Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wheely Wooly Whirlwind

Lambs! Photos coming! Day 149 passed with no action, giggle giggle! Mona however, was definitely acting ready to go. We stalled around, waited, checked, waited, watched, waited, checked....

All signs were a go, but no action! Am I imagining that she is ready?? Finally, on Sunday, we invited company over that we haven't seen since last year. Catching up is good, and it WAS a beautiful day! We sat out on the front porch in short sleeves, listening to birds and talking. The sheep were fine and no signs of ANYTHING! Later, we cooked a nice meal and ate together, all while keeping an eye on the radar. Bad weather might move in, and no one wanted hail damage on cars. As we ate, the storm started brewing up. Clearing the dishes, the radar started getting pretty busy... the wind kicked up and worry set in. DH decided to run out and feed the rams before the storm hit. He ran into the shed to get the hay when the storm just blew up out of no where fast! It started gusting, pouring, and the radar really blew up! As we watched from the house, we could see a vortex getting reved up JUST NORTHWEST of our farm!! Oh boy!!! We agreed to divide up. I'd run out and tell DH with some company going with me, while one stayed in the house and went to the basement with others! As we put this plan together, DH BURST into the house and yelled "LAMB!!! LAMB!!!" What? Now??? He was gone, running to take care of the barn as the storm hit. BASEMENT EVERYONE! I'LL RUN TO THE BARN! Then, DH was back! "TWO LAMBS!!", then he was gone again. As we checked the radar, the vortex (tornado) was bearing down just northwest of our farm....was it going to strike here? The radar showed it's path as going right over us! As I threw the door open to run to the barn, I suddenly heard the tornado sirens going off in town!!! OH BOYYYYY!

Long story short...Mona twinned just as the storm hit. They were all fine. We were all fine, hiding out unsafely in the shed as the storm hit. It was deafening! I've never heard wind like that. Then hail! We had just pulled our guest's car into the shed when the hail hit! So Mona's little ram lamb was given the name "Whirly" or Whirlwind by our guest, and her little ewe lamb is Wheely Wooly Maewyn. Whirly is black, just like his full brother Wheely Wooly Lerwick!! He's beautiful!! Maewyn is dark brown and also beautiful! They are really cute! And Mona is a GREAT mom!

The whole adventure made us realize how important it is to review our emergency planning, and our priorities! DH was in the shed, not knowing of the vortex (tornadic activity) on the radar. I wanted to get out there and tell him so we could all take cover. I figured Mona would be a good mom, but I was worried about her being in with all the other ewes. In a time like this, Shetland sheep can handle it! We should have run for the basement.

Considering the damage all around us last weekend, we came out of it damage-free, but with a renewed sensitivity. Storms are serious business. What were we thinking! Shepherds need to be in the basement! You begin to realize how much you love your sheep and want to protect them. You realize how fast you can be pressed into making decisions that could have big consequences. You realize that sometimes, you don't have time to organize a plan; that everyone should just do the thing they all know they should do!

Five more ewes to go! Tick, tick, wait, check, watch, check, tick, tick....'s snowing horizontally today....tick, tick, check, wait, watch...

End note: turns out, that day produced more tornados in a single day in April than ever before recorded, thus smashing records for our state.

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