Monday, June 24, 2013


Weather forecast was good for the next few days. We moved the sheep onto the bit of pasture all the way at the front of our lot, bordering a rain ditch next to the street. They were happy campers, because the grass was fresh (no sheep had been on it for at least 8 months) and they had a willow tree to munch on (they love the leaves; wonder if it cures sheep headaches?)

While Terzo and I were out running errands this afternoon, we noticed the sky suddenly getting darker and distant thunder. By the time we got home, it was a full-fledged storm. There was no time to move the sheep. We sat inside and watched the rain sluice down and the lightning strike for over an hour. It was a true deluge.

When the rain finally let up, the boys went to investigate, and found the end of our driveway had been transformed into a river, thanks to flooded fields at the end of the road. The sheep's portable fence is just visible—submerged. Alerts had warned of flash floods, but we didn't expect one quite so close.

The poor sheep were more than ready to get out of their pasture, most of which had been transformed into a small pond. Even in the highest part they were hoof-deep in water. The problem would be getting them across that water that Secondo is wading in. Sheep are not really dumb creatures and they are adverse to crossing moving water. (Smarter than some people, really.) Though they wanted to get out, they didn't want to get out that way, but it was the only way possible.

It took quite a bit of coaxing with grain to get them to cross, what seemed to them, a river. Once Kevyn, our leader ewe and the most tempted by grain, was tricked into entering the water while distracted with her nose in the bucket, she decided there was no going back, so forward she went.

Once she went forward, the rest followed, even the littlest lambs that had to do some mighty hops to get through. You can just make out that they detoured into the grass, because one inch of water on the driveway looked like scary river water as well.

It was a stampede into the barn, they were happy to get there and who can blame them?

The water is already mostly receded. We'll have to make a decision tomorrow morning if the ground is dry enough to give them another day in the front, since we went to all the effort to haul water and set the fence. The forecast says it's supposed to be clear.

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