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.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Spring Finally Arrives at the Farm... Maybe

Spring has been here since March but it's been hard to prove most days. I have had fires in the fireplace up until night before last. The rain has put Pacific Northwest worries about drought on the back burner at least in my part of Oregon. Colder than usual means the grass has been slower to grow which means our farm had to buy hay longer than usual-- making for an expensive spring.

This much rain has also complicated shearing. Sheep cannot be shorn wet. We would get a possible date for shearing which meant herding them into a barn and closing them up two days ahead of time to keep them dry.

One of those dates, the shearer arrived, but said they were still too wet. The rain had blown in one side of the barn. Guess where the sheep preferred to sleep.

Farm Boss bought plywood and made sure by the next shearing date that there were sides on that corner of the barn. This week, with a new date, we felt pretty hopeful that finally they'd be shorn.

We waited... and waited. The sheep waited and waited-- well they didn't know they were waiting. We got the call several hours after she had scheduled to be here that she had been hurt when shearing lamas, kicked in the knee cap and had to go to the hospital.

So with her kneecap damaged, that puts the potential for her, at best, to not shear until somewhere in June. Not good for the sheep.

We called another shearer and hopefully we can get him here next week. He's more expensive, but at this point beggars can't be choosers. Hopefully our female shearer will be able to do them next year again as I have been happy with how she handles the sheep. This shearer though is very experienced; so it should be fine. The sheep haven't minded their heavy wool; but this week-end, if it really warms up as much as weather is predicting, they will.

Since it was so nice today, I decided to get more herd and flock pictures. None of them pose for anything. If sheep are looking at me, it's because they want something-- like in this case, me opening their gate. I took advantage of that to get most of these before I again was reduced to rear views. The standing there looking impatient photos were pre- and the running were post-.

Actually sheep do not like having their pictures taken. I am pretty sure of that given how many butt shots I have gotten over the years. At least if I have to take butt shots, I am glad they have tails. I have written about that before. It's something the new shearer won't like but shearers are the only ones.

So today photos of the flock and Sunday the herd.


Parapluie said...

Ahh, I love the look of the shaggy sheep before shearing. Thanks for sharing. I think they will be looking for shade in the 80 degree weather this afternoon.

Darlene said...

Baa, baa, black sheep posed nicely for you, though.

It looks like the rain has given you nice grass for the sheep to nibble on.

robin andrea said...

I always learn something when I read one of your posts, rain. Interesting about not being able to shear sheep if their fur is wet. I hope you'll get photos after the shearing. I'd love to see what they really look like. Hope the weather hasn't been too hot for them.