Sunday, December 20, 2009

a small flock

I like that my sheep are a little chubby. I like that they are always covered in a bit of straw from their warm bed and how they seem to smile when the snow comes. I like their dignity. (Contrary to popular belief, sheep have dignity in spades. ) I walk out on mornings like this and let them out of their pen to run, butt, and eat. Sal walks right up to me and looks up at me with those amber eyes and demands in his own way some sort of attention. I grab his head with both my hands and kiss him on the forehead. I scratch his ears and tell him he's the finest sheep in Vermont. Sal tells me, everyday, that a proper sheep is a Romney sheep. I then do the same for Joseph, my lamb. Then I dart my eyes over to Maude (the only purbred hoof on the farm) and tell her she's the chain that makes chainsaws go and she stomps a foot and walks away. There's one in every crowd.

I've spent time with a lot of farm animals. I've raised all sorts of poultry, rabbits, bees, reared a goat kid and rode in my college equestrian team. But sheep are the beasts of my future and will fill my barn someday. Me and a good border collie or two will make my small farm a great work of music. Black paws, dark hooves, sharp teeth, thick wool...

What more could a girl want?


Blogger karental said...

Beautiful picture. And it is beautiful what those three represent.

December 20, 2009 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger farmwifetwo said...


Watch a lamb killed b/c it got btwn it's Mother and the feeder... The only thing they care about it being fed...

December 20, 2009 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Pilgrim Soul said...

Jenna, what a beautiful photo and post to wake up to!

And just ignore the naysayers.

December 20, 2009 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I've heard that some people killed a lot of Jewish people in Germany once. I also read Walt Whitman.

All animals, people or sheep, are a case by case basis.

December 20, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Awesome retort, Jenna!

Thanks for the beautiful post thismorning. Some people have a hard time seeing beauty in much of anything. But you my friend, have a wonderful gift of seeing beauty everwhere in everthing. Your posts(along with a large mug of coffee) are the foundation of my morning.

December 20, 2009 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 20, 2009 at 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo of beautiful sheep! For now the only sheep living at my house are decorations on the mantle - can't have real ones where we live. But I can dream...

December 20, 2009 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Lovely Jenna. I have a quick question though...are you going to be shearing and spinning in the summer? (or when people do that sort of thing to sheep)

Sorry I deleted. I wrote it wrong the first time. Where'd that coffee go?

December 20, 2009 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger tigress said...

this photo is lovely! i don't know much about raising farm animals (yet!) but i was surprised when you said that sal likes to be pet on the head. in one 'sheep book' i was reading it said that sheep don't like that. (i hope they do!) :)

December 20, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

That is a lovely shot of the sheep and a wonderful post. As one who has a small flock 5 Shetlands and a border collie named Flynn, you are right it doesn't get any better.

Happy Holidays to you from Idaho.


December 20, 2009 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Bloom fine art fotografi said...

I am in the middle of your book. just love it.
I live in NW Montana and am sort of at the same starting point as you were.
This spring I am jumping into chicken husbandry, Angora goats and horses beside the vegetable garden and a "flower dye" garden for the wool.yikees!
You have such a way with words, it's hard to put the book down... just so informative and fun to read.
I found your blog I will defintly be coming back.

December 20, 2009 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

They're all such lovely animals, those sheep of yours. This city girl has a question: the brown one - that's the lamb, yes? I love the color! Will he always be brown? Is he the offspring of Maude and Sal? Will you keep the wool for yourself or sell it? (I have many more questions, but I'll leave it at that for now ;)

December 20, 2009 at 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful picture! I don't own sheep and likely won't (I'll "never say never," but where we live, I'll be lucky if I can raise chickens...), but you seem to know yours quite well, and I enjoy reading about them, along with all the other goings-on at your place. Happy Solstice Eve! :-)

December 20, 2009 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Crystal: The sheep shearer comes in March, I make an appt. I keep all the wool for handspinning or to mail to a fiber place to do it for me when it's too much.

Tigress: most don't. Mine were raised with people, bottle lambs, which are more into people than most. If I had lambs born on pasture they'd scatter because they wouldn't know me like these pet sheep do.

Jeno: he's not Sal and Maudes. He's a cotswold/BL cross that I got later. Sal's castrated.

December 20, 2009 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Jenna, you are one awesome chick! Yes, I am a guy and love reading your blog. It really makes my day. I wish you the best and know in my heart you will get your farm and have a wonderful life!

December 20, 2009 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Lorna Jean said...

Hi Jenna. I lurk on your site frequently ;)and perhaps have posted once or twice. I thought you might like to know of another blog-makes me think this might be you in a few years! Perhaps you've already seen it? I love her photos and bread recipes.

December 20, 2009 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

What more could a girl want? I see a spinning wheel in a corner of your own farmhouse...Yes, the vision is becoming clearer...

What a happy post. Thank you.

December 21, 2009 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

what more could a girl want? scruffy whiskers to kiss her awake every morning. A warm back against which to fall asleep every night. A great sense of humor to make her laugh when everything looks like it's falling apart. More brawn than she has for tightening fence wire. You get the idea, and he will be there someday.

December 21, 2009 at 3:17 PM  

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