Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Cutie on the Farm
Some readers might wonder why I don't use more photos of our livestock. There are blogs that are totally about their farm animals, and I really love reading them; but I use photos of ours sparingly and there's a reason.
It seems every time I photograph a really cute animal to share, something happens to it. I know it's not really every time. That's an exaggeration. Still it does happen and makes me sad which I usually don't share with readers because it's bad enough I am sad, and it's not like you'd know if I didn't tell you. I work on not singling out any of them to name or be aware of-- and not always successfully.
But we have this real little cutie of a lamb that I definitely do want to share and hope for the best that she makes it past the bad luck of being a star here. She is a pinto sheep which means her spots aren't just on her face. She was born to a ewe with speckled face but no spots like these. We had pintos some years back and sold them all; so I have to think that the genetic trait lingered hidden until this little beauty.
I think pintos might be the sheep in the Old Testament story of Jacob (they can be called Jacob sheep) when he was able to build his flock in a way that befuddled his father-in-law as each year the patterns would favor him having those lambs to add to his own flock.
It didn't take long of photographing her until she was onto me. She wasn't really afraid. More it was she didn't like her picture being taken-- and I took a lot. She will keep that tail as it really doesn't make them less clean... although shearers don't like them much and may be why they are so often cut off.
She has the benefit of being a single lamb to a good mother which is why the sweet pudgy little baby body. We will put a bell on her and hope that secures her living to be a ewe herself someday.
The rest of the sheep got onto me too and demanded I either open the gate to the bigger pastures or give them the alfalfa handout that Farm Boss usually gives. Since the bigger pasture is where the coyotes make their kills, I delay them going out there until afternoon. (These are triplets. Doesn't their mom look tired?)
I learned as soon as I tried to get into the stock trailer (where the alfalfa is sheltered) that I didn't know how to open the big doors. I thought sure I did and kept trying to figure out their combination of shifting this to that while hearing a cacophony of baaas ringing in my ears. It's not musical, let me tell you.
Finally I got in a side door and was able to toss out enough flakes to satisfy them until they are allowed out into the main pastures-- wish I could figure out a way to let the ewes go but keep their babies back.
One other thing was discovered Monday morning-- what's been happening to my ferns. I have a garden that is fenced off from sheep. It's where all the delectable things they would love to eat grow and bloom. I knew this year that my sword ferns weren't doing well which had mystified me until I watched a small black lamb slip between the gate and the post and begin contentedly nibbling. After I voiced my disapproval and she vacated, I barricaded it with a strawberry pot until something more permanent can be done by the boss of this place.