Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Chilly Winter

My older son and I took a walk this weekend to enjoy the freezing fog that had settled on this part of the valley.  It was very beautiful; the ice crystals had settled on every little detail of the landscape, making even the weeds, such as the teasel below, look magnificent.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Getting Ready

It's that time of year - that time when we get ready for the 100 plus lambs that will be born during a 3 to 4 week period.  It's make or break time for this shepherd.  Those are the lambs that provide income to purchase the feed for next year, some will be held for replacements - the best of the genetics for future generations.  Here are some of our girls, waiting their turn to be shorn.  Shearing the ewes before lambing (1) allows the lambs to find the udder more easily (2) keeps the ewes' wool cleaner as young lambs climb on their mothers and (3) makes for more space in the barn.

Manuel Santana from Albany, OR shears for me.  He is very good at what he does and is never rough with the sheep.  I should add that he is a wrestling coach and he knows how to turn a sheep into a pretzel.  Given that some of my mature ewes weigh around 240 pounds when they are not pregnant, I find that rather impressive!