Thursday, May 30, 2013

Counting Sheep

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.

Seventeen 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.

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