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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

3:30 AM

Several nights ago, I was awakened at 3:30 to this loud, chilling call in the night.  Click on the link, then select scream number 3 from the menu on the right, and you can hear it, too.

http://www.nrri.umn.edu/lynx/audio/

It was LOUD!  I flew out of bed and began searching out the windows, stumbling over the dog, bumping my nose on the glass, and you know...general 'still asleep' clumsiness.  It sounded like a wildcat of some sort.  My first inclination was a bobcat, but I didn't know what a bobcat sounds like.  As I continued to brave the windows (which took some courage after seeing video about that bear!!), I was frustrated that I couldn't see anything.  Then, I heard something jump through the grasses and all was quiet.  I missed it.

The next morning when I was more awake and not tripping over the dog anymore, I told others about it.  I wanted to do a search for the sounds of wildcats to see if we could identify it that way.  I was shocked when I heard this sound recording...a  near perfect fit!  I heard a lynx!!!!!!!!!!!  Yikes!!!!!!  Cool!!!!!!!!!!  Do they eat sheep?????????????

Upon doing some research, I discovered they like rabbits.  They scream while walking, usually when feeling threatened.  They are mostly nocturnal.  I knew they were small, weighing around 20 pounds, but remember, they are WILD CATS!

Clearly, all our animals were fine, as everyone but the rams and horses were in the barn.  TG for that!

Then, last night, during a conversation, we heard the screams in the night air again!!!!!!  It was back!  It was only 10:45 pm, and we were still awake.  DH ran out the door and could tell the lynx was just across our driveway, under Carrie Crabapple.  It ran east and towards the road, so he ran up to the road just in time to see it bolt across the road and into the hayfield's tall grasses, disappearing.  We heard multiple screams before it disappeared and I think they will be ingrained in my head for the rest of my life!  They are loud!  And they fill the night air.  One scream was not so much a scream as a threatening hiss/scream/growl that sounded positively fierce and unforgettable!  TG my little lambies were closed up in the barn.  We close everyone up at night...chickens, ducks, and sheep, except rams and horses.  All is fine.

The amazing thing is that Canadian lynx don't live here, and we are south of their documented range.  Clearly something has changed.  Is spring so late in the north that they've come south for food?  Are there too many wolves in the north that they've been driven south?  You'd think that as our climate changes, they'd go north, not south!  Many questions....

Back on December 15th? or 12th? of 2010, I blogged about mystery tracks between our house and apple trees.  Perhaps we have our answer?  Don't know.

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