April and May were a flurry of events both joyous and difficult, now a blur as I reflect. Our first lamb, Shiloh, was born to Shyla the morning of shearing day, a seemingly good omen. As we began shearing, Gene got gored very near his right eye by one of our wethers. Fifteen stitches later, our neighbor returned him from the ER in Quincy to find Tim, our shearer, and I all finished with 20 fleeces.
Pepper arrived ten days later. No other fanfare than Ayita's doting care.
While awaiting our other two pregnant ewes to lamb, Roving Mountain Spinners met at my house, which we always do in May because of lambing.
Later that week many of us experienced the joy of learning to dye with mushrooms and lichen in a workshop with Alissa Allen of Mycopigments. I was so excited to bring her talents to our area. Expanding the Feather River Fibershed goal of working with local, natural dyes!
Certain that Chenoa would be the next to lamb, Aiyana surprised us with tiny twins, Twyla (she dances sideways) and Kazoo (that's the sound he makes!). These lambs, and Chenoa's, are the very last Four Winds lambs to be sired by Noah, whom we lost this winter. Kazoo is still not thriving as we'd like. I had to milk Aiyana and supplement with a bottle for several days. Now we are having to hold her still and let him nurse. All births aren't easy.
Finally, finally, a month later than Shiloh's birth, Chenoa had twins Shiraz and Erika. Chenoa had been dragging around for a week, having me check every half hour or so. Only six lambs this year, but it felt as though we were holding our breath for six weeks. Shorted sleep for a month; I don't know how folks who have dozens of lambs each year do it.
An unusual joy for us this year was having our daughter, Alyssa, visit during lambing. She got to see our last lamb birth, to witness a miracle.
Lambing is a stressful, yet marvelous time each year!