Tuesday, November 17, 2015

That Sweet Spot

Walking into the barnyard in the morning light, I hear bleating--softer and higher pitched than the demanding ewes.

Lambs! Four of them, scattered around the barnyard.

But that can't be, I argued with myself.

October, September, August, July, June...

Counting the months backwards finally rouses me awake. But it took me a few more minutes to settle from the nightmare.

I love lambing season--but I also am reveling in these carefree November days.

We are in that sweet spot of the year when our livestock numbers are down--and I'm carrying very little hay and water.

The lambs went to market last month, and we sold the two rams earlier this month. No longer do we deliver water to the lamb pasture, the breeding ewe pasture, the ram pen, the dry ewe pasture.

The 15 remaining ewes and the llama all hang out together. With pasture still available and a warmer-than-usual fall, that means I deliver one five-gallon bucket of water to the sheep daily.

The winter flock. No, the one playing the wheelbarrow game is not a ram; she's a ewe. I checked--multiple times.

The horses, too, are able to graze the pasture at night. During the day, they receive only one flake of hay each.

Earlier this fall, we sent the young roosters to the butcher and merged the young chicken flock with the old chicken flock. We're only delivering food and water to one group.

That means chores take 15 minutes, morning and night. And most of that time is spent playing with the barn kitty.

These carefree days will end soon, when freezing temperatures arrive and I become the ice breaker. Eventually pastures will be grazed down and I'll become the hay hauler. And the 15 minutes will become 20, then 25 and 30.

For now, though, I'll enjoy it--and try to avoid those sheep dreams.

No comments:

Post a Comment