Got late today, need to get to campus to lecture (on ethology of agricultural animals, love this topic; showing segments from an amazing video by Ginger Kathrens, Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies–four years of phenomenal cinematography of a pale, white stallion born in the American Rockies through his maturity into a herd stallion). So much I want to write, will write soon about Darwin Day at UW last Saturday and a great new book on the adventures of Darwin, Wallace and Bates… will do tomorrow or Saturday.
Meanwhile, life is pretty, uh, biological at the farm. The twin lambs have sore mouth, a yucky disease that causes cold sore like lesions on their mouths. Once you get it in the flock it’s hard to get rid of, can’t vaccinate to prevent it, is catching and serious in humans. Willie’s shoulder, which has caused him problems all his life, needs surgery, my finger still is sore and painful (but much better!) and the farm is a mass of mud and ice and dirty snow (and did I mention dog poop?).
All this sounds like whiny complaining, but really I’m just trying to convey the reality of living on a farm with animals. It looks so pretty when the grass is green and healthy lambs gambol.. and then there’s the mud and the poop…. All the animal lovers out there understand, no matter where you live, I know! Here’s some photos though of good things:
Here’s the sun on the trees in the orchard pasture behind the farmhouse. Today I saw the main flock grazing up there out the kitchen window, first time since last fall.
White Dude and Sandy. The size difference increases every day, even though White Dude is only one week older. Sandy’s mouth is mostly healed, but now his mum has the sores on her udder.. that can be very serious because then the ewes will move away when the lambs nurse, resulting in starving lambs and possibly mastitis in the ewe. So I check her every day, and am thinking about getting more goat milk for Sandy. His sister is thriving, but he isn’t doing as well.
This bush nestles up against the living room window, and is feeding the deer right now. This is why so many people get upset when deer get overpopulated in suburban areas. I don’t care so much, but do care about deer causing ecological damage to other species. But, then, I’m getting so familiar with the mother and young who come every day…..