04 April 2007

Back Inside

We had glorious weather the last few days, with sunshine and temps in the upper 70s. Then, yesterday evening, just as the weatherman predicted, the bottom fell out. A cold front moved in at dinner time, accompanied by gale force winds out of the north, and by this morning it was in the low 30s. And still windy.

One of our family prayer intentions last night was that Maybelle's lambs be safe, and that no new lambs be born. Both of those prayers were answered; from the kitchen window this morning, I could see both lambs scampering around playfully. And there were no new ones.

But when I went out to feed the sheep, I discovered a problem: Maybelle, quite wisely, was choosing shelter over the hay feeder. As the rest of the flock feasted, Maybelle looked out from the pasture shelter where she was keeping her lambs out of the wind. And there was another problem: the water trough was starting to freeze. The rest of the flock would be fine for a couple of days with me breaking the ice from time to time, but Maybelle needs a good reliable water supply to keep her milk production up. Clearly, the pasture wasn't going to be a good place for her the rest of this week.

After breakfast, I managed to catch both of the little lambs. Maybelle gave her guttural nickering noises in protest, but followed me anxiously all the way into the barn and back to her lambing pen. I had lots of nice hay and fresh drinking water waiting for her, but she didn't look really happy until I turned the lambs loose. They right got down to nursing, tails spinning contentedly as they did so.

And that's where they'll stay until either the weather warms up or it looks like another ewe is going into labor. But I suppose we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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