There are strange things that happen here at times. You might recall that we were given an old ram; Ramekin I named him. His owner said he was no longer any good for breeding, but as I had been so fond of him when he’d visited on occasion, he could now come to us for his forever home, to live out his days.
Now this suited me perfectly. I loathe lambing season, and am devastated when one lamb occasionally doesn’t make it.
And so Ramekin was perfect. No lambs last year at all. Generally, he has been looking better. His limp is almost gone, his wool much improved and he has become quite fat.
HOWEVER, on the coldest, frostiest morning yesterday, this is the sight that greeted us – a ewe with a brand new lamb. I feared that it would die from the cold, but it looks in good condition and feeding well.
It’s been interesting to watch in a way. Puppy Poppy was puzzled and stood on the rock wall (behind the electric fence) and barked and barked at the new arrival. There’s no way she can get near it. The sheep, with the notable exception of Ramekin, instantly huddled around the lamb as if to protect it.
In the paddock keeping the sheep company is an old brown possum. We caught him once when we borrowed a (humane) possum trap from a friend, when we were trying to ascertain who was the marauder of the rhubarb. He just sat there in the trap, quite unperturbed. He has only one eye and the other is failing, though not infected.
What can you do? We let him out, down by one of our trees. I asked the vet about him and they said he is ok, and will just fend for himself in this safe environment here. He must be almost blind, because he comes out in the daytime, digging corbi grubs from the paddocks. At night he feeds on the rhubarb patch or shrubs.
I love to watch the animals here, and getting back to the sheep – I am now wondering if the other ewes are just fat as I had assumed, or are there more babies on the way?
Meantime, I’m having fun with my ‘freezer garden’, next best thing to making jams from fresh produce in summer. Gooseberry jam now made, apricot so far today, then blackberry in a few minutes, and redcurrant with raspberry later this afternoon.
Not a bad place to be on a cold wintry day, though Poppy and Rose are not too keen on getting their feet wet in the sodden paddocks. They would rather watch Robert pruning the trees in the orchard from the front verandah poor babies.