I'm a weaver, spinner, and knitter who raises Cotswold sheep in the central Arizona highlands. I have an MA in medieval history and am interested in dye plants, historical cooking, organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, and the preservation of rare breeds.
From Saturday night to Monday morning we received about 10" of snow. It was beautiful but quite the storm. Saturday night the wind and rain were extreme, and we lost electricity for awhile.
By Tuesday, the snow started melting fast, with temperatures in the 50s. Now we have snow and much mud. Dierdre's legs are covered with it, and she kicks it up onto her belly every time she runs. She could definitely rival Harry the Dirty Dog. It's just so lovely that she wants to sleep right next to me, considering she smells like a muddy barn.
As usual, the sheep appeared affronted by the snow. They spent a day and a half in the barn while the snow was falling. That always makes feeding them a challenge, since they have a tendency to stomp the hay into the mud that they've tracked in. Dierdre was determined to herd them even there, although they were already where they should be. Therefore, she kept circling close to the inner walls to keep them in as tight a group as possible. The sheep didn't appreciate it much.
My hen seems to be trying to set a record. She's laid 8 eggs in the last 13 days, even with a snow storm. A few weeks ago I told her I was going to buy some baby chicks. I thought it was simply polite to let her know she'd have company when they were old enough to roam. I certainly didn't mean to imply I was going to boot her out or something, but she does seem to be showing me that she's up to the task of supplying us with eggs!
Hildegard, my oldest ewe, lambed on Wednesday. She had twins. One was stillborn, and the other is a little black ewe lamb. It's always sad when a lamb is born dead, but it does happen sometimes.
The little one is still really small but seems to be doing alright. She took longer than average to figure out which end of her mother to go to for milk. She also, at two days old, is till checking out any nearby sheep for food, including the rams. Luckily her mother keeps close by and makes sure she nurses.
Her coat is pretty dirty. Some of the birth sac dried on it, and, of course, being smaller than everyone else, little bits of hay keep falling on her while the other sheep are eating.
In the next two pictures, you can see how tiny she is compared to the one-month-old lambs.