Wow. This time last night seems like a long time ago.
You know how the story ends. See cute photo in the last post.
Let’s go back to last night. Cold night near freezing in mid-May. Brownie pretty clearly goes into labor. In retrospect, she was in labor by late afternoon, if not earlier. Sun sets. It’s 9 o’clock and we can’t do anything.
Or should I say, baaa.
Ron pulled out some warm clothes, a head lamp, and some rags and decided he was going to get up at some point in the middle of the night to check on Brownie and the presumed lamb.
He ended up going out around 11 or 11:30 last night. Brownie had been hanging out on the edge of the woods all day and when she started acting really weird around dusk last night, she went down to the woods at the edge of the lower meadow. He headed in that direction last night, assuming she’d still be there.
Ron said that she was back in the woods and the lamb had been born. It was lying in the leaves on the forest floor. Brownie was standing up and baaing at the baby. Ron was able to see all this in the moonlight.
Brownie had cleaned the lamb (good sheep mom), but the baby was still lying there. For some reason Ron felt like she was trying to get the lamb to stand up to no avail.
The baby was pretty clean and dry, but Ron decided he would try to dry it off a bit more given the near-freezing temperature. He went back to the house, got the rags, and went back into the woods. Lambie was still on the ground.
Ron wiped off the baby some more. Brownie was licking the lamb as he was doing so. Not sure if this meant she was trying to push in and make sure Ron was okay. Or was she trying to get the baby up? Or was she helping Ron? Who knows. But she didn’t seem threatened by Ron despite the fact that he was helping cleaning up the little lamb.
Ron decided he would try to help the baby up. He helped the lamb to its wobbly feet. In retrospect, he feels like the lamb was born soon before he arrived (but long enough for Brownie to clean the baby) and it hadn’t taken any steps yet. Fortunately, once up, the lamb kept going.
It tottered around and at one point walked a little towards Ron and gave him what Ron called the “Are you my mom?” look.
At that point, Ron decided he’d better back off and make sure the lamb bonded with Brownie.
Ron really wanted to see the lamb nurse. He felt like the lamb would make it through the night if it started nursing. Meanwhile, Brownie was also trying to get the baby to nurse (after all, she’d had an enormous basketball udder between her back legs for the past 48 hours–so huge that she walked bow-legged!?). I don’t remember if Ron saw the lamb nurse or not.
Ron reported this morning that he came back into the house around 10 minutes after midnight.
Fast forward to 4:49 this morning. That’s when I looked at the clock after Ron had gotten up a few minutes before.
My first thought was of Brownie and whether the lamb had been born and made it through the night. After lying there for about 30 seconds, I knew I wasn’t going to go back to sleep so I got up (also), went downstairs, and then put on some grungy farm clothes to head out into the woods in the earliest minutes of dawn.
The sun wasn’t up, but there was a little light by 5 in the morning. I walked back to the woods at the edge of the lower meadow and saw Brownie, baby, and the other sheep back there. Initially the lamb was curled up right next to Brownie. When Brownie got up, it did. The lamb was really wobbly, but standing up (barely) and walking around (barely).
The lamb came pretty close to me that early–perhaps 10 feet away, but there wasn’t enough natural light to take any photos. All the pictures I took at that hour are near pitch black, even though it was easy to see with one’s eyes.
Around 7 in the morning, we went back out to visit everyone–mostly Brownie and lamb, of course. The baby was stronger even in the mere two hours that had passed. They were hanging out in the woods again. The lamb was fairly curious and bold again, wandering over towards me. I was hunched down, watching them all. Did it think I was a strange blonde sheep?
Here it is, now in the true morning sun.
We interrupt this post for a public service announcement:
I think the lamb might have come even closer, but Brownie ran interference–one of countless times today. (Good, mama sheep…) And off they went up the edge of the meadow.
Ron sent me an email mid-morning. He was out there with the sheep–again (of course)–and had managed to nab and hold the lamb. While doing so, he confirmed what he had thought he had seen earlier.
The lamb is a boy.
This makes things really complicated. But for the moment, we’re going to focus on the adorable little lambie.
I didn’t get home until after 5 pm (boo!). I got the sheep report and we went out and visited them–again. Ron told me that he thought he had a good name for the lamb.
What, I asked.
He was born under the half moon last night and Ron got to see him perhaps minutes after he was born by the light of the half moon.
It’s a little New Age-y, but it fits.
So, welcome Half Moon.