New Posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- er generally

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summertime and the living is easy... or not

Summertime and the living is easy...

Whoever wrote that didn't have a farm or ranch in the summer. I don't think there is an easy time for those who raise livestock. Every season has something different and ignoring any of the needs puts you out of the business.

Because we had a hard spring, very odd, much colder than usual, we didn't get around to shearing until July. The sheep didn't complain. They forget how much better it can be with that wool off. From experience, I know the lambs will hate it because it takes them a day (sometimes more) to figure out who is mama with the wool gone. Sometimes they nuzzle the wool pile-- mama?

The shearer arrived this week. It's not my job this shearing, but I do take some photos. Our neighbors had two granddaughters visiting and they enjoyed coming down to watch how it's done. Especially interesting to them might be that our shearer is a girl.

Other than fences, we are moving irrigation lines pretty much every morning which has both Farm Boss and me complaining about sore muscles as it uses those we don't regularly exercise that much. We are ahead of the game this time though with getting the water on before the grass dried up.

We've had the usual fence problems. One night lying in bed, I kept hearing a lamb crying. Farm Boss groggily told me to go back to sleep as it wasn't outside the fence. I finally could not stand it and told him I was going out. This is not my usual thing as when it's dark, nearsighted people don't see all that well, but I could not stand hearing that baby bawling any longer. As soon as he knew I was going, he said he'd go and I could stay in bed.

No way was that happening as he had been sleeping really soundly, had been very tired from fence work, and I knew I had to see for myself what was going on. I carried the rifle and he carried a flashlight but was not out there as soon as I was. I think it's the mama gene that was motivating me as I simply do NOT go out there when it's dark.

It was a lamb who had gamed the system and was on the wrong side of the fence from its mama-- definitely in coyote country. You'd think they could remember where they went out, but they are sheep. You'd think they'd not sneak out again the next time remembering this panic. They won't because they are sheep...

Finally we got it back in, and then it was quiet... well other than Farm Boss's snoring. That man can fall asleep a minute or less from his head hitting the pillow. Me, it takes a lot longer-- okay a lot longer...

6 comments:

Parapluie said...

Pretty soon you will have grandchildren old enough to take over some of the grueling summer time tasks.

robin andrea said...

I always like reading about your farm life, rain. I appreciate your hard work and endless effort. Not enough of us know this kind of life, and yet I think it remains the very backbone of our real country and our true selves.

20th Century Woman said...

I'm so glad you found the lamb. I have a couple of sheep sheering picture series. One is from Australia where I happened to visit a farm on shearing day. They are incredibly fast, but they leave a lot of nicks.

Darlene said...

I'm glad that you followed your instinct and saved the silly little lamb. I am sure you slept better for having done so.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I love that you have that "mama" instinct, Rain...Poor Sheep Baby...Hard enough not being able to find your mama without her wool---then, to be caught outside the fence....

Farm life is really hard, isn't it? And I guess there is almost never a time when you can just say.."Oh Well...I think about it tomorrow..."

Love the picture of that Shearer...And the first one of the Sheep, too. Well...I liked ALL the pictures!

Annotated Margins said...

Shearing time... I don't envy you that!