This weird warm winter has actually been a pain in the neck for us- we're used to snow and cold, and really count on it when figuring work schedules in "winter". This year has been warm - leaving us with mud to navigate, one of my least favorite things. Hauling water to sheep in February eats up time and energy - when they normally would be ecstatically eating snow - and hauling hay over mud is way more work than a sled on snow.
But! The Icelandics have come through beautifully; and now - it's that time.
The first lambs of the season arrived yesterday morning. It's delightful to see how excited lambs make - people! And happy. We all love lambs, which I find fascinating. These were a bit of a surprise, both quite black, not a pattern we've had a lot of in our flock. Both have tiny bits of white accents here and there; it will be interesting to see where they wind up, as fleece patterns can shift a bit in the first few years of life. One ram and one ewe, names not entirely settled yet- Only problem with black lambs is they're really hard to photograph!
Here they are with their momma, Flora; one of our founding ewes. The lambs are around 8 hours old here; they're up and walking in minutes. The current paddock includes a long row of hazels which we want to coppice - very soon. This is one of the major economic contributions the Icelandics make- preparing tree crops for the coppice cycle. By eating grass and weeds and low branches, they cut the actual labor humans have to expend in the process probably by more than half. It's significant.
I can guarantee we'll have more lamb pics coming very soon!