Thursday, December 22, 2011

solstice work

I was standing outside the sheep's gate with a wheelbarrow. All sixteen sheep charging towards me, thinking their evening meal had finally arrived. This was bad, and only because I wasn't toting a bale of beautiful Washington County Second Cut. Instead I had one, dense, 70-lb bale of straw I had bought and stored just for nights like tonight. A storm was moving in, starting with freezing rain and turning into several inches of snow. My flock like to be under cover and on dry ground as night snow falls, and so, for this exact purpose, I cover their barns with a new layer of clean bedding the night before a snow hits. It's a clean sheet to call home as the coming snow storm wailed into the small hours. I needed to get it up the hill and right now opening the gate would be a mob riot. I needed help.

I let Gibson take on this task, however he saw fit. I opened the door to the farm house and he bolted to the sheep gate. At his sight, many of the flock started to move towards their barns. I let him in the fence and told him to lie down. He did, and the flock raced to their pen, away from my working area as if Gibson had read all of our minds. I let him walk towards the flock, and when I told him to stop and lie, he did. I shut the gate. I then told him to look back at the pasture behind him and he shot off into the night, looking for a fleece under the waning moon. He saw none and sprinted back to me. I was thrilled for his help, as simple as it was. He calmly got the flock away from my work zone and behind a gate. A small victory for this eager pup and new shepherd.

It's the solstice tonight! The longest night of the year. Tomorrow the days start to grow longer and hark towards spring. If I needed a more blatant reminder, a gosling was born from Sara and Cyrus, and I am so proud of those 3-year-old geese I could hug them. The little one is doing fine and I am leaving it to its mother's care. No brooder box for this fella, just down, feed, water, and hay. I hope the little one is just the first of many. The Twelve Tribe farm down the road wants to barter for some goslings and I hope to deliver. Good friends deserve good geese.


Blogger Maria said...

Good job, Gibson (and Jenna)...Stay warm and safe.

December 22, 2011 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Mist said...

Way to go, Gibson and Jenna!

For Cyrus and Saro... YES! I happen to be partial to geese and hope to have my own flock someday. :)

December 22, 2011 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger kaelak said...

Happy happy Solstice Jenna, to you and all the farm's creatures!

December 22, 2011 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Go Gibson! That's some excellent work.

December 22, 2011 at 11:04 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

Happy Birthday little goose and good job Gibson!!

December 23, 2011 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Good work Gibson!
The solstice was 12:30 am Thursday in your neck of the woods.
Hope you don't get much snow tonight.

December 23, 2011 at 1:06 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

So nice that Gibson is becoming the helper you hoped for!
That gosling deserves a special name for its' birth on the solstice.

December 23, 2011 at 3:03 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

Congratulations on Solstice. Good decision to leave him with his Mom. Nice work on Gibson's part. You must be so proud.
Did you notice yesterday was longer? I swear I did.

December 23, 2011 at 5:32 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

Congratulations on Solstice. Good decision to leave him with his Mom. Nice work on Gibson's part. You must be so proud.
Did you notice yesterday was longer? I swear I did.

December 23, 2011 at 5:32 AM  
Blogger daisy g said...

Go, go, Gibson! What a clever dog!
Hope you are warm and toasty tonight, Jenna.

December 23, 2011 at 5:44 AM  
Blogger Dancing shepherdess said...

Good boy Gibson.

December 23, 2011 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Cynthia R. said...

Wow! All that hard work is paying off. I know you are so proud of Gibson.

Your gosling is so cute. Hatched on the Solstice makes that one special goose.

December 23, 2011 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger sash said...

My "Barnheart" arrived yesterday on Solstice - it felt very special!

December 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Good story for Gibson's growing collection. Maybe Rose's spirit is giving him a little nudge to help figure things out.

Hope you can enjoy your safe, cosy home, knowing you are prepared for this winter.

December 23, 2011 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

Congrats on the gosling! Glad to hear you left it with Mom and Dad. After that work they did they deserve to raise the little fella. ;-)

December 23, 2011 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Good on ya Gibson, and way to go Jenna! no matter how well trained your pup was he wouldn't do what you asked if he knew you didn't know what you were doing... so, Success!!
and the gosling is ADORABLE!! Taking a long hard look at toulouse geese myself thanks to you!

December 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

Gibson is a star.
Jenna, I am all for not having more work than I can deal with, why do you bed up the sheep? maybe I am misreading,possible after a boozy lunch lol! yours should be hardy types, mine are not as hardy (Suffolks and S~Crosses) and have in the bitter weather access to an open fronted half barn.its just concrete floor with a hay feeder rack im there and that takes enough digging out by time they have pulled hay everywhere..argg!lol!

Even allowing for your neck of the woods being colder than here, do they really need bedding? Just saying because it would save so much time and money.
I am really enjoying This Aint Normal Folks, thankyou for recommending Joel to me!
GTM x x x

December 23, 2011 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

Concrete floor with little bedding would be pretty cold. Bedding livestock is pretty common. I've never seen a farm that doesn't. My sheep don't waste too much hay, so they definitely need straw. :-)

December 23, 2011 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

It must be the difference in countrys and climate K :O)
Sheep here are pretty much left to their own devices.Mine dont often even go in the barn, I leave the field gate open so they can shelter f they want if its really foul this time of year but more often than not they are content outside.
I am however very glad of my duvet winter nights!

December 24, 2011 at 2:49 AM  
Blogger E said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 24, 2011 at 12:53 PM  

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