I haven’t written for a time and life has been busy. The ever popular excuse for not doing things we know we should. But here’s a bit of a reminder of what has been happening around here that has made things a bit busier. For you see, who wouldn’t rather be in a pasture with 9 little baby lambs rather than do what they are suppose to be doing.
So my last post was about our surprise early girl, Lydia. She was followed a couple weeks later by a little bit of a boy that was early. He was so tiny and when I checked notes, his mother wasn’t suppose to have a baby for a couple weeks yet. So something happened, but both mother and baby survived the early ordeal although both were a bit confused. A first time mother, Miriam, seemed to be asking what was this thing hanging about her. She had cleaned him up well but just seemed confused. But she soon got the hang of it after a bit of private personal care, they both were champs and hanging with the flock with no troubles.
Within a couple of weeks after Little Bit (Still too small to want to call him Moses but he is going to have an old face – sideburns and clump on his forehead – so will grow into his name.) was born, we had an explosion of the other babies. When we put Jacob with the ewes, he did his work pretty well.
It was one of those cold, rainy, cold windy mornings when you’d rather be inside with hot chocolate than outside. But chores called, and when I got to the sheep shed, I found Rachel in labor. I ran to the house for towels and my bag and got back (in just that amount of time) to find a wet bundle named Benjamin on the ground. (Rachel had Joseph last year so her’s this year had to be Benjamin.) Between mama and I, we got him fairly dried off and cleaned up so that the cold didn’t get to him too much. I built a hay wall around him so the wind could be blocked. This was the closest I had yet to actually witnessing a birth of one of my babies. I spent a good bit of time out there with them as it was not conducive to wanting to go back out in the weather beyond the shed, myself.
Now I’m not listing these in birth order as before Benjamin made his appearance, Boaz joined the farm. Naomi was the trooper she is when she showed up with a little one in tow. Now Boaz is the quiet sort that doesn’t make a splash or stir things up, but the morning Benjamin was born and when it was raining, he came in to have a look see and got himself trapped between the wall and cattle panel. (I shift these to make a pen and had moved it back but not all the way.) After a few calls mama came to see what was up but found my bag more interesting. Boaz got out on his own but it sure was fun to listen to his little baby baa’s calling to mama.
In the same week, Hannah had twins. It was also a cold morning after a storm in the night and despite getting out there early, it was a sad morning. It turned out Hannah had twins but one didn’t make it. It looked thin but nothing amiss so am unsure of cause of death beyond that of a million things that can happen. Needless to say, I was sure wishing I had gone out earlier. Even in the dark with a flashlight (no lights at the sheep shed) but now it was too late for the little lost one. But Hannah did have a survivor, and she and I were both happy for that. This was our first set of twins. Not that we were aiming for twins but here was one albeit one was gone. So I gathered up the lost one and gave him a burial by John and we checked out Isaac. (Yep, getting the feeling this was a boys year?) Now Isaac is right pretty with his soft chocolate vanilla ice cream coloring. He is my most photogenic lamb of all. Hard to pick one for him but here goes.
Alas we weren’t done with twins yet. One morning I thought Leah was looking a bit like this was her day. I had to go to work that morning so asked Mark (who was working from home) to keep an eye on her. Well, all he could tell me when I got home is that he couldn’t see her at the shed. Ok, I went on a gander around the pasture and found the most unusual sight. For here anyway. Leah was out by her chosen tree (they like to birth either in the shed or their choice of tree.) but from a distance I could see two very black spots. BLACK? Where did black come from? Sure enough upon getting close there were two black babies that she was still cleaning up. I went back for my bag and some towels (still cool out) and some feed for her and also told Mark there were new babies. So first time mama had two little ones to care for and she has been a trooper and taken great care of the wee things.
And then one morning Mark was working from home again. He noticed when I went out that Rebekah was acting strange and tried to get her to go with the rest. She did but seemed a bit perturbed with him. After I got to watching her, I again made the prediction that we were about to have a baby, and she was looking for her preferred place to have it. So we let her go her way. Very shortly after, Mark hollered from the garage. Not that I wanted to go up there as I had lots to do, but I did. He had out the binoculars and told me to look. Yep, Rebekah had picked out a tree to lay beside and was definitely in labor. I hurried and got my bag and a couple of towels and ran out. This time I got to witness the process. Got some pictures before, during, and after and even the icky dirty part. But after she had her little girl (yippee, first girl since Lydia) we were being amazed when suddenly she laid back down and started pushing again. A little boy soon joined his sister. Our third set of twins this year. Anna is like Isaac with that soft chocolate vanilla swirled ice cream coloring and her brother is white. They were tiny, and I did worry over them as we still had some cold weather (for us anyways) follow them. But they are a sweet pair. Hard to name but then came up with Anna and Simeon the two godly people in the temple waiting for the Messiah when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple.
Now this had gone pretty well for lambing so far but then this past week I went out to the sheep shed and found first time mama Phoebe standing over a dead baby. Talk about crying buckets for both of us. I now had another death that looked good but why did the baby died. I should have been there sooner. But how did I know? Poor Phoebe called and called to her baby after we took care of it. I didn’t have time to give it a proper burial and Mark didn’t like the idea of digging our hard clay. I had to head off to work and have not asked Mark what he did with the little girl. Yes, this one was a little girl. It was very hard on me this time to loose one and although Phoebe has seemed to have gotten over it now, I can still cry over the wee thing.
So as things stand this lambing season we had 11 lambs with 9 living. The pasture is a fun place to be. All the lambs run and play together. Well, Lydia not as much with the little ones. She is like the big sister who came way early and now has all these little brothers and sister running around her. They are so much fun to see take off on mad dashes here and there all together, play around the bridge, and explore the world. Love these babies and spend lots of time with them.