Above is a snapshot of my ram group, still grazing grass. I’m also haying them too, though, as grass usually declines in nutrition in the fall. This last week has been really rainy. We were on a flood watch, but fortunately it topped out at just flooding in the usual fields near town, but didn’t get close to overtopping the dike. But it did cause ponding of water in our middle pasture. I have two breeding groups in that field, separated by a section of hotwire, which was becoming submerged. Last year, we had dug a small ditch to drain this low spot. But over the summer, the sheep and dogs enjoyed lolling around in that raw dirt area whenever it was hot, and the ditch had filled in a lot.

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KMC0025_sm

Phew, it’s been a busy few weeks! Here are some goings-on around our farm. And a sun-shiny picture from the summertime when there is green grass, blue sky, daylight and no mud. I can’t wait for that to come around again! I am already appreciating the lengthening days, and small bits of daylight in the evenings. I’ve heard a few birds singing. And we’ve had some warm and dry days, great for working outside. It seems like just when you can’t stand another minute of winter, signs of spring come flooding in, and there is something to look forward to again.

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SheepCamp

I moved the sheep today uphill today, in preparation for possible flooding. The National Weather Service has been doing a big press push to notify everyone of almost certain “major” flooding in our valley, since Friday. The flood gauges have been climbing slowly, but it’s not clear if we will flood for sure, when it’ll happen, or if it will be “major.” But they are saying that there is a lot of rainwater and snowmelt headed our way from the mountains, plus more rain here. So, in any case, I am ready.

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LambChair

In 2006, our Flood Control District dredged our drainage ditches. They shoot for doing it about every five years. Normally, they immediately spread the “spoils” that come out of the ditch. But they didn’t then, because a neighbor promised to pick them up to use for fill. Well, that didn’t happen, probably partly because our fields became non-navigable that summer and the summer after that too, with grass overgrowth and wet soils.

So, here we are 3.5 years later, and we still have a row of lumpy soils in two of our pastures. The lamb above is enjoying a nice chair shape in one section of the spoils mounds. Flood Control promised to get it taken care of this year, which makes us glad, as it’ll be easier to mow, and will look nicer.

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FloodPenI was pleased with myself for being prepared for winter flood season well before it came on. We had taken down our little “flood pen” during the summer so we could mow that area. I re-built it slightly bigger for this year, to accommodate more sheep. It’s far from roomy, and nobody has a good time if it floods and the sheep have to stay crammed in there for a few weeks. But, it’s only a few weeks, so we’d get through it. And now that I have portable hotwire, I’d have some options of moving the sheep around while waiting out a flood.

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