Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Not waving but drowning

Gabrielle normally announces my blog posts on our Facebook page for extra cross-media publicity mojo but declined with my last but one. Having just posted pictures of cherry plum (myrobalan) blossom against a blue sky and pictures of a local lake on a sunny day; she didn’t want to draw potential holidaymakers attention to my cold, soggy tale, “Mud, glorious mud”. 

To redress the balance, I bring you a cockle-warming cliché of spring: newborn lambs out on green grass under a blue sky.But wait, what have we here? 

Heavy grey skies bringing us 47mm of rain in 24 hours, then a dip in temperature and strong winds blowing in flocons of neige. The single large white ewe installed herself and her charges in the only field shelter and stood guard. Our seven pint-sized Ouessant ewes, all heavily pregnant, stood forlornly outside. Our sheep seem to cope with the cold and the snow but don’t like the rain.

We ran them over into another field where, unsurprisingly, they made a beeline for the shelter. I’m undecided whether to leave them there, when the weather cheers up, or regroup them. I’m minded to just bring mum and newborn across as each one gives birth, separating the maternity unit from the kindergarten. 

I keep braving the cold to check to see if any of the other ewes are showing signs and notice that the big ewe is often out in the field with her youngsters. They seem quite happy to run around in the snow and even to sit down while mum grazes. These four-day-old creatures are obviously enjoying the superior R-value  of sheep’s wool insulation.