Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cold nights

Temperatures have rarely risen above zero this winter. That kind of cold is hard on new babies, so Dave and I began shutting the sheep into the barn at night. Now we don’t have to find new born lambs in odd corners of the pasture at 3 AM, and the lambs themselves have a better chance of survival out of the wind and in the relatively warmer environment of the barn. Even as the weather moderated, we kept shutting the sheep in the barn at night.

I’ve discovered that the biggest advantage of shutting the sheep in the barn has nothing to do with temperature or lamb survival. When I go out at 7 AM, I slip in the people door and feed the bottle lambs who are waiting right there for me. Next I look for new babies and give the ewes in jugs fresh water and hay. Then I open the big barn door onto morning. Across the home pasture I can see the rams eating in the snow. The sun is just rising behind the trees. The air is fresh and invigorating. It’s going to be a good day. Morning after morning, I feel that way. Opening that big barn door to the world sets the tone for the rest of the day. After a cold night, with that peaceful beginning, the day just has to be good.

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