Monday, June 5, 2017

Day 29: Fencing is an Art and Art

Today I woke up with mixed feelings. I will be leaving tomorrow making this my last day at Hestur. I am excited to see my family and friends but I am sad to leave this place. Snædis and Helgi have made it feel like home here. I've got my chores routine, my orphans to tend to and much more of Iceland to see. With that being said I still had my morning chores and headed to the barn. Our little spotted mouflon orphan has a new mom! The ewe expecting a single lamb lambed out in the night and has made a little orphan very happy and very full.

This means we are down to one more pregnant ewe. Her due date is tomorrow. It would be nice if she decided to lamb out before I left.

The rest of our orphans are preparing for my departure by getting used to a bucket as opposed to being bottle fed. It took a lot of time letting each one drink while the others jumped, head-butted and kicked to get to the bottle. At points, it would become a brawl and no one could drink the bottle. The bucket is not much different, the only difference is the nipple is different and it has not been a good transition. To be honest they have been getting a little lazy lately...

I filled the bucket with milk and set it up. The ewe lamb and the lamb that tries to nurse from anything (he has picked up the habit again) took right to it. 
Our two ram lambs are frustrated and cry, flare their nostrils and attack the bucket. While I was tending to a ewe I heard a crash and the barn went silent. I walked over to the orphans to see the two ram lambs knocked the bucket over and spilled the contents all over the pen and themselves. They were scared and hid from the bucket. I ended up feeding them a bottle to their delight.

"Nope, we didn't see anything"

Our little brown lamb is still struggling to stand with her abscess so she gets her bottle while being held above the trampling of the other orphans. She has been in the orphan pen the shortest amount of time and yet has made friends fast. 

It was my last time walking out to grain the ewes and lambs in the fields, so I took my time. However, the ewes were growing impatient by my slow walking and tried to take it upon themselves to try and knock the grain bucket out of my hands. They grew frustrated, stormed by me bumping my legs and waited by the feeders. 
Fairweather friends while holding the grain bucket 

I stood and took in the scenery while the ewes had their grain and took a slow walk back. When I arrived back, Helgi had a job for me to do, help with fencing. Most of the fencing was put up yesterday to surround the field that was seeded for a research project. The ewes have enjoyed walking through it and resting in it for some time now. We were to secure the metal netting and barbed wire with staples put in with the old-fashioned hammer. It was a bit windy, but a beautiful sunny day while we made our way down the fence posts. The only issue is, we have had a lot of rain and the newly seeded field was very soft in some parts.

I didn't need my feet anyway

We had to walk with caution because you weren't sure when you were going to sink in and how deep. Once done, I checked over the old fencing and put staples in where needed.
My view most of the day

Next, we tackled a very old fence that is in dire need of repair. It consists of five lines of rusty barbed wire, that becomes three at some point, that are nailed to shards of what were posts. We were just to make a temporary fix until it became a higher priority on Helgi's To-Do list. After putting in some posts over the post shards and trying to make a semi-put together line of wire we got to the end and looked at what we created. Barbed wire crisscrossed between some posts and the different shapes and sizes of the posts were entertaining. It was giving descriptors like rustic, minimalist, repurposed, antique, etc. We agreed it is more of an art piece than a working fence. Near the end of the day, my hammering was getting sloppy and some fingers were crunched in the process, my hand-eye coordination was seriously lacking. After holding nails for Helgi to hammer in, we never switched jobs because he cares dearly for his fingers (I don't blame him). At that point, it was time to call it a day and rest my arms. We hitched a ride with Snædis to help move a few groups into the fields. One of the groups moved included Stevonnie who continues to thrive with her new mom. 
Both looking through the feeder

After that, I made sure to see my orphans again before calling it a night. I am going to miss caring for them every day, seeing them grow, their personalities develop, and most of all the lap naps.

Until tomorrow!

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