Spring Shearing, To Be Continued Saturday

Ian shearing Merricat

It got too dark for Ian to shear all the sheep last night, so he’ll come back on Saturday to finish the job.

Ian trimming Kim’s hooves and Asher looking on

Asher and Issachar were especially curious, checking everything out.  Asher tried to eat Ian’s shoelaces. And while I was kneeling down, taking a video, Issachar gently pulled an earring out of my ear and tried eating it.   I got it out of his mouth and was surprised that it was undamaged.

Ian remarked that he thought it interesting that Issachar didn’t bite my ear.  I hadn’t even thought of that but of course, he easily could have.  After that, I took all my earrings off.

Ian shearing Liam and Issachar checking out Ian’s tools in the background.

Ian was impressed at how easygoing Liam was for such a big sheep. They were gentle with each other.

Lori’s wool is too short to use, but she’ll have a good start to grow a nice fleece for next spring’s shearing.

I haven’t had the sheep shorn this early in the spring in a long time. The past few years they’ve been eating spring grass for weeks before shearing.  Because of that, they usually have big bellies, and I always wonder if they’re too fat.  This time, because the grass isn’t up yet, I thought they looked too skinny.

But now that they’ll have no wool to hide their bodies, I’ll be able to see how they plump up on spring grass.

Ian shearing Lori as it got dark.

Even with the clamp-on light, I put in the pole barn, it was too dark for Ian to shear once the sun went down.  I was okay with him coming back on Saturday.  I had my second Covid booster yesterday and by the time Ian left I was worn out and my body ached.

When we offered Ian water and he asked for coffee, I figured he was tired too. It was 8:30 and Ian had come straight from his day job at a Slatemine.  We didn’t have any coffee in the house, so Jon took a drive into town and brought back a large coffee and two hamburgers from Stewarts.  He also gave Ian a couple of books (his favorite gift to give) and playfully suggested we adopt Ian.

Jon is the most nurturing man I’ve ever met.  Whether it’s animals or people, he takes good care of us all.


6 thoughts on “Spring Shearing, To Be Continued Saturday

  1. Your nurturing of the sheep is reflected in their behavior. It’s lovely to see the balance between seeing them as individual beings, good stewardship, and letting them be sheep.

  2. Geeze, Ian is just as wonderful as Dr. J. Merryman. When you say a slate mine, you mean like the material SLATE that the country of Wales is famous for? slate – my favorite material? I used to see slate sidewalks in Philadelphia. So happy the sheep will be happy w/o their coats and Spring coming.

    1. Yes, that slate Eileen. Granville, just north of us is known for its slate. There’s even a slate museum and many people from Wales emigrated in the late 1800’s. That’s why we have so many slate roofs around here.

  3. My mother’s Georgean house was on some kind of national register in the UK and when, after a big storm, some slates had to be replaced on the roof she was required to have them specially cut at a slate mine in Wales. I still shudder remembering the cost, but luckily she could afford it.

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