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Seasonal Adjustments

Posted 3/1/2012 7:39am by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

A huge flock of geese flew overhead this morning as I was filling the water tank for the the sheep.  It appears the winter that never arrived is already poised to slip away.  When I think about planting peas and spinach in the garden I feel ready to reach into rich spring soil with the warm sun on my back, but I enjoy each season and I feel a little cheated by winter this year.  

The lambs keep coming. Just last year we were patting ourselves on the back for getting our lambing season into a neat four-week window and this year we were confident we had achieved that again. It's humbling.  Farming has a way of keeping one humble. The truly baffling part of the whole ordeal is that we still have no idea when this all happened, but apparently when we ran the flock through the chute to separate the ram lambs last August, we missed a little guy (and he must have been very little at that time, because Roy swears he groped every single lamb and it usually is quite simple know if you've got a ram or a ewe in your hands).  We are now nearing fifty lambs in the last month, far more than the short ram breakout that we had assumed happened, would bring.  No, this must have been a little ram that grew into his role around late September and found he was quite adept. 

The mild winter is fortunate for these early arrivals though and for that I am glad.  Had this happened last winter, especially on top of our difficult winter farrowing (pigging) season, it would not only have humbling, but outright depressing.  The lambs are already forming little gangs that dash about or stand and pop straight up in air as though they have more energy than their gangly legs can contain.  Winter or spring, the joy of new life is infectious.