8 O'clock Ranch

  (De Kalb Junction, New York)
Shepherd of the Hills
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When the rain comes again

     All the prep that goes into fall seems to come to a conclusion with the organizing of the flocks for their very own ram. Each group will be selected for the traits that we want passed along to the next set of sheep.

     The rains have come again and we know that the next step from that will be snow. Temps of 40 below and snow that will last for 6 months.....or so it feels!  In the midst of this winter a precious miracle happens from our " fall prep", one by one and two by two lambs will start appearing. Barely standing, their mothers will lick them off, bleating encouragement to nurse and receive the first life giving feeding.

      Within hours these lambs will be following their mothers and climbing aboard when she lays down to snuggle in her wool for warmth. By the first hint of spring mobs of these " teenage" lambs will be running amok. Find a bale of hay and you will be sure to see a half dozen claiming ownership of the hill. Mothers out sunning themselves can expect lambs to bounce from one back to another, mothers grimacing as the lambs are no longer a mere 10# each.

       As spring turns into summer lambs will be learning to graze from their mothers, finding which tasty grass to forage next. Summer fades into fall with a whisper, only the shepherd hears and begins again to ready his flock for winter. For when the rains come again... winter is not far behind.

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