Sunday, June 1, 2008

a month of sundays

Somehow, we manage to fit a roster of events into one day that most (sane) people would spread out over a more manageable span of time. But that's just how our schedule seems to work. After all, we didn't schedule the annual piano recital and the monthly 4-H meeting on the same day. That's just how it worked out. And of course, we HAD to be at both, right?

So the beginning of our day went something like this: emergency clean house, church, home to prepare brunch for relatives coming to hear piano recital (because we couldn't not feed them, after coming all this way to hear boys play the piano), then back to church for recital (where I realized that I forgot the plate of brownies I had baked the night before for the reception after the recital, even though we were not staying), then rush to 4-H meeting, which had started the same time as the recital.

And that was just the beginning. When we got home at 4:30 pm, I knew I had to take care of farm chores that couldn't be done yesterday thanks to the weather. So into the jeans and boots, and onto the tractor, because it was time for Sheep Twister.

See the sheep, all the way at the back of the pasture? You can't see it, but they are forced to be back there thanks to an electric fence. I am trying an experiment with subdividing the pastures and rotating the sheep weekly to help both keep the pastures in good condition (because sheep tend to eat only what they want to, and leave the rest if allowed) and keep the sheep in better health parasite-wise. So once a week they get moved, and the pasture they are leaving gets mowed down. Hence, Sheep Twister. This week: Pond Pasture, Front Section.

Thanks to all the rain we have been getting, the pasture they are going onto is pretty lush and rich -- I helped them out by mowing a little path from the gate to the shed.

When I turn back around, I realize that they are already gathered, waiting for me to open the fence. Again, who says sheep are stupid? After two weeks of this system, they have figured out that the appearance of the tractor = fresh pasture. There is nothing they like more than fresh pasture, and who can blame them? Who likes to eat where your neighbor pooped two days ago? (Please don't answer that, it was intended as a rhetorical question.)
The view immediately after I open up the fence, as they get to work...

This family group (a mom and her two ewe lambs), which is new to our farm, missed the memo about fresh pasture. They are the only ones left behind and have to be gently persuaded that they want to go with the rest. They don't take too much persuasion once they realize they have been left behind. Sheep really don't like to be left behind.

Despite a week in the back part of the pasture, there is still quite a lot of tall tall grass that has to be mowed so the clover and richer, shorter grasses stand a fighting chance to grow. The sheep could be in there for a month of Sundays and they would still refuse to eat this stemmy grass.


But it turns out we're only getting started. Primo decides that despite the busyness of the day so far, he wants to shear Holly, the second lamb. While he's doing this, Secondo is mowing another pasture that the ram and his wether buddy have just vacated, but I can't get a picture as my camera is on the tractor. Did I mention how much I love helpful boys? Of course, a lot of it has to do with the involvement of power toys tools, like tractors and shears. They just love power tools.

Another thing done! Now Holly and Hattie are a matched set, though Hattie looks distinctly different after just one week without her wool coat.
The kids are still lousy with energy. Primo decides the sheep trailer needs to be cleaned out, so he pulls out all the mats, scrubs them down and hoses out the trailer. Secondo and Terzo plant pumpkins in the manure pile (my new plan to keep them from taking over the garden -- the pumpkins, that is) and then play for another half hour on a pile of dirt. I think the excess energy has something to do with their consumption of the forgotten plate of brownies.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know Primo could shear!!! Well done!!!