This past weekend was our quarterly sheep wrangling event, when our friends Michael & Ellen come out from the city and help vaccinate, worm, and hoof trim our flock. Yesterday we added the new, not-insignificant task of shearing. Mark and I purchased a set of scary-looking shears back in early spring and had given a couple of the sheep a haircut vaguely suggestive of a visit from Freddie, but this time we went after the whole lot of them.
Ellen had to stay back this time, but Michael came out with his son Saturday night. We enjoyed halibut tacos together, then the young boys retreated to their glowing tent lair and the big boys headed up to a concert fundraiser in town. And the next morning, we were up and at 'em by 8:30.
It was a long day, six hours in the sun (sun!), with Mark and Michael taking turns holding up 100 to 200 pounds of sheep, cutting away months and months of fleece, dirt, and, well, muck. Sweaty and gross, the work was made almost fun by the tonic of camaraderie and the shade of our ancient apple tree.
It was a relief, too, to cut away the dead fleece and reveal plump shiny mamas underneath. Gone are the skinny girls of February, replaced by nice round tummies and strong legs - even nursing isn't wearing them out.
Next time, we'll have fleece worthy of the Farmers Market. Thanks for a good days work!