Last night as my husband was “ferrying” guests across the “mudflats” that are called Plains Rd., I thought of the parting of the Red Sea and the scholarly interpretation/translation/correction: it was not the Red Sea the Israelites crossed but the Sea of Reeds, similar to our mudflats, it seems. They could walk across it, just as John has several times to retrieve his car at the neighbors to go somewhere, but cars, and armored vehicles with big heavy horses just couldn’t do it, and there was no AAA to get them out, so the Israelites got across and the Egyptians all had mudbaths. How beautiful their skin must have been afterwards! Compensation for letting the Israelites get away. I’ll bet Pharoah was not impressed.
So, our mudflats continue to amaze us. THe thaw has been so fast and so early that despite the truckloads of rocks (not stones or gravel, mind you, 2″ in diameter rocks!) they pour on the road, and the grading they have done several times, there are still ruts in the road close to a foot deep surrounded by muck, mud, slippery, nasty, difficult to navigate stuff.
Meanwhile, at 2 a.m. this morning, I was awakened by a pack of coyotes seemingly across the road on the meadow behine the neighbor’s house (or closer?) singing some drinking song or another (I didn’t recognize it or I would have sung along.). I put Lizzie’s leash on her, turned on all the outside lights, grabbed the “searchlight” and went onto the porch, where Lizzie proceded to bark constantly for 10 minutes until she was satisfied there was no more threat, while I shined the searchlight down by the sheep and around the woods and toward the road. No bright lights (eyes) anywhere, except on the sheep, who seemed relatively unconcerned, so I’m guessing the coyotes weren’t all that near. However, I spent the rest of the night listening, half asleep in case they came back. But all is well. Hopefully, they will have gotten the hint that this area is taken.
It is disturbing to hear packs of coyotes at this time of year. I’m thinking this is more proof that they’ve interbred with the grey wolves. For coyotes, I’m told, are solitary animals and hunt by themselves, until Fall , when the mama takes her litter hunting to teach them how, and then kicks them out to find their own territory, after a month of family reunions and all night bashes. So, now, they are hunting in packs, wolflike behaviour. Does that also mean that they will now jump OVER fences? Coyotes traditionally burrow under fences. I don’t think wolves feel that restriction. That’s somewhat scary. I trust the electronetting, but if they are of a notion to launch themselves in the air and jump the four foot high fence, no sheep are safe. Let’s hope they don’t.
Today is day 146 from the day the rams went in. That means the lambs could come anytime. I am hoping they hold off at least until Gwen has shorn them tomorrow morning. Right now expecially the coopworths are so dirty underneath! I don’t want lambs sucking on poopy “tags” instead of teats. If they hold off, tomorrow there will only be nice clean milk machines to drink from.
I’m almost ready for shearing. The soups are made. I just brought in a chicken to roast to make chicken salad with later today. I have to boil eggs for egg salad. I have three little chores relative to actual shearing: carrying shearing board, skirting table and extra garbage pail to join the other two for legs for the shearing table, down to the shed. And I’m determined to make cinnamon buns that will be ready for the second rising at bedtime, and will do so very slowly in the frig overnight, so I can bake them in the morning, warm for when people arrive. Other than that, I guess I’m ready.
Dinner last night worked well, despite the guests having to be ferried, in the back of the truck, like sheep, from the corner and back. They were good natured about it, and since no one around here actually dresses up for dinner, it wasn’t a hardship particularly getting into the truck. The sauerbraten was great. I bought a chuck roast, grass fed, from the Lebanon Co-op, and it was great. (I didn’t have a roast large enough in the freezer, and the one from the co-op was boned, tied, and fat-less, and very tasty.) This morning I had one of the two leftover kartoffelkloesse with a bit of gravy, cold, for breakfast. It was as good as those cold pizza slices left on the windowsill overnight in college, eaten for breakfast…maybe even better. And the pies were great, if I do say so myself, even though I kind of overcooked the crust on the lemon one, but that wasn’t my fault, really, it wasn’t: I was talking to Donald on the phone and he was giving me a description of all his lambs and I got distracted.
Sheep are fed (they don’t know it but this is it until after shearing in the a.m.). Possible thundershowers later today, they are saying. I will lock them in the shed the minute it is looking possible. And they will stay in there overnight. For good measure and a good night’s sleep, I’ll barricade them in with green gates turned on end, so no coyote can get in even if they do jump the fence…which they won’t, right? From here on in, they’ll be locked in at night, so that if a lamb is born it can’t wander far from it’s mother. It means very rarely two mothers both lambing at the same time, get their lambs mixed up, but that’s only happened once, so I’m not going to worry about it.
I agreed to do a wedding in August yesterday. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I haven’t done one in years. I love weddings. But this was a strange sort of transaction on Sunday morning. I will call the bride today and see about setting up a time the three of us can talk about all this. Then I’ll feel better. Right now, they are total strangers, I know nothing about them. When I had a parish, I wouldn’t agree to do the wedding until we’d had an initial talk, made sure we were on the same page, etc. In time…