Edge went down for morning chores last Tuesday to find a new little lamb in the barnyard. Blink, our black sheep and alpha ewe, had just birthed the first of two lambs and was getting ready for the second to come out. Edge led her into a closed off area of the barn, and when he came back with iodine and back-up supplies, he found Blink cleaning off the second twin. Blink is a seasoned mama, this being her third year of lambing, and hardly made a sound through it all. The call she makes for her babies is low and quiet, more of a gurgle than a bleat, but it is enough for them to look up and come to her. Though Blink is predominately black with some greying at the tips of her fleece, her two boys are entirely white, except for a small black dot in the corner of one’s eye. This is another thing I love about Icelandic sheep: the colors of the lambs are always a surprise. I am by no means an expert when it comes to Icelandic coloring and patterns, but I do know enough to tell you that white is a pattern and not a color. The main colors are moorit (brown) and black. From the color base, a sheep can then carry genes for patterns: white, grey, spotting, badger face, mouflon, and solid. For a great breakdown of the color and pattern combinations, visit the Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America’s website: color and pattern genetics in Icelandic Sheep.
After a few days in the barn, we let Blink and her boys out to meet the other sheep. Acorn, Deva’s lamb, was very excited to meet two new little ones, and has been running and jumping around the barnyard, teaching them to play with her.
Lambs aren’t the only new life on the farm, though. We’ve been busy seeding, and the greenhouse is finally starting to green up with new sprouts!
As the snow continues to melt and warm spring rains come this week, we are getting even more excited to get veggies in the ground! The smell of mud, the warming air, and the return of green rejuvenate us just as much as it rejuvenates the earth. It finally feels time to stretch our bodies toward the sun just as the seedlings sprout up from the soil.