My foot was slow to heal and I was quite a bit of a limpy mc'limperson for a number of weeks after the initial injury...but it seems I didn't break anything, as now my foot is basically as good as new. I did have to miss a milking or two, and certain tasks that I enjoy doing - like hay delivery and sheep wrangling - were a bit more challenging. Lambs continued to be born in February and March. On this night I came down and found all the sheep out in the field instead of in the barn. At first it seemed like it was going to be a quick check with no lambs, but after standing and watching the sheep's eyes glow in the reflection of my head lamp, I heard the faint sound of a lamb making some of its first bleats. And so began a rather epic birthing. I picked up the lamb, which I used to entice the mother to come into the barn for the remainder of her labor.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
I flirted with the idea of getting to Whidbey by driving up to the Olympic Peninsula and then catching a ferry from Port Townsend. But the schedule didn't quite match with my departure time, nor my intended arrival on the farm time. I did take a roundabout way to get to the Olympia/Tacoma area before getting on I-5, and saw a nice little chunk of a different area of Washington State, but didn't do the full lollygag of the peninsula and Port Townsend. I arrived just in time to have missed shearing. Literally. The shearers were gone, but everyone was still at the parlor cleaning up. After about three and half months away, it was funny to see so many familiar faces in such a familiar setting. When you're living where you work, and working where you live, the lines between the two are irrevocably blurred. There is a professionalism to the farm, but there is also a familiarity or personal element that isn't quite as present in more traditional workplaces. So half of me wanted to hug people, and the other half felt like I should shake hands? I don't know, it was kind of funny. I dropped into a tableau that was comfortable and right, but at the same time I hadn't really seen or spoken to the farm folks in a while. I jumped back in, however, and helped haul bagged fleeces and check in on the freshly shorn sheep. I very soon thereafter had to say hello to the chickens, who I wish I could say clearly recognized me and showered me with affection...but they're chickens, so they basically acted the same. But I was glad to see them and that'll have to do.