Last evening, while mowing a pasture, I counted sheep.
I didn't find it restful.
The grass in the five-acre pasture where the sheep are grazing is now taller than the sheep. I scan the field looking for bits of white.
A lamb could get lost out there.
At this time of year, when the lambs are 60-90 days old and quite self-sufficient, I usually only check the flock once a day. As the lambs and ewes walk to pasture in the morning, I look for any signs of lameness, swollen udders, green butts.
With the lambs racing around the pasture, I don't do a morning head count.
But as the ewes and lambs come in from pasture in the evening, they are quieter. Sitting atop a tractor, it's easier to do a head count.
So I count lambs.
Uh-oh. I am missing six lambs. Scanning the flock, I see that Good Mom and her triplets aren't there. Looking back, I see them ambling in from the field.
But still three lambs unaccounted for.
I count again -- not an easy thing when the lambs are moving about. Twenty.
Then I hear a bellow and two more ewes and three lambs come in.
All sheep are in the paddock for the evening.
I am wide awake.