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The Common

Posted 2/16/2014 4:38pm by Eugene Wyatt.

We're a week from shearing the pregnant Saxon Merino ewes who will lamb in a month. Monday we will move them a quarter mile up to the shearing shed (last year) with a carrot and a stick: a tempting pail of oats before them and Poem dog behind, after plowing a wide lane up the hill in the 2 foot of snow that had fallen this week. There they will stay inside and dry until they're shorn.

With the sheep must come their accouterments: the hay feeders, the oat feeders, the mineral feeders, the water tubs and the electric fence to protect them. The hay feeders and the mineral feeders are frozen solid in the ground down in their yard, the grains feeders are buried under snow at the foot of a hill where we bred them. The water tubs are easily movable—I hope—and we'll stick in a portable electric fence in the snow—I guess—at night in the barn we'll leave an AM talk show blaring on the radio to ward off the coyotes. They fear the human voice no matter what it's saying.

In the meantime we'll feed and waste hay without feeders until they thaw-out—then move them up to protect the bales, dig out the oat feeders and move them to the shed Monday and feed minerals in barn tray feeders until the formal feeders are free from ice and movable.

Yesterday in Union Square I was talking to Rick Bishop about the snow storms in Sullivan County, where his farm is, and he said, "With the snow it takes so much longer to do things; you never seem to have enough time." I nodded in agreement.