We have two Lucy’s on the farm at the moment, except one of them spells hers a little differently than anyone else I know. Loocie, my sister, came for a visit because she has never been here when lambs were being born. Lucy, from Portland, came back with her parents because March was a bad month for lambs. As in, there were none.
What made the visit extra special for the junior Lucy was the little lamb born just the day before her arrival. We weren’t exactly sure that Dusty, aka #26, was pregnant this spring. It was her first spring as a mature ewe and the chance of her producing a lamb was pretty much 50-50. In March, Lucy, her mom, and I had looked at Dusty and thought she didn’t really seem that round.
On a sunny May afternoon, our eagle-eyed daughter thought she saw Dusty hanging back in the hay field looking at something on the ground. By the time we made it to the field, she had a wobbly but dried off baby standing next to her. Loocie was in awe. We contemplated Lucy’s reaction to the news.
A cryptic message was sent into the stratosphere via computer,”Someone had a baby and her name rhymes with Rusty!” Ah, the miracle of Internet communications. I received an email back almost immediately from Lucy’s mom. Joanna said she felt like a grandmother. If she was the grandmother, what did that make me? The great grandma!
It took three of us that night to get the sheep herded in off the hay field. Our bottle-fed ewes, like Dusty, can be some of the worst as new mothers since they are not exactly sure whether they should keep their babies close or ditch them as their own mothers did to them. Loocie carried the newborn. Emery tried to keep Dusty nearby. I waved my arms at all the ewes in an attempt to convince them the grass was greener elsewhere.
I probably forgot to mention that Lucy and her family were driving to the farm just for the day on Sunday! Just to see lambs! Just to see Dusty, really! We all talked Lucy out of arriving at 8 a.m. which would have meant a 6 a.m. departure for her parents. As it was, I think they arrived around 10 a.m. Lucy had brought a friend so we showed off some baby turkey poults and then the suspense was too much. We headed to the barn.
Lucy and her friend spent most of the rest of the morning in the stall with Dusty, her baby, and a few other new mamas and lambs. Dusty’s baby was named immediately by Lucy but the name escapes me. All I seem to remember was a large, heroic name. Lambs were held. Photos were taken. The earlier visit, when no lambs were yet born, became a thing of the past and discussion centered around next year’s spring lambing calendar.
Lucy’s mom sent along photos as soon as the family returned to Portland. My sister, Loocie, took photos also while she was here. I love to see what other people pick out as special on the farm. Of course, with Lucy, it’s a lamb and the lamb’s lamb that will figure in her heart and on her camera until next spring when we hope to start all over again.
Photos: top, Lucy with Dusty in spring 2009; middle, Lucy with Dusty and her baby in May 2010; bottom, Loocie with Rabbit a long time ago (May 2005?)
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