The sound of soft, warm knickers coming from a ewe drift through the air. A wobbly lamb, still damp from birth, seemingly comes to life before your eyes. A chorus of birds sings with excitement around you as a gentle breeze brings with it the light scent of the damp soil beneath your boots. There is a golden glow of early morning sun through windows. Or sometimes the light yellow of the afternoon sun though the trees. It is a blissful, beautiful welcome of new life to the farm. Spring has arrived!
It's a peaceful scene isn't it? It truly is. And these are the moments we cling to and carry with us. Lambing season is absolultely blissful and beautiful. But there are so many other moments that come together to make this one of the most rewarding times of the year for a sheep farm.
The perpetual smell of iodine covering your hands and clothes from spraying umbilical cords. Weeks of rough hands, chapped by handling lambs still damp with amniotic fluid. Watching the back end of each ewe......first to see if there's a chance she's ready to lamb and later to see if she has successfully passed her placenta.
Days spent watching the back end of each lamb. First to see if they've passed their meconium and later to be certain they are passing manure. Watching to see if lambs have nursed properly and continue to get the milk they need. Giving passing glances to ewes and their udders to confirm they look healthy, check that single lambs are feeding from both sides, and be sure there are no signs of early mastitis in any of them.
Seeing the healing c-section wound on a ewe and knowing her lamb is here because of the skillful hands of veterinarians. Checking weights on lambs to ensure they are growing. Go over to check on a lamb not up playing with the others, taking its temperature, listening to its lungs, and deciding to treat for early pneumonia. The next day, you watch and see the lamb you treated is back up playing with the others, healed simply because you were watching.
Unknowingly, a theme has emerged as I've typed. Watching. Seeing. Glancing. So much of what we do is simply being observant of what is around us whether through sight, sound, touch, smell, or intuition. It's what draws me back to the flock constantly. The chance to be quiet and just be.
As we have welcomed spring with blissful, beautiful moments on our farm, we hope you may watch, see, and glance around you for a chance to welcome spring and all of the many blissful, beautiful moments it has to offer.