We are beginning to see the signs of spring here on the farm. Not talking of course about green grass or bulbs pushing their way through the snow, I talking about lambs. For me, when the lambs start to arrive we are on the cusp of another season. This will be our third here and we feel like it will be the best yet. As anyone who bothers to check the last date of a posting from me will see, I have had a bit of trouble keeping active on the blog and facebook front. It is a very clear symptom, to me, of a larger problem we have struggled with since arriving here in Harpswell (more on that later). However, another part of the struggle has been sorting through all the things I have considered writing about.
I need help to focus, I could go on for days in any direction. While I don't necessarily like to hear myself talk, I can definitely rattle on about a number of things, soapbox style. However, a quick moment to think about that problem leads me to consider why I farm in the first place. It grounds me, no pun intended there but enjoy that if you want. So, it occurs to my ever dazed and overwhelmed self, just stay focused on the farm and have that be your “anchor” for all things “social media”.
So back to lambs. None have arrived yet, however the signs are everywhere. The sheep get in the barn in December or so and make a pretty quick home of it. They are as happy as ever to nest up and get into a routine of eating and drinking, making noise at me for more food and water, and lying around chewing cud. Little by little they become perceptively larger, seem to bulge a little more in certain spots, and then finally they begin to “bag up”. This last bit is what we are seeing lots o f now and what really communicates the approach of new life.
After lambs are weaned the ewe's udders gradually dry up and pretty much disappear under them for late summer and into fall. Now, as they are coming into the last few weeks of pregnancy the udder is the most obvious sign of the approaching birth. What comes with this is this subtle shift in the structure and general body condition of the ewes. Their torso seems to drop while their hip bones adjust to make way for the lambs. We have grown over the years in our ability to notice these changes and to predict proximity to labor. It becomes part of the routine after feeding to look and observe their condition, behavior, and how “bagged up” they are.
So, I would like to use the arrival of the lambs to begin blogging and documenting our farm season here at Two Coves in Harpswell. The struggle I was referring to earlier in the post was that I have not been able to find the time to communicate about happenings here. This in addition to that “What do I write about??” bit. I will endeavor to put that little complaint / story aside and put up some posts regularly on the progress here as the season unfolds. So stay tuned, I will do a “winter recap” full of cold, dark humor in the coming days. Thanks.