Sunday, May 12, 2013

No Excuses

No excuses. I could make a list of what all we have been up to - as an excuse for my not getting to the blog page for so long. And really, they are all valid, good ones. Impossible, or at least not practical to even make an attempt when all you have to type on is a tablet, would be the foremost. But never mind. I still don't have that much time to waste.

Today we marked shearing as finished for the year. The last 2 of the yearling rams got slicked down for the summer - which despite its long in coming, according to the weather reports is due to arrive. Tomorrow will be spring, and the next will be summer. Not what any of us had in mind.

Back to the subject I left hanging  in my last post.

Breeding colored sheep is still relatively new to us, at least in terms of generations of records of matches and results as statistics. But being on the 2nd and 3rd generations this year, we thought we were getting a handle on it. Not true.

Thousands of years of selective breeding by humankind, and 45 or so by McClures would lead us to expect a new family to look something like this.

White mother, white offspring who look much like her. (Triplets, at that!)

Only problem - their father was black. But hey - thats still ok, considering the white gene is supposed to be dominant.

Meanwhile, in the pen next door is this family.

That's right. Black mother, 2 white babies.

White gene dominant?  Hmm. Maybe not. These babies had both a black mother and father.                

Pen number 3 - just across the fence, on the same day.

Yep.  White mother, 2 black lambs.  Okay, so at least their father was black.

Things just didn't go as predicted this year. And no, no mistakes were made in pairing mothers and babies.

So, I turned across the isle, and got a shot of just one more set.

That's more like it.  White mom, black dad, and babies - one of each.

There are a few people out there who claim to have the whole color probability thing figured out. I'm not so sure. It's obvious to us at least, that it's a lot more complicated than a simple dominant gene. It's likely that the next time I hear of someone who 'knows', I'll just smile, and bite my tongue.

Meanwhile, the ewes and lambs are out to grass (and rye). The rams are sheared and recoated, and thoughts are turning to who will be the chosen to take to the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival in June. (sooner than we would like)

Today is Mothers Day. To celebrate (if thats what you want to call it), we sheared 2 sheep, began pondering which fleeces to show, and while Don tilled the garden, I worked on my entry for the Black Sheep Gathering Show. Then we put out the pathetic spindly plants, ready or not, and added some seed for good measure. The potatoes, onions, lettuce, peas, and a few other rows are at least visible now. The first offering of rhubarb and asparagus have been consumed.

And to end the day, we're quitting a bit early. The evening promises home made pizza, salad, and a personal sized portion of carrot cake left by the daughter in exchange for a 3 year old's haircut yesterday. (and maybe Mothers day). Then an appointment with, of all things, the TV.  Doc Martin, Call the Midwife, and the season finale of Revenge. Hm. almost sounds appropriate for the day.

Not exciting, but satisfying in a strange sort of way.

Now I'm done here for the day too.

But, there will be more.  Another day.

Happy Mothers day to all of you, from all the Ewes, and Us too.