but for now it's winter and the season of new life, preparing fields for the warmer weather to come and watching over the birthing to be sure all goes well. With 32 head of cattle, as well as 18 ewes (and now 42 lambs), it's a busy time.
For all the sad stories, there are more that go well. It doesn't make it easier when things don't work right. The daytime is often filled with the cries of lambs and calls from mothers as the ewes lose track of their babies. We constantly have to evaluate whether the sound we are hearing is real trouble or just general whining. Counting sheep would not be a good way to fall asleep-- to say the least.
I grew up in the foothills of the Cascades and on a small ranch. From the time I turned 18 until 34, I lived in cities and tried to figure out how to get back to rural living. Since then it's been this little ranch, 25 miles from town, with 34 of our own acres and 50 leased, along with a year round creek for irrigation. I don't look forward to the day we have to leave this place. Land owns you far more than you will ever own it.