March is baby month. We started a bit early this year, with the first baby born on February 23rd. (We put the ram in with the ewes on September 26th, so right on time, 4 months and 28 days later, our first lambs were born). We have a total of 17 ewes and 2 rams. All of the ewes should be pregnant. Most ewes will have a single their first year, and twins the following years. Which means we’re gonna have a LOT of babies.
As of today, March 1st, we have 21 lambs on the ground. Mostly twins. One set of triplets, where the smallest one didn’t survive the night. One bottle baby (we’re in the “D” year, so his name is Donald, after Trump – grin), who’s mama had twins and immediately decided one was enough. He is cute as the dickens, and smart enough to tuck himself into an old horse stall full of fresh straw at night to stay warm and out of the weather. I’m completely smitten.
This afternoon, I sat in a chair in the pasture, with a 3 day old lamb sleeping in my lap, and just watched the herd for a while. Mamas and babies lounged in the sun. The ducks were chatting back in forth to each other like school girls at recess, the turkeys Toms were arguing, a resident hawk was soaring overhead, and a big flock of starlings flew through the field toward me, doing that magic “schooling” thing they do, where they all move as if of one mind. And for a moment, I wasn’t thinking of the thousand things I need to accomplish this time of year, and just enjoyed the fresh air on my face and the warm baby in my lap. I’ll be turning 50 in a few days. And I’m in a good place to be facing down the second half of my life (yes, I plan to live to 100).
Meanwhile, I waited too long to tap the silver maples and black walnut on the property for syrup. We’ve had such a mild winter that I probably should have done it mid January! The plums and apricots have buds swelling, the silver maple is ready to bloom, and we’ll have daffodils blooming any day now (they usually arrive in time for my birthday in the second week of March).
And I’ve already got some cool season plants seeded in the greenhouse and duck eggs tucked into the incubator. It may only be March 1st, but in Walla Walla, the forsythia are blooming and spring has sprung.
Miles Away Farm Blog © 2016, where we’re hoping for a better ratio of female to male lambs this year, but its hard to tell anyone apart at this point.