Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Sheep in the Mist

I forgot to lock the gate and the sheep were out grazing early this morning.  Apples are starting to ripen on the trees and the few that fall down on their own are enough to keep the sheep waiting, hopefully, underneath.   I've started knocking the apples down with a big stick, which is comical to watch as my aim is not that good.  I get more results when I stand directly under the branches and shake them.  Large apple orchards have machines that shake the trees to make the apples fall down.  When I get conked on the head I wish I had a machine like that.  One would think the apples would be shaken off in the wind, but that's not always the case.  They will rot or be bug eaten if left on the branches.  I often think how lovely it would be to rehabilitate my orchard.  I don't have the manpower or the time to give it what it needs.  A team of Amish farmers would love this orchard and bring it back to it's former splendor.  They may get it someday, and that would make me very happy.  I had to leave for work and, just as I was rushing out the door, I saw them emerging from the mist, headed down the hill, but there was not a minute to spare to collect them all and lock the gate.  I know their habits and they should have gone back in the barn to sleep on the cool poo-pack, avoiding the hot sun.  Let's hope that's the case.   I would love to install barn and field cams so I could take peeks at the goings-on while I'm at school.   I'm thinking about letting my new Wensleydale ram, Louie, out with the flock.   He's very small, even at a year old, and I'm worried the big FAT ewes and wethers will knock him around, a natural thing to do with a new member of the flock.   His buddy, my new Nubian buck, Spike Lee, has to stay in his separate area so he doesn't breed the angora does.  I will put the Nubian does in with him for breeding.  He is also very small at six months old.  The Nubian does are gigantic - big strong girls.  I hope they are very fond of him and accommodating as well.  They will have to be in order for him to service them.   I'm hoping for goat milk this winter and the girls can't produce it without being bred.  That's how it works. 

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