Fog rolling in one evening.
Once again in my life, work is cramping my style - so to speak. As was my desire - one I would say out loud - I got myself a job at the local hardware store. It's part time with full time hours, it seems. It will slow down as the outdoor and construction seasons slows. The small town charm still comes through in the big store.It is a great place to people watch. This is a very large hardware store and seems to the 'local mall' for many.
So working off the farm just seems to increase the work on the farm. And timings of everyone's dinner depends on my work shift. We are all adjusting. My focus each day is what must be done. And so it goes. And each evening, after ten o'clock, I start to nod off.
I have had to adjust my thinking about "work". It is constant, whether here or there. Most of it is quite pleasant and I breathe it in that way. None of it is onerous or excessively draining in any way. It does require that I keep organised.
We have heard the coyotes a lot in the last few weeks, several times of an evening on some days. Last night I came out of the house and heard a coyote barking across the road. Beau began to bark and run down the driveway. He may appear brave but he is not fit for that type of work. I called him back and put him in the house. I wondered where the Maremmas were and a few minutes later could here them across the road but much farther away than the coyote I had just heard. About fifteen minutes later, both girls came galloping up the driveway, glowing with glee for their work.
A few weeks ago I was met by a very sucky Ruby Tuesday puppy. Okay, she's not a puppy any longer but I continue to refer to her as such. She was in "her" spot in the centre of the barn. From there she can see and hear out three doors. She would not get up. I saw the blood, not too much. She had wounds on her left hind leg and it was very tender; she yelped when I touched it leading me to wonder if it might be broken. She had saliva in her scruff hair; someone was chawing on her there.
I immediately discerned that she was okay for the most part. She would not however get up. I quickly did my other chores and came back to her. After a lot of coaxing I was able to get her to get up and go to her pen in the corner. The leg was not broken. She had what appeared to be a big bite on her leg as there were specifically located puncture holes. On the inside of the stifle joint was a small wound but lots of bruising on the bone; therefore, the tenderness.
In a few days she was leaping fences again and all was well. I deduced she had been grabbed by a coyote, that she got too close and the beast fought back. Coyotes don't really want to fight, I am told. I didn't think it was Ruby and Millie fighting since Millie came to check on Ruby that morning and Ruby was not wary of her.
Since that incident Ruby seems to stay closer to home, closer to the barn and closer to the sheep.
The large lamb I was on top of suddenly leapt up and across the pen. I somersaulted after it, landed well on my right leg, vaulting to my feet. The lamb hit the door which popped it open and I followed. "I think it's time to stop for lunch" I declared to hubby. There was no disagreement.
The federal government now requires all sheep farmers to use special identifying ear tags when any sheep is shipped. Like the cattle industry, sheep need to be traceable. I have no difficulty with the principle, just the product quality. I could not get these tags on. I had managed to accomplish three and had two more to do. The sheep were getting weary of my efforts, almost as much as I.
We borrowed the neighbours tag pliers and she also sent along her tags in case that was what was needed. Her pliers worked perfectly when we pulled ourselves out to the barn after dinner to finish this essential task. Hubby declared it was a miracle that I had tagged the first three. The dilemma was that our pliers were not the correct ones at all.
I guess I'll be buying new pliers. Despite a crazy day of getting tossed and jossled, I have only a few bruises, all be it, some more colourful than others.
Henrietta on Duty
Finally, Henrietta is fulfilling her job description. She snorts and postures at any one who comes near the sheep in the field. She runs up to strangers and pushes herself at them, inspecting and sniffing them. She stands between any visitor and her sheep.
She has been seen rounding up the sheep. When she begins to posture the sheep gather closer to her. She seems to nudge the stragglers, the last ones, the baby orphans.
All in all it seems that Henrietta has found her mission in life and we are delighted.
Kinnaird Farm sunset with shadows of sheep