sad dog, happy sheep

As I was about to upload a few pictures to the blog this evening, I was rudely interrupted by a smell.


The kids were watching Lord of the Rings with Daddy, when Daddy remarked, “I smell something burning!”  


I walked around the kitchen, trying to see what was making the smell when one of the kids realized what the smell was…


“That’s a skunk!”


Yes – I know most of you have smelled a skunk before, but I’m willing to bet that most of you have not smelled skunk juice so fresh and intense that it smells (and practically TASTES!) like burnt rubber.  It is truly one of the most unpleasant odors imaginable, next to rotting smells or carnivorous animal spoor.


Anyway – the next obvious question from one of the kids, “Where’s Blue?!”


I’ve been meaning to put up a post about Blue – probably our most beloved animal at the farm, and he hasn’t even been mentioned!  Well, now he’s going to have to wait for his time in the spotlight because I’m not very happy with him at the moment.


You may say, “Poor Blue!  It wasn’t his fault!  How was he supposed to know?”


But you are wrong.  Blue does know.  


Last summer he came into the house at 11pm smelling like this.  And yet he was dumb enough to try to make friends with a black and white animal once again.  Of course considering he’s dumb enough to try to make friends with the UPS truck, to the point of nearly getting himself run over every time (ignoring the fact that he knows that the UPS truck is also a dog treat dispenser, of course), I shouldn’t be surprised that he’s either too dumb or acting too instinctively as a terrier to be able to help himself when a wild animal comes into his territory.  


Anyway – if you want to make a mental note should this unfortunate event befall your beloved pet, a mixture of shampoo, baking soda and peroxide works nicely to help deodorize.  


And of course because there is never a dull moment in the Kerlin household, one of the kids who has a delicate stomach on a good day kept saying that the smell was making him sick.  Daddy, thinking the child was using it as a ploy to stay up later, banished said child to his bed.  This resulted in our next clean-up job, as he ended up puking on the carpet of his room.  Nice.


So — now that I’ve filled your senses with those lovely thoughts…onto my real reason for blogging tonight!


I have been remiss at updating the blog much lately.  We’ve been really busy with school and other projects, and the sheep haven’t, thankfully, been doing much that is newsworthy.


The ewes were recently moved to a lush pasture on the hillside.  They are happily gorging themselves – hopefully those who will be bred this fall are producing lots of nice, healthy eggs so that they will have twins in the spring.  You can tell that the hormones are starting to kick in for them to come into season.  They’ve been butting each other around a little more than they usually do.


The boys have been banished to the lower barnyard.  They’ve been feeling their oats a bit as of late, anticipating the impending duties they will have next month when they are introduced to their “wives.”  They are getting along pretty well together, just eating and hanging out.


As for the ewes, they are looking healthy and happy.  This is their kind of weather – cool and dry with a stiff breeze.  I thought you might be interested to see how long their coats already are, as so many people wonder why we shear so close to winter.  They are fuzzy and warm.


The day was so beautiful that I couldn’t help myself and I wandered out with the camera.  I love photos on sunny fall days.  Something about the contrast of the long shadows on the still-green grass is peaceful.


Here’s Bindi.  Since we’ve been farming, there have been so many expressions that I’ve now come to learn from whence they came.  Like “ruminating.”  “I’ve been ruminating about that for some time now.”  Well, Bindi is truly rumen-ating.



Her daughter, Bruna.  She is still so sweet, always coming over for a pat and a hug.  Sometimes it’s hard to get her picture because she’s chewing on the camera cord!




Esther’s coat is coming in so silky soft, just like her first coat.  



Molly looks like a different ewe than she used to.  We recently learned that we weren’t giving the sheep quite enough copper, because she was losing her black pigment.  Which brings me to yet another expression, “the black sheep in the family.”  Often sheep farmers would run a black sheep in with their flock of white sheep as a sentinel for copper deficiency.  Copper can be toxic to sheep in large amounts, but they do need some.  Anyway, it looks as if Molly was going grey and now has had a wonderful dye job!  She looks so youthful!




Esther’s mom – Roxanne.  She’s done a great job as a first time mom.


Shirley, stepping out.



Laverne, checking me out.



Here’s our youngest, Fatima.  I’ve been calling her “Mini Millie” lately, as she’s almost a clone of her mother!  She’s the shyest of the lambs.  



Hi Millie!



Here’s Matilda…always eating…



And last, but not least, dear Daisy.  Being a singleton, she is HUGE!  Matilda, who had initially rejected Daisy, has done so well with her!  Daisy had ample amounts of milk since she didn’t have to compete with a twin, and it shows!


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