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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Every animal is a soul.

When you work with animals every day, you really see how each one is a soul.  They have their own feelings, personalities, and quirks.  Charlotte is a pest, in a sweet, loving sort of way.  Iris likes being back a bit, but will come in for chin scratches at times.  Mona knows she's the boss, but does the job with respectful dignity.  It's a big and important job to keep the flock in order, and she doesn't take her responsibility with slack.   Misty is a fun babysitter, leaping and playing with the lambs even though she towers over them like a semi over a moped.  Wilbur is just there...always steady, always keeping the calm.  Primrose is sweet as can be, but comes with a bit of edge sometimes.  Honey, well, she is just plum sweet.  In fact, I still think of her as a lamb.

When animals leave the farm, you realize there is a void where their personalities once were.  Yesterday was another day of animals leaving the farm, and I miss them already!  They went to a great home, where their personalities and sweetness will hopefully blossom more lives, but it still leaves me with sadness.  Whether it's culling, or starting a new flock, I always hope to utilize a soul as much as possible here, to the best they can be before I let them go.  It's part of loving being a shepherd.  Sometimes, as in the case of yesterday, I let some go for the potential of the future.

Being a shepherdess to a flock of sheep is an enriching experience, filled with adventure, creativity, and challenges.  It's one of the best jobs in the world and I don't take it for granted on any day!

On a less mushy note...well...maybe not less's pouring rain here today.  The wind is howling, rattling windows, shaking the barn walls, and making the east doors so heavy, they are dangerous to open.  It takes a whole body to control the closing of the east barn door today, so that it doesn't slam and break something.  The weather will be like this most of the week to come, so it will be good for spinning!  The fields won't be dry for weeks yet and cleaning out the deep bedding in the barn will just have to wait, for the ground is just too wet for hauling it away.  The temps. are in the upper 40's but with the wind and rain, I'm still wearing my winter coat and Maewyn's wooly mittens.  I know spring is out there SOMEWHERE! lol  If you've seen it, will you send some to the north please?  Thanks!

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