Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. All images are ©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The sun shines and the lab nurses

In which the world continues on, and the lab was heard musing, "The things I have to do to entertain this little fellow..."

The sun came out this morning after days of physical and emotional drizzle mixed with heavy rains. It is a new day.

For the first time in 2 weeks I do not need to rush to the barn to check on my hospice charges, or new arrivals. All lambs have now been born, with Daisy [Rosie's daughter] delivering two huge, hay bucking boys yesterday, and Blue [Coral's daughter] delivering twin girls on the weekend. While we lost 5 ewe lambs and two mother ewes, it is over, and it is time to notice the many percolations of the mother of all of us, the earth. The grasses can be heard in the spring, first like far off little bird chirps, but as they warm up their lungs, they explode with spring time melodies.

Today I will put all the new lambs out in the sun for the first time, in the protection of the orchard, and introduce them to their special needs brother who has yet to be named. Huck has been a wonderful wet nurse and aide to the little fellow. Perhaps one of the lighter moments this week was watching that baby lamb try to nurse on Huck's manly appendage, and true to his generous personality, Huck stood gallantly still, trying to help the little guy out. It is time for him to live in his real home, the barn, where he can be the sheep he now just dreams of. For when he sleeps, his little hooves move and twitch, and I can only assume he is jumping and leaping in the Apifera grasses that he hasn't even felt yet. I feel like I'm sending off my glasses wearing-stuttering-very tiny child to kindergarten for the first time, cringing at the thought of the other larger, more coordinated youngsters making fun of him. We will continue to bottle feed until weaning time, and in due time we will whether him and give him some important role on the farm, but he will be saved from being a Chosen One.

I am grateful for the outpouring of emails and comments from so many - some of you I know, others are followers of the farm, and some of you have been through your own farm losses.

It is now time to breath in all the new life, and listen to the grasses sing. Next time you visit a farmer's market, look closely in the eyes of the people raising food - they work hard and sacrifice to keep that farm going.


Cathy said...

HA! Huck, that is devotion beyond the call of duty. Uh, no pun intended.

The little chocolate boy is just adorable.

Leslie said...

I love your blog!! I live in the city, but I am leaving in three days to baby sit my sisters kids and their farm in Idaho. She had triplet lambs delivered last night. They lost one, but have two strong healthy ones left. Reading your blog makes me very excited to go to Idaho! I hope all your lambs are healthy and strong!

farmlady said...

I have been overwhelmed with the sadness at your farm and then I see the lab and the new lamb.., and understand that life and death are hand in hand, and that this is what we accept when we become the caretakers of these animals. I wish you strength and wisdom in this wonderful life that you share with us.

gangstalking-australia said...

The photos are so beautiful, thank you for sharing with us. And am so glad all the lambs etc, are ok now. I couldn't believe the top photo, it is so much like my beautiful boy. You'd think it was him. I will pop a photo on soon so you can see. He is also a gentle giant. I hope your birthday went well for you and you got to enjoy it.

Pat said...

what a lovely expression of life and the hope of the new season.

Shanster said...

Hi - been reading... so sorry for all the hardship. Sometimes it happens, for all the good intentions in the world. You also can't know that if you had absolutely known, it could have been prevented. It's hard tellin' not knowin' what this world has in store for us!

My vet gave me a useful tip and it really helped me when I had to go in for some kids - just helped me see what I was feeling in my mind cuz you can't see with your eyes. I'm not saying it is a fix or anything but I just found it really helpful and hope you might too!

If you can feel which way the legs bend.. you can tell which are front and back legs. Think about how the back legs bend forward at the hock toward the belly and the front legs bend back toward the belly.

Our kids are due April 1 and April 16... so I still have the "nervous" waiting and hoping all things work out o.k.!

Glad you are all done! Cheers -

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Thanks for writing everyone. I feel like I'm still getting my feeling back, but the warmer weather is helping mend us all.

I appreciate everyone's kindness!

Shnaster- yes, the leg tip! My vet taught that to me 'after' my botched Coral delivery. When I knew Rosies was into labor, I practiced in my head about the legs, and then picked up one of the newborns and practiced on her. I remember it as "FRONT legs bend BACK" and Back -forward, that's assuming the toes are pointing forward. My vet said it a different way, so by practicing it helped me visualize it -

I hope your kidding goes smoothly - 99% of the time it does! Good luck and grace to you and the moms....

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~