Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shearing-- finally

There are times that farm work is routine without a lot of ups and downs, not even a lot of time required to tend the livestock. But there are also the times where one thing after another seems to engulf all other activities.

Shearing this year was difficult to schedule because of the rains. Several times we corralled the flock overnight, something neither the sheep nor we like, only to have weather or something else go wrong.

After our regular shearer had to cancel due to an injury, we got the name of someone, who actually lives closer to us and finally after more rained-out dates, he came here on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.

A new shearer is an unknown quantity. Will he nick the sheep? How will he handle them? This shearer was experienced, smooth and gentle. This is probably the best I have ever seen the flock look after being shorn.

They are so happy to be rid of all that extra weight. By this time of the year, some of them are carrying around a good 10 lbs. of wool. After shearing, they feel like lambs again. They are happy to be out of the corral but also just to be in their summer wardrobe-- which like mine is sparse.

There is a little head butting, and I am not sure what that is all about. Looking out the window I saw several of them thumping heads, the sound kind of an interesting one-- a little hollow sounding-- with others rushing to get in on the action.

Lambs are the main unhappy sheep. They want their mamas back, and they think their mamas are somewhere in that wool pile. That slim trim animal can't possible be their mother. They go from ewe to ewe and sometimes even past their own mothers and go right on maaa-ing... When they walk by their mother without acknowledging her, she starts complaining. It's a sheep symphony

It sorts itself out after a noisy night. Too bad I can't share a soundtrack with you although, believe me, you don't want to hear it!


Parapluie said...

I can imagine now how light the sheep must feel. I can feel the difference after just having an inch cut off my hair. Well I am sure the lambs will learn who their mothers are? could the head bumping be a way of resetting the community structure.

robin andrea said...

I can almost imagine the sheep cacophony. It never occurred to me that the lambs wouldn't recognize their mommas after the shearing. I'm glad it all gets sorted out. The sheep do look lighter. It's very interesting to see their bodies.

Darlene said...

That is really interesting that lambs can't tell their mamas after they are shorn. I guess the scent must be strongest in the ewe's wool coat.

I think I can do without the symphony, though.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Have I ever told you I have an affinity for sheep? I'm not a farm girl, but I've always loved them and went through a phase of collecting sheep replicas. Go figure.

What an image of trying to find their old mom in the pile of shearings. Everything we ever wanted to learn about life can be found on a farm, methinks.