Friday, 13 January 2012

Signs of Spring

I know we haven’t had a proper winter this year but I am now looking forward to spring. I can’t wait for the longer days. There are signs spring is on the way.

The other day, I went to help dag out some sheep in preparation for lambing (dagging means giving the sheep a Brazilian or is it a Hollywood? For more information on sheep depilation see the post Maybe Clouds are Hard to Move Too). It is exciting to think that many of the spring lambs are already fully formed and are busy inside their mothers, growing big enough to venture into the wide world.

I haven’t done any sheep work for two or three months and I realised how unfit I’ve become when I tried to turn over the first sheep. She was a heavily pregnant Poll Dorset in lovely condition. I turned her over but could not drag her out of the pen. She probably weighed 80-90kg, more than me. I handed her to someone else; my heart was thundering and I felt like I was going to throw up, it was such an extreme physical effort. Last shearing season I could have got her out and sheared her but now I am so out of shape!

I did dag two or three smaller sheep, a wriggly Kerry Hill and a smallish Poll Dorset. As I let the Poll Dorset go, I remembered the owner wanted to trim the ewe’s feet. I chased after the sheep and grabbed her, forgetting the ground under the straw was very uneven. As I fell down a dip in the barn floor, the owner cried out ‘ mind the hole!’ Too late. I was sitting on the floor with a sheep on my lap. Fortunately the sheep was in an excellent position for a pedicure, so the owner nipped in and trimmed her feet while I sat on the floor hugging the ewe. 

Even though it’s still January I’m planning where to go to get my first lamb pictures of the year. I have a lovely new camera so I hope to get some good shots to share with you in the spring.

In the meantime, I took my camera with me today and found these signs of spring:
Magnolia buds


New growth

What signs of spring have you seen? What are you most looking forward to in the spring?

1 comment:

  1. How come you have snowdrops already!
    I'll have to go out and look to see what's going on.
    Oregon/Willamette Valley/Portland area has been colder than usual this winter with less rain.
    The cold will push things back a bit.
    My sis who lives in Minnesota gets spring for two weeks in May so I like to send her pictures of all my flowers (starting soon) to make her crazy in need of spring.
    Happy spring thoughts!