Today is a day where I wish I had been in the right place at the right time. I'm sure you know what I mean because you've been there, too. I also mean to warn you this is not the normal lighthearted story you usually get from me. For that I apologize, but as much as I'd like it to be, farm life isn't always rainbows and puppy dogs.
Everything started out normal as usual. Chores were finished so I let the ewes and lambs out in the front to graze that grass for a bit before the storms came. Nothing was amiss. They all went out happy and excited. About an hour later the temperature dropped a good 10 degrees, a big wind came up, and dark clouds were rolling in. I went out to usher the sheep back into the pasture since they weren't going back on their own. There was Dahlia, under a big silver maple, licking lambs. One was trying to get up, the other that she was licking was laying there, unmoving. Hon and I had just talked about Dahlia this weekend, wondering if she had maybe had a lamb early on during a night and a predator made off with it because she hadn't given birth yet. We've had a horrible time with coyote in the area this year and I was fortunate to be with Lucy when she had her lamb since the coyote were on the other side of the pasture fence just waiting. It's gotten to where we leave lights on in the barn all night for the lambs safety.
I ran to the house for a few towels and Eldest's help. We wrapped the lambs up and carried them to the barn while Dahlia followed. The one was clearly dead - so cold and unmoving. Because I wasn't out there at the beginning, I can only make guesses, but all the guessing in the world won't bring him back. I do feel from the looks of things that he was born first. Alive or not, I'll never know, but if he were alive I'd have to say that quick drop in temps along with the cold wind would have made cleaning both up and keeping them warm difficult. Being a new mom, Dahlia was doing a great job, regardless, cleaning up her lambs.
We got Dahlia and the lamb in a stall and she started cleaning him up real good. I was so happy to see this since the start of being a mom was rocky. Dahlia did a great job cleaning up her little one. She's so intent on cleaning him up and talking to him that being a new mom she hasn't quite figured out the ins and outs of him needing to nurse from her. We're working on that and he's doing well. Dahlia's mom is Josie, and from all indications she's going to follow in her foot steps and raise him up wonderfully.
So, it's a sad day here at The Silver Maple with the loss of such an innocent little lamb, but it's also a joyous occasion that Dahila's other ram lamb is healthy and thriving. We'll lay the little lamb to rest next to several other sheep we've lost over the years. I ask that you take a moment out of your day and give thanks for the joys in your life, no matter how small they may be. Smiling & Waving, Sharon