Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Littles

I can't help it; they are too cute not to share!



The Littles, as I call Bree's twins and Babette's single, will be a week old tomorrow. They have "found their legs," much to the consternation of their dams – Babette especially. I didn't get to enjoy the older lambs at this age because we were in Nebraska and they were cooped up in the fold, so it is doubly delightful to watch these cuties. I took these photos and videos yesterday; now I'm off to let them enjoy a romp today. ;-)


That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Better times

The plan was a post of "flowers, feathers, and Fair Isle," but before I could make that happen, other "stuff" happened. The only one I can share is this: Welsie our nine-year-old Welsummer died today.
Photo taken five years ago, in much better times for both.

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sheep inside, outside, downside, upside

Inside:
Hunky polled ramlet Bogie, taken a week before the last lambings

A fairly successful attempt at capturing Bardot's amazing fleece and structure
Bette, left, and Butler, right, to show their slight difference in color



A better look at Bette's beautiful back end
Bette's scrumptious fleece without flash...

...and with flash
Bernadette's color and crimp for comparison

Outside:
The littles got left behind! Then ONE ewe remembered her babies....

Little lambs

Big lambs

No lambs

Friendly lambs – Bacall and Bardot


Downside:
In their lust for lush grass after being cooped up a couple days, Bree and Babette abandoned their lambs! Bree came to her senses almost immediately; Babette, unfortunately, did not. Confused by the big, big world, Bernadette hung with her cousins until Bree realized she had an interloper and butted her away. So I scooped her up and went to find her mother – who kept moving on to avoid me. I finally got them reunited, and left them all to graze and play. Then it started to rain – no, pour!
Hard to see just how wet it is out there
Upside: The newborns got a shower to help clean off the birth fluids. When I brought everyone back in the fold, I toweled off the three littles so they didn't get chilled.

Last night I realized that all the data is in, so I needed to calculate the winner of my lambing dates contest. I tackled that this morning, figuring out how many days off each person was for each lambing and adding them together. Diane started off with a BANG, missing Sarai's and Vienna's lambing dates by just one day each (-2). But after all four ewes lambed, a new leader emerged – Tina, with -17! Since Tina spins, knits, and weaves, I'm hoping she'll appreciate winning my first Fair Isle project, Sheep Heid:

I started another Sheep Heid out of scraps today while at a memorial service. (It lasted over two hours – I sit still ever so much better when my hands are busy!)

That's it for a busy day at . . .

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Secret agent lamb!

Babette took me by surprise last night. She was acting a little odd so I watched her for a bit – and realized she was in labor! In fact, when I went to move her into a hastily created jug next to big sister Bree, I realized her backside was already wet with birthing fluids.

For two first-timer ewes who lambed on the same day, my Vienna daughters couldn't have presented more differently. Bree, with her big belly, well-developed udder, and uncomfortable waddle, looked ready to pop for days. Babette's hogget fleece hid her belly and her itty-bitty udder – but I did notice with surprise yesterday that her vulva was pink and puffy. Trust the puff, I guess. ;-)

By 9:00, Babette was baaa-ing with each push, so I grasped her lamb's ankles and helped her out.

I hardly dared hope for another ewe lamb, but glory be, I got one! I named her Bernadette, after Bernadette Peters, a name and an actress I really like. (Thankfully, she isn't exhibiting the lung power of either her dam or the actress.)  ;-)

Because of Babette's high and tiny udder and her newbie mistake of wanting to keep her lamb in FRONT of her, I spent time making sure Bernadette got some nourishment before going to bed. Fortunately, that was all the assistance needed; they are doing just fine together today.

This little girl looks darker than all the other brown lambs; maybe she'll be my one moorit. If so, she'll be hard to give up!

So thus ends my 2017 lambing season: seven lambs, five girls, two boys. Blessings abundant indeed!
this morning's sunrise – just before it started to rain

That's it for now from . . .