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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The rich gift of Edith

We brought home a new 3 month old Katahdin ewe lamb to help diversify our genetics in our flock. She comes from a line of wonderful deep browns, blacks and pinto colors, so we are excited to breed her next year. And she'll bring a little bit more size to our flock.

I named her "Edith", which means, "rich gift". The gift she gave me is that she reminded me that I love raising sheep, even when things go wrong, or the duties of shepherding bring me conflicts, or a rushed schedule, or a sore back. I had been having some doubts about continuing to breed, for a lot of reasons. I don't want to rehash them here, right now anyway, I just want to relish in this sweet face.

I spent much of yesterday afternoon in with my ewes, and I just wanted to watch them and be with them. Beautiful little Jane is so like her mother, Olive Oil, and she too has turned out to be a gift, even though we weren't expecting her [if you're new to the blog, the ram got through the fence for 10 minutes back in December and had an indiscretion with virginal Olive Oil... 5 months later, two lambs appeared in the lavender field]. Jane has taken to running up to when I bleat, and likes to be petted, just like here Mama.

Rosalita, Ruthie, Emily Wiggley, Gracie May, Coco, they are all growing well and I do like caring for them, as time consuming as it is. Somehow, I lost the joy of it all this spring. I don't know why, perhaps because we had so many rams and that compounds the angst of impending slaughter. That conflict will never go away, even if I quit raising sheep. And somehow, this new girl has reminded me of how much I enjoy my sheep, their noble noses, the way their ears stick out, the way they get up in a herd and go to bed in a herd. And now that the young boys are out with the big rams, my life is somewhat back to normal. Just me and the girls.

Jane [left] and her brother examine the scene presented before them.

Ruthie is going through her awkward youth and reminds me of me in 6th grade.
Beautiful Rosalita, named after her grandmother, is turning into a wonderful ewe, even though a bit on the small side.


Claire MW said...

Edith has a rather startling exotic look to her - rather like a film star sheep I think. I can see why you were taken with her. Rosalita, however, has one of the gentlest and most beautiful sheep faces I have seen. Your photograph seems to capture her spirit along with her appearance. I just want to reach out and touch her nose.

marilyn said...

Welcome Edith, that Jane is really growing and is she not too cute, Ruthie puts me in mind of a freckled face girs and beautiful Rosalita has the look of nobility. Thanks for sharing.

Vee said...

They are so beautiful; I especially like Edith's white patch. It reminds me of our goat wether's "mo-hawk"!

Vikki at http://vikkisverandah.blogspot.com

Yarni Gras! said...

I love them all....so lovely, all eyes and ears :-)

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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 ~