Sunday, February 28, 2010

A puddle of lambs, a frosty doe, and Wings...

"A puddle of lambs" as son, S. says.  
If you click the picture to enlarge it, you will see that some lambs are sleeping on top of each other.  If they had mothers, they would be snuggled in next to her, but they only have each other. 
These are the eight bum lambs which I see every morning at about 7:00. 
They are all sleeping together in a puddle but when they see us and hear the rattle of the glass bottles, they perk up and jump to their feet, each one begging to be first.  I sneaked up on them at this particular time.

The number of bum lambs changes constantly.  Some of them will be grafted to new mothers.  Some new lambs will be added in when their mothers reject them or when there are triplets and the mother doesn't have the milk to sufficiently feed them.  Our goal would be that they all had mothers, but it's likely not going to turn out that way with all the triplets we've had.

At last count, there were just 17 ewes left to lamb.  Another day or two and we will be done with lambing and will only have to feed them and keep watch to see that the lambs are all staying healthy and well-fed.  We have been putting all the ewes and lambs in the barns at night, making sure the lambs mother up and have a chance to get out of the cold and wind.

While driving to a friend's house this afternoon, this young doe jumped in front of my car.  I stopped and let her cross the road and then clicked a quick picture of her through the window.  The picture looks blurry, but there was dense fog all day and it really did look hazy.  Trees and power lines had a heavy coating of hoar frost, and so did the animals.

I picked up an old book, Wings by Gene Stratton-Porter, which has been lying dormant in my bedside basket for quite some time, and I'm glad I took it up again just a little less than a month from the Spring Equinox. In March we will begin to see a few of our old feathered friends fly back home for spring and summer and Gene Stratton-Porter rallies my hope that spring will come again amidst the snow and cold of today.   I'm a big fan of GSP and have many of her books and I'm grateful that my public library still carries several that I don't own.  I love the way she describes scenes in nature.  It is as if I am walking through the field with her and we are about to come upon a nest of eggs.  We see the mother bird fly up so we come in close to examine the color and size of the eggs as well as the nest built with mud,  horse hair, rough stems and fine grasses.  Reading this book makes my nature-lover's heart  long for spring and the nest-cradles that will soon be made in our own trees and in the prairie grasses and on the bare ground.  Read this passage below and see what I mean.
 Of the dozens of nests Bob had located there was not one so exquisite as this vireo's, for at the branching of two elm twigs, no higher than my head, she had built a pendent cup lashed to the limbs with bits of string and hair, wound securely round and round and evenly carried to nearby limbs.  When it was solidly timbered, securely fastened and softly lined, to Bob and to me, who had watched its progress, it seemed complete, but the little bird-mother, with exactly the same loving impulse that is in the breast of a human mother when she adds lace and ribbon to her baby's cradle, set about gathering heavy, rough, snow-white cobwebs and festooning them over the outside until the nest appeared as if dipped in ocean foam.  She stuck through these webs a number of fantastically shaped little dried, brown, empty, last-year's seed-pods, as a finishing touch, then Bob took off his hat.  He said she was a lady so no gentleman would stand covered before her. 
Back to my reading now.  The next short chapter is Molly Cotton's Hummingbird.


  1. Awww, the lambies are sooo cute. It's so sad that they don't have mothers.

    I love GSP! A Girl of the Limberlost and Freckles were two of my childhood favorites. I had no idea where the Limberlost was, so imagine how cool it was when we moved to Indiana and found it right here. If you're ever in NE Indiana, you'll have to stop at GSP's home -- it's on a lake and has been made into a very nice little museum.

  2. I just love reading about your little lambs. I don't envy you the hard work as I grew up on a farm and have some idea what you go through, but birth is a miracle, no matter whether it's lambs, birds or humans. I'll have to look for some of GSP's books, that passage was so perfectly descriptive!

  3. I'm glad you got the picture of the deer. At my daughter's they aren't seeing much of the deer these snowy days.

  4. I Love the little lamb's...a pile of God's sweetness for sure! Bless you for being there for them! I always stop for the deer to cross too..they step out so carefully, trying to be together with their group.they are so sweet. Love the writing too, sounds wonderful! :D

  5. Our ewes are set to lamb the third week of March, which is earlier than we would like! (Gus the ram got out of his pen)

    GSP is one of my very very favourites...I have never read Wings, will have to look for it.

    Have a wonderful week

  6. Oh, I'm so happy! I've never heard of GSP so I shall go on Amazon just now and browse. I am going to print that picture of the lambs and frame it. Their faces are so innocent and they are such little survivors. Is it okay with you if I print the photo, Jody?
    The deer reminds me of Miss Hickory.
    I woke up to snow, too. I have four grandchildren here today. Let the mess making begin! (BIG HUG!)

  7. I am glad to hear that many of you have read GSP! I don't have nearly the variety of birds and butterflies that she had in the Limberlost, but I love what lives here.

    Pom Pom,
    Yes, you may print the lamb picture, but I do have a really cute one of a single lamb that you may like too. If you click "Livestock" as a category on my blog, and scroll to some older posts, you will find it. One lil lamb's face. It's cute. Have fun with the four grands!


  8. The story of the little bird building the nest actually brought tears to my eyes! Isn't God wonderful to equip little birds with the desire to "decorate" their nests?

    I love "Girl of the Limberlost" also! I thought the Limberlost was in Florida! Just in my imagination, I guess! I'd love to read this book you mentioned.

  9. Aaahhh Jody the lambs are so precious. It was such fun seeing the positions they get into on the pile for comfort.
    No lambs here yet in England, we're still waiting. It is the one time of year I don't mind driving because I get to see the lambs in the fields.
    Ann xox

  10. GSP was a great lady! Did you know that she actually has TWO State Historic Sites in Indiana?! That's right! The first home she built is in Geneva, Indiana 46740 and she called it the Limberlost because of the 13,000 acre Limberlost Swamp in the area. The second home she built is in Rome City, Indiana 46784. Gene called the second home Limberlost North or Wildflower Woods because of the mature forest and formal gardens around her home. Check out for further details on both sites. Also, be sure to become a fan of each site on Facebook!

  11. I am a fan of GSP as well. Girl of the Limberlost was one of my favorite books as a young girl..may need to read it again.

    Love the pictures of the lambs.

    Have a great day.


  12. I like GSP too. I hadn't heard of 'Wings' before! So little time for all the books we want to read, huh? "Puddle of Lambs" interesting! They are so sweet.


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