Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Baa Baa Spotted Sheep

Two more unexpected days off for Steve Holt!. As we wrapped things up in the arena on Sunday afternoon I could see big, slushy flakes and sticking around the edges of the parking lot, so Darling and I packed up our horses and headed up the highway towards home. While there'd been relatively little snow on the ground at the arena, what met our eyes at the top of the hill just a few hundred feet away astounded me.

An inch of slushy snow covered the road, and two cars sat on their hoods in the ditch directly cross the road from one another. A state patrol car was there and it seemed as though at least one of the passengers was on her feet and standing without any problem. I kept my eyes on the road and concentrated on the task at hand. If it was this bad here...what would it be like going up the hill to get home? Thankfully the snow pattern was uncharacteristic in that once we hit our road a mile away, the snow stopped and blue sky was above us making the rest of the drive uneventful.

By Monday morning the snow began to fall again, and this time it wasn't playing games. We ended up with about 3 inches, and since the slushy stuff the night before had frozen and created a bit of an ice rink on the road, I opted not to haul Steve Holt! out to ride. Yesterday I climbed out of bed optimistic. The temps had risen to above freezing the day before and from the 'buzz', it would seem roads were bare and dry. I had a couple of sheep that had an appointment with Freezer Camp, so loaded them into my little truck and started out. I had every intention of coming home and getting Steve Holt! to the arena when I was finished, but upon reaching the north side of the hill I realized that was simply not to be. Compact snow and ice still encased my path thanks to the tall trees who's shadows were cast upon the ground 24 hours a day.

And so Steve Holt! has had a vacation of sorts, being ridden only a handful of times in the past week. Hopefully we can make it out today. My only consolation has been that God directs our paths, and there must be a divine plan wrapped up in this lack of riding somewhere.

With the running around being done with the two Freezer Camp candidates, I also had to make a trip to town to get my sewing machine looked at. Darling is taking a sewing class and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my machine. Thankfully it was a quick and easy fix, and I can now set Darling back to work making me some quilted shipping boots for Steve Holt!.

In the hustle and bustle of the day, I hadn't taken much time to look in on Marybelle. She'd not been eating about a week ago and appeared restless, so I separated her from Bessie and the lambs thinking she was ready to have her own. Not so. She's been in solitary confinement for a week and nothing...

But as I went out to water I caught a glimpse of an extra set of legs on the other side of her body, and sure enough, she had a little spotted lamb standing next to her!

Wait! Not just one, but two! Two little spotted twins, brother and sister, born on one of the coldest days of the year and I'd not been paying attention enough to know she was having them. Both were completely dry when I found them and they did well during the afternoon. I didn't see them both nurse, but since they were up and moving and totally dry I figured they must have gotten some nutrition into them.

Unfortunately, big brother Jethro thought he'd help out at the milk wagon. Hey, why not? Mom can feed him breakfast, Marybelle can provide a mid-day snack... I'm going to have to get a partition to keep him out for a couple of days so the newbies don't need to worry about him draining the milk supply.

Jethro looks mighty big next to his half brother!


Andrea said...

They're so cute! I just want to pick them up and cuddle them!

froglander said...

What kind of sheep are they that they are all adorable and spotted like that? Do you have any more lambs on the way? What are you doing this weekend? Anyone want a leg wrapping lesson? (A good excuse to come see adorable lambs, isn't it?) Oh, and if you haven't already tried Darling's new english saddle on SH!, I could bring mine if you want.

Tracey said...

Thanks! They sure are cuddle magnets.

Frog, they're East Friesian Dairy sheep. The Canadian registry doesn't allow spots, just black or white, but people love the spots in the US! We haven't got a registry because the dairy folks could care less about papers, just production.

I believe we'll be around this weekend, so yeah, a wrapping lesson would be great. And you can check saddle fit with that little English saddle she's got, too!

I'm off to the arena...wish me luck getting up and down the hill!

CTG Ponies said...

Oh my, they are adorable!

Sarah said...

OMG they are darling!!!!!

Pony Girl said...

They are really cute....I like the spots! Interesting they can't be registered in Canada if they have spots.

Nikki said...

Tracey they are so cute! They make me want one - for just a small moment then it passed. :)

Katee said...

SEVEN days?? ONE week to go till competition? That's so soon and I'm so bummed that I can't hop on a plane and be there cheering you on. Man, I would really like to be there. I truly believe that Steve Holt! is going to be a star in competition!

Those lambs are adorable. My Grandpa raised sheep and every other year or so we'd have an orphan lamb come live in our house. The best times were being able to take that orphan lamb to our elementary school for show and tell. Man, I was a super cool 2nd grader on those show and tell days!

Connie Peterson said...

In the cattle world, if a cow has twins and they are male and female, neither of them are able to breed. I guess it's not the same in the sheep world, is it, cause otherwise you'd be disappointed that there were the two opposite sexes.

They ARE cute! I love baby lambs. Norm is talking about maybe breeding Soot next fall!!! OOOOOOOO, can't wait!

Good luck with SH!.

Jeanette said...

I've been busy for a couple of days...and look at those CUTIES!!! I really like the spotted babies, we never had them. Isn't it amazing how the mommies just decide to hold out for the coldest, freeziest...most frigid time to have the babies????
Steve Holt! really is coming along. Very nice!!!