It’s been another weird winter. Last winter, my first here on the farm, we had more ice than snow. Since I didn’t have sheep last winter, I could afford to stay in and pay no attention to conditions in the pasture. This winter, we’ve had more rain than snow, and the flock certainly keeps me ever mindful of conditions by the barn and in the pastures.
But, no matter what the weather, we trek out from the barn to the pole barn early every morning and back in just as evening begins. Being a novice at this shepherding thing, I understood that it would not be good for the health of my sheep to keep them cooped up in the barn all winter long, and I imagined that the pole barn (covered on three sides but open to the elements on one, would therefore be the place they spent their days.
Well, my sheep, with their lovely fleece, had plans of their own. They do make their way to the pole barn for their morning hay, but then they meander all over the pasture, finding this or that spot to settle down for a good period of serious rumination. But, soggy conditions have now led them to have to consider another option: a wedge of rocky land at the far reaches of the pasture; their new “office”.
Here, they gather for most of the day, coming down occasionally for a drink of water, a quick snack of hay, a lick or two of their mineral block. That’s where I found them this sunny afternoon, when we were all determined to be out under blue skies and sunshine, no matter how cold it may be. It’s the perfect spot for their office, and they were very kind about letting me in to share their space, and their view.