Is there a story this fourth day of summer? There must be. The sun has turned the leaves of the willow next to the carriage house into gold. I love to watch the morning light touch that tree. Lucinda Mae Douglas, goat par excellence, blatts in the yard below. She tangled her lead cord as thoroughly as only a goat can do around the power line bringing electricity to the barn from the carriage house. I untangled her. Again. It remains to be a mystery to me that she manages to slip between the wire and the barn, a very narrow space and to circle around and around it in a complex series of twists and turns making the lead cord imbedded in itself and trying my patience beyond belief. There is an abundance of burdock and pigweed in that pretty, pretty yard. All most delightful. For goats. Especially one still eating hay. I've tried keeping two goats down there but Lucinda and Adelaide Merriman manage to entwine themselves in each other's lead cord leaving much to be desired of the arrangement and providing me with an additional test of my patience. The burdock and pigweed are then, of course, both desired and uneaten.
I am racing against time and hope to not be defeated before I accomplish something. Today. Tomorrow. The remainder of the month. Anything at all. I've brought most lambs either to the carriage house or south pasture. Four additional ones are in with the rams in the lambing room. Today, if all goes well, they shall be all dewormed and identified as to whom shall be sold and who shall stay. I am keeping back two room lambs this year. One is a sturdy Dorset looking creature. The other has emerged as a young version of his father, William Greenleaf Sire, and older brother. The Young Pretender. His face has the beautiful white gleam that the East Friesians sport. His horns are developing nicely. And he is less skittish around me than most of the others. He's caught my eye of late. He shall remain in my flock. However, tomorrow, I believe, he will visit a friend's small farm for two months to become flock sire to six sheep, three of whom are out of my herd. The sturdy Dorset looking lamb is also out of the East Friesian. He, however, has the best quality I want. A good boxy meat animal. He shall stay with my ewe lambs in the south pasture this summer. His half brother will join them in September. If my lambs look good this summer. There are far too many of them, however, but they look exactly the way I want them to look. I'm pleased with them. The sheep look good as well. So far, unfortunately breeding season shall start shortly this year. Easter is in March unfortunately. That means I shall have to begin lambing in December. This is the first year I've managed to separate the rooms from the flock before it all starts. In theory, an absence of a couple of weeks shall create more in interest in and from the ewes. We'll see.
I've been given a purebred Nubian buck. Two and a half months old. He is for my Nubian doe and her 5/8 Nubian daughter. With any luck I shall be able to buy one more Nubian doeling with which to jump start my Nubian herd and enable me to thin out the Toggenburgs next year.
I am going to address all livestock in the carriage house today. The kid goat, my yearling, Lucinda's Daughter, my Nubian, Candida Lycett-Green, her daughter Cameron Lycett-Green and Sebastian whose last name had not, as yet occurred to me, are all living there with the recently captured lambs. Everyone shall be wormed, and collared. The twelve lambs in the south pasture shall be wormed and braided if they haven't been already, sorted with the females remaining outside, the best to be tamed, and the males taken to the carriage house. Then I'll put the ewes from the carriage house outside. With any luck I'll be able to continue further to ready the carriage house for the winter, order. Creating order.
My fantasy is when everything is in order I'll be able to keep it that way. Amazing how I cling to that idea, no matter how much my mind will argue, it will never happen.
A pigeon coos. The two baby chicks in the kitchen sing. Barn swallows fly in and out of the carriage house loft door. Flies hum. My dog Glencora MacCluskie lies across the chaise in the dining room, half asleep. Waiting for me to begin the work of the day. As do I. As do I.
The day is the first in which summer has been apparent. We've been beset with temperatures in the high 50's and winds to make one think it is still winter. I've wood coming this week. Thank goodness. At least I hope I have wood coming. One person who was to bring me a full cord, two rows of 24 inch, is in jail. Non payment of child support. The driver for the other person who was to have all wood in for me by May 31, had a stomach ache last week and didn't bring the first load of an expected fifteen, (loads not face cords). The expected fifteen by May 31. Past. I'm looking for another source of wood.
I've been going through old notebooks of late and came across a list of names for goats and sheep. The new Nubian buck is Sebastian. I wanted to have his last name be a Fitz something. On the list was a Fitzgerald. King Henry VII named his illegitimate son Fitzroy. Son of the king. Unfortunately for him the one who lived the longest was killed before he could become a problem to the throne. So Sebastian is to be a Fitz. And as of coming upon this list of names, shall be Fitzgerald. Sebastian Fitzgerald. The names are mostly girls' names. Enough, I think for all of the ewe lambs that I am keeping. And so here they are:
Dodo Farnsworth (and I already know who she shall be.
The one with the pretty and comical face.)
Candice Farquair (although I'm uncertain about that last name)
That gives me seven or eight. They already have a multicolored band around their necks. But shall soon have a goldenrod yellow one and a name. By day's end. An early summer day.
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