Monday, February 08, 2010
Daisy [left] is daughter to Rosie, and is now our oldest ewe at seven. Audrey is daughter to Coral, and it's her first lambing season. Both their mothers died last year due to ketosis.
The anticipation for lambing to begin is thick in the air. As the bellies of my ewes swell to capacity, I can begin to see glimpses of lamb heartbeats in the womb. After last year's tragedies, I am more anxious than usual for this our 6th lambing season.
I have begun my annual techniques that generate eye rolls in both farmers and sheep - scanning each belly to determine if it's triplets again, feeling udders even though we are still 3 weeks off and udders won't swell until a couple days before lambing. A woman must provide herself with as many assurances as possible after loss.
I worked all weekend in glorious weather on the garden, the sheep stalls, trimming feet, prepping lambing areas, and tending to the graves of Rosie, Coral and their 6 lambs. I'm pleased the wild daisies I transplanted from the river to the graves are coming up again, full of life after being fed from the creatures below. I still miss Rosie. Tending a grave is comforting though. I've assured them this year their daughters will do fine and their lambs will thrive. More assurances.
I will hang simple white cotton prayer flags in the barn, made of my father's hankies...one for each pregnant ewe, and two for Rosie and Coral.