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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pick a sheep

The anticipation of lambing is palpable on the farm. It's been heightened by all the new borns spotted in various nearby farms as I commute to town for errands - lambs, calves, all wobbly and new and fresh. Pink noses. Teeny hooves. Wiggly tails as they drink from the natural milk bar. Some will grow and provide other creatures of earth with food, some will continue on and nourish their own creatures for seasons to come. Some are named, some are numbered, but all are perfect in this first month of life. It's only the creatures that walk on two pads that have learned to discern their imperfections, culling some out of the herd. I like Spring because even as two pad walker, I can see things freshly. The word 'hope' is being bantered about quite a lot these days, but it is in and of itself the best word to sum up spring. And if any activity best encompasses spring, it's lambing.

So, we're getting close. Like any doting mother, or I guess I'm a grandmother, I just want everyone to be healthy, especially my ewes, who I've come to admire more each season. They make it through breeding season with nary a complaint, and then wallow through winter rains, their bellies full. They put up with shots and wormer and feet trims, and then each spring they lay down on a wooden floor, all alone, and birth a pair of beauties. I taught them nothing about the procedure, they instead taught me, and continue to teach me each year as new circumstances are presented.

So, who will lamb first? For all you city dwellers yearning for the farm, live vicariously with me and anticipate the first arrival. Throw in $5 and on your Paypal comment section write down the name of the ewe you think will go first. Your name will be placed in the jar and I'll pick 2 winners - On the day the first lambs are born, I'll pull a name out of the jar, and that person will win [winner's choice] either one of my sepia archival animal photographs, or an archival art print [5x7 image sitting on 8.5 x11" archival paper. View some over at the store site]. Then I'll take all the entries who picked the correct ewe, and draw a winner from that group.

I only bred 5 of our ewes this spring, so when you enter your $5, don't forget to write down one of these names in the Paypal comment section: Rosie, Daisy, Coral Bell, Blue or Lilly. We are predicting 3/1 - 3/7 to be the dates lambs start popping out.I'll take some of the proceeds and send a check up to Guinnias's old home to help out the goat rescue.

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