Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beautiful & Bittersweet

I'm deep into writing the manuscript but I wanted to check in an share that twin ram lambs were born today! It's a beautiful and encouraging thing, to see more Scottish Blackface sheep in this world. They are my breed and one I hope to continue to raise. The announcement is bittersweet though, as the twins are both males and I already have two rams on this farm... Monday and Atlas. These animals will be raised for food, for me and some good friends.

I am a little disappointed, to be perfectly honest. I need younger breeding stock, ewe lambs. Out of six possibly pregnant ewes I think only three were bred and two of those have already given birth. There are these beautiful boys I discovered this morning, and then there was also the corpse of a stillborn ewe lamb. I found her and her tiny body, deformed and contorted in the sheep shed. The limbs and body were proportionate to a normal lamb but her head was so small, as if it never had the chance to form right. I am grateful the mother had no complications but sad to lose the one little girl of 2013.

There is one older gal who may still lamb this week. She has a tiny bag but I am not sure how successful she will be. Both the cotswolds are fat as hens but have no udder at all. Either they haven't dropped their bags yet because they are an entire cycle (45 days) behind the Blackfaces or they were never bred. Same goes for Maude. Maude has never lambed and probably never will. She stays no matter what. She is Maude, after all.

I'm going back into the manuscript in a bit, this is just a break. Weird how writing here feels like a break and that feels like a job. I guess it's because one has a deadline. I don;t think I do well under command performance, but it is getting done. I write about four hours a day and after that I am tapped. Right now a thunderstorm is drenching the farm and from my office window I can see the twins and their hefty mother in the lambing jug/pen on the hill. Gibson is curled up at my unshod feet here in the hot little office room. I think he's afraid of thunder. He can't herd it. He's resigned to sleep instead.

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