Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday week, the last of 2010

Ahhh, Christmas is done, celebrated, gifts exchanged, goodies made, and we still get to have pumpkin bread for breakfast every morning.  We decrease the sugar in the pumpkin bread recipe and then make up for it by drinking egg nog, mmmm.
I like this story in pictures:   How the finns looked after the first blizzard, holed up out in the pasture shed-- refusing to come out --

until Emily blazed them a trail by walking back and forth to the hay we'd set out:



We love these silly girls. 
Last week's sheep episode was about Aspen, the little polled musket ram whose amorous endeavors got him caught by one foot in a gate-- and it ended badly for him, I'm afraid.  My biggest concern was that the leg would have been frostbitten, with a slow and torturous end.  The vet, by phone, advised sending him to the butcher-- my Shetlands don't make big money, he was a polled ram lamb-- prized by some as rather rare, yet, but not by enough buyers that I would make the mortgage on him-- so diagnosing his injury was not worth paying a vet fee.  So, he will make my daughter's favorite-- lamburger.  His trip to the butcher was very quiet, very easy on him, too-- bedded down in a straw filled dog crate and left that way until the end.
We had his parents in a breeding group again this year, so we hope for another polled brother of Aspen's.  That's the way it goes.
At Christmas, my brother mentioned bad weather coming again next weekend-- so we broke up sheep breeding groups yesterday rather than wait a week.  Our choice is often Christmas weekend, since we have everone home to help herd animals here and there.   This year, more than half the work was shoveling a ton of snow so that 16' gates would  swing open (did you get a visual on that?) when sheep left an area-- and 2' wide paths for them to get from one barn to another as we shuffled them around.  Our barns are about 100 feet apart.   The snow is about 3' deep everywhere-- the sheep were in chasms as high as their backs, trotting down the alleys between our barns as we directed them.  All went well.
Today, frost has covered the trees and it is drifting down, sparkling like glitter in the sunshine.
Happy New Year to everyone.


Michelle said...

I'm sorry to hear that Aspen didn't recover.

Sprite said...

Fabulous blog! I adore all the excellent photography. I'm going to keep reading. Thanks!

Kelly said...

Sorry that an injury made a decision for you that you normally wouldn't have made. Oh, how the shetlands tug at our hearts.

Nancy K. said...

I'm sorry to hear of Aspen's untimely end and hope you get another one just like him next year.

Wishing you and your family all the best in 2011!

Becky Utecht said...

Great photos of the Finns and the snow. Sorry to hear about Aspen, but it sounds like he was made as comfortable as possible. Hoping you get a nice polled Aspen brother in 2011!

Karen said...

Sorry about Aspen, Gail. And thanks so much for posting these fantastic photos. I better do some shoveling of my own! What a great way to herd them around the farm...and nice of Emily to help you out!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry about Aspen. We do all we can, but sometimes it is not enough. Here's hoping for Aspen #2 next spring. And your photos are lovely, as usual. Happy New Year to you and your family!