Nearly done.

It’s a week today that our lambing season began. As of this afternoon we have lambed 29 (and lost three) out of 20 ewes. Our current numbers include 8 sets of twins and 10 singles. Among the little ones are 11 pure shetlands (7 rams and 4 ewes) and 15 crossbred animals (5 rams and 10 ewes). Woodruff, our established flock sire, settled 17 ewes and Siegfried, heir apparent, settled 3. There are still 3 ewes that have yet to lamb. It was sunny today and many of the little ones tagged along as their mothers grazed, hydrated, and recovered. Being little requires a tremendous amount of work and, like all newborns, the lambs spend much of their time sleeping. Sometimes a ewe will wander off, unaware that her charge has flagged. When the lamb wakes to find its mother gone its reaction is immediate. It’ll call as loud as its lungs will allow and run, frantically, first in one direction, and then in another, and then in another, calling all the while. The very moment it sees its mother it’s off like a shot for a drink and for a bit of reassurance. The lambs are quite sociable and eager to play, even when only a day or two old. Small groups will gather and run … for no apparent reason other than that they can. Just a few moments ago Joanna and I came in from evening chores which, during lambing season, includes a final check to see that all the lambs have an ear tag. If we come upon one without a tag it means we’ve had a new arrival. We also check to see that all is well. This evening, just a few minutes before the sun settled below the horizon, the lambs were zooming back and forth with their mothers in hot pursuit. It seems the call to bed time had been issued. Joanna swears she could hear the mothers calling … if you don’t get back into bed there’s going to be trouble, and I’m not going to ask again!

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