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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Birthday blessings...and lambs all over the place

Alma preens her new twin lamb in this our final lambing season

Yesterday was my fifty-eighth birthday. I had mentioned that the mothers-to-be were taking their time to lamb, and wondered if perhaps The Head Troll had somehow managed to schedule them all to lamb on my birthday. What a grand send off that would be, I thought.

Yesterday afternoon I arrived back to the farm and as I entered to do chores in the mama barn, I quickly scanned the room and saw no lambs. But then I heard that familiar sound of a tiny bleat, and there was Alma with two beautiful lambs, newly born, still a bit gooey but looking strong and healthy-a girl and a boy- both beautiful rich chocolate color like their father, Wendell. Alma was doing wonderfully with them-you never know with new moms-but she was a pro as most of them are. I gathered them up and put her in a separate lambing jug so she could rest and get used to her charges.

I have to say, it brought a couple small tears to my eyes. It is and will be a very special lambing season for me. The final lambing season...is sad for me. What makes it okay with me is knowing where we are going, visualizing our new life, and knowing I will still have many animals and amazing new stories to tell. I have loved being a shepherdess. But, it is time to make some changes and while I might have a sheep or two someday again, I don't think I will breed sheep. You never know. I want to get to know Maine and our property. I want us to have more time together to explore, and understand our fencing needs and barn needs. I want to ride Boone in our new woods, and sit and enjoy sun naps with Earnest. I don't want to worry about predator issues right now-keeping my flock safe is a full time commitment.

Someone on Facebook made a comment that she had her last lambing three years ago, and she assured me that I will miss it. She meant no harm, and I don't know her, but I told her I was focusing on what we will be gaining, not losing. It is not helpful to tell someone they will miss something when they are bravely saying goodbye to so much. I'm sure she didn't stop to think about that, but it is not helpful. I will have a hard time looking at my photos of my sheep. I don't need strangers telling me such things. So if you know someone making a huge change-don't tell them what they know, encourage them about the new windows opening.

Anyway, we celebrated my birthday last night with a good meal by the fire and good wine. Not much different than any night here, but so many exciting things going on that it was fun. I checked the mamas in the evening and I knew they would most likely lamb by morning. And Mavis and Ophelia did just that. When I arrived for morning feedings, Mavis presented me her two new ewes, beautiful chocolates and strong and dry. She most likely lambed midnight or so. Ophelia had just lambed and her twin girls were gooey and wobbly. Ophelia is a bit less calm than the others, but she was doing fine, and I chose to leave her be to lick her lambs. Eventually I got her in a separate area as she was getting a bit confused with Mavis' lambs. All chocolates so far!

Meanwhile, Little Lil was clearly entering pre labor and I think she will lamb by tonight. She is a big gal and I wouldn't be surprised to see triplets...time will tell.

They have made it easy on me so far. I will enjoy every second with the lambs. I have some people that plan to take them, and I am confidant all will be well for my flock. It is the only way to think about it so as not to go mad.

1 comment:

lishofmann said...

What a beautiful way to mark this birthday AND celebrate the upcoming new adventure! A tear in my eye for you as well ... ah, but that is what makes it sooo sweet, right? Something important in your life making way for the adventures to come. And thank you for sharing how best to support you in this time of transition. If we don't share what we need, we can't receive it. Reminds me of how I try to approach comments around adoption - assume the intention isn't to hurt but that it comes from benign ignorance AND then educate, gently but firmly. Enjoy all the new babies! xo

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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 ~