I woke up this morning feeling worlds better (after a lot of ginger tea and sleep) and there was sun! Well, it was making its way over to us. Without trees you can see for miles... even hundreds of miles. Snædis's father told me that in the winter if you are in the right spot in the north of Iceland you can see the other side of the country.
I see sunlight!
Not only was I excited, the ewes and lambs were overjoyed by the change in weather and were no longer interested in trying to get in the barn but instead sun themselves and prance around. There is also great news, our orphan Stevonnie now has a sheep mom. Snædis went in for the late night check and had to deal with two difficult deliveries that went into the early morning. Stevonnie's new mom had a single lamb and absolutely adores both of her lambs. Stevonnie was not so taken and nursed until she looked like a beach ball and pouted in the corner. Snædis had to block her in so Stevonnie didn't try to ditch her new mom. When I arrived in the morning, the first thing I noticed was the barn was quiet, then I saw her, she glared back at me. Her charmed life of being held at all hours and bottle fed has been foiled and now she is expected to live like a normal lamb. The horror!
Maybe tomorrow she will be a bit happier about having a sheep mom that loves her and access to food 24/7. Our other three orphans are doing wonderful. Because the three of them are older, we will not be adopting them out, so they will be under human care for the summer. For the last few days our third orphan has been having difficulties with the orphan life, getting used to human contact, and bottle feeding. Today not only did he bottle feed successfully, but took a quick snooze in my lap while I scratched behind his ears. My legs were numb from his unexpectedly dense body, but I let him finish his nap because it was such a huge step for him and seeing a happy lamb is above having to drag my numb legs around for a few minutes as they gained feeling back.
Shy orphan deciding people are kind of nice
Ram lamb orphan approves
Today also marks the two year anniversary of when Snædis and Helgi took over the farm for the University. Snædis took some of today to take an easy at the house, and Helgi took what he thinks is a day off by cultivating some fields. I think they are very deserving of a slow day. From the stories they had told me and the pictures of what the farm looked like before they took over I am in awe at the amount of work they have done in such a short amount of time to improve the flock, barns, fields, and fencing. They have the energy, strength, and stamina of superhumans and love their flock. So, here is a big congratulations on the amazing work you have done, Snædis and Helgi!
While celebrating the sun, I got to go out and grain ewes out in one of the fields. Helgi supplies a round bale in all of the fields and near the bale is a trough where the grain goes. I am not sure why this one group of ewes gets grained, but they are all very aware they get grained. The second they heard the characteristic rattling of the grain in the bucket I was carrying, they all came running. Sheep apparently have superior hearing because ewes from what appeared to be every corner of Iceland came running. I was growing a bit hesitant and exposed as a multitude of ewes came barreling at me with no intent to brake. They did brake at the last second spraying mud and rocks at me and formed a line behind me as I made my way to the grain trough. As I finished feeding, I looked around and was speechless, the view from the field was breathtaking. I stood looking while the ewes bumped my legs and checked my pockets. I took a panorama picture, what cannot be seen in the picture is the snowy mountain range that lines most of the view. I am not sure how long I spent out there just turning and trying to commit this view to memory, but it was enough for some of the ewes to stop their frantic search for grain and give me concerned looks. I eventually made my way back to the barn to complete the morning feeding, and finish the power washing.
We are now down to less than 10 pregnant ewes, it has taken some time getting used to doing labor watch on half of a pen as opposed to an entire barn. I finished up all of the power washing today, or all of the pens that don't currently house sheep. It was nice to know I would no longer have to wash wool/manure chunks out of my hair and off my face. After a lovely day, Snædis informed me that pouring rain is expected for tomorrow, so I am glad I took my time and enjoyed the view when I could.