Sunday, March 04, 2012
Apifera gives us new life
The first lambs of the season were born early Saturday morning to Nellie Moser. Two beautiful, chocolate girls, almost identical. The proud papa is Little Walter who definitely put his color gene in the mix. Things can go south in lambs their first few days, so I'll be relieved in a couple days.
I arrived to do barn chores knowing Nellie had gone into labor. She's a seasoned mother which always helps, and there in her stall was a little girl still wrapped in womb gel. I made sure she was breathing right, and let Nellie do her job. Nellie is not the most personable of ewes but mothers very well. She much prefers her privacy and still stomps her foot around people [a sign of anxiety and warning to the flock]. So I let her be.
As I prepped all the lambing stalls on Thursday, I had a movie in my head starring every mother sheep of the past eight years of my time here at Apifera. Each stall had a memory - the birth of the very first lambs, the place where Rosie lay dying surrounded by her daughters and grand daughters, and the thrill mixed with fear of our first triplets. Each year, something is learned, gained, and often something is lost. This year feels more precious in a way because my flock and I are in a transition, a transition I haven't quite put down on paper or into words - but a a change is in the wind with a settling down the road. I vowed to take it all in, slow down [as much as I can] and merge with each nuance of the season, and so I have.
It's a miracle, life. So is death. It's all so big, so complex - but then again, it's pretty simple when you come right down to what makes a good day - breath, air, warmth, a safe spot, food - and an innate sense you're okay standing in the spot you woke up in.