean, really, Rouen was that necessary? She just looked smug and started eating hay. I fully realize that if age was not slowing the old gal down, I would have never won that battle. Rouen is 10 this year, but she can still cause a ruckus. After she was safely tucked into the barn, I noticed my arm was bleeding--probably from gouging it on one of the cattle panels. Another to add to the yearly "Rouen" induced injury list. Lest you think Rouen is a wild out of control sheep, she isn't. She is very sweet, loves scritches and treats and much attention. However she is a very alert watchful sheep and she has a thing about being 'caught up' for various treatments. She can tell immediately if something is amiss and will remove herself from the area--you can only hope you aren't standing in her way.

Rouen induced injury number......

On the weather front, we just missed getting a bunch of snow. A little further west and north they got 12 inches and more in places. Here we got a little freezing rain, some sleet, and lots of rain. I think it's suppose to rain throughout the day and then warm up tomorrow. I'm ready for it.

Ice sculpture outside the window

Yesterday when it was so nasty the birds were just besides themselves. They were constantly at the feeder and fussing at and jostling each other around. It looked like something out of newscast for Black Friday.

The drive-thru was a madhouse......

..and you wouldn't believe the lines at the store!

No new lambs yet, but there are a couple of ewes that are toying with me. Getting up in the night to do barn checks isn't working out too well. Once I get up the kittens think it's time to wake up and play and play and play. I'm sure kittens can play quietly, but they choose not to in the middle of the night. It's much more fun to thunder through the house crashing onto and into anything in their path. I'm getting a little sleep deprived. I wouldn't even being going out to check on the ewes if they weren't acting so fishy all the time. The annual 'mess with the shepherd's mind' game has begun.

That's all that's happening here. Hopefully I'll get shearing re-scheduled soon and the sun will come out and the temperatures will warm up. I've got some pictures to post of the little ram lamb, but they aren't very good. He is always on the move, and getting restless for some playmates!

Have a great week!
(p.s. Coming soon---kitten character review.. or something like that.)


Vicki Lane said...

Alas for blasted hopes! But that daffodil picture is a beauty!

My word verification is addle == probably appropriate for your state of mind just now.

Michelle said...

Inky is starting to toy with me, but at least I'm ready now. We made a family affair out of stripping the sheep fold, then Rick helped me set up the chainlink corner pen again so I have a clean lambing jug ready and I filled the whole place with beautiful straw.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I've known horses like that. Always distrustful. Took care of a friends mare once. She found the horse impossible to catch. I fed her from a bucket for a week before I could put my hands on her but after that, she was fine to catch.

Good luck with your shearing whenever it happens:) I'd love to come and help but it would be quite a drive.