The pasture hasn't looked like this in longer than I can recall.
The drought here in California has taken a mighty toll.
Trying to look on the bright side, exposed earth like this allows me to find all sorts of crap that folks before us left on the ground. I generally find several dozen rusty nails, a handful of broken glass, and other treasures each time I walk through. It's part of my shepherdess job to remove these hazards to sheep feet.
Despite the dearth of grazing, the sheep anticipate with excitement the rotation to the next paddock. It keeps them happy to have a routine.
They don't find much, but are content with searching. their bellies are full from the morning's alfalfa hay, but they are sheep and need to follow a rhythm of graze, rest, graze, rest.
Meanwhile, we look to the sky and pray for rain...
Spectacular colors this time of year! Just a little rain has brought our pasture new life.
The sheep have taken notice...
Gene has learned to get out of the way quickly!
Doesn't look like much, but satisfied the sheep's urge to graze--vigorous ruckus of "rip, rip, rip"- a welcome change from the hay feeders.
Thank you, Gene!!!
We have our pasture divided into eight paddocks, so that we can rotate the sheep, keeping the soil healthy and keeping new plants regenerating. Gene is the one who lets the flock into each paddock as we rotate, and they know it! Whenever he steps outside the house, they holler at him, hoping he is coming to open a gate.
The lambs haven't quite caught on to the routine.
It didn't take them long to figure it out, though.
A few days ago we opened up a section of pasture that is adjacent to the lambing shed. The plants in there had grown taller than usual.
Some of the sheep got swallowed up in the green. Here's Tehya and ?
Tucker and Twain, I think.
Look at the horn growth already on Tucker!!
This time of year it is wonderful to watch the sheep enjoy their natural activity: grazing.
I get that we will likely not come close to normal for water this year in California, that we are officially in a drought. Can't we have a glass-half-full attitude, though? The media is all gloom and doom--"too little too late"--yet we have had a delightful series of storms lately, and it must have helped some.
Winter finally arrived in spring!
The rams didn't really appreciate the weather,
but the ewes are sure enjoying the fresh, green grass the rains brought!
So is Freya.
The sheep are happy for the grazing that the storm brought; they get tired of hay. Happy sheep grow beautiful fleeces. Doesn't Lindyhop's fleece look gorgeous?
And the views are magnificent. I say, "A little just in time."