Shearing Sheep Last Night

Ian shearing Merricat while Fate and Asher watch

Although Ian arrived while it was still light out, it was soon too dark to see without the lights I hung in the pole barn that afternoon.

There were only four sheep to shear, Constance, Lori, Robin and Merricat so it went quick and easy.  Except for Constance who gave Ian a hard time, but then she always does.

Constance’s wool was so long it was hard to fit into one bag.

Some people are wondering about shearing the sheep this time of year.   It may seem cold to us humans, but sheep only need about a half inch of wool to keep them warm in the coldest weather.   They will have gown that back in a week.

The most important thing is that they have shelter, like the pole barn where they can get out of the wind.

The days are still warm here, in the fifties this week.    And the coldest night we’ve had so far was 25 degrees.  These temperatures are not considered cold for the sheep.  And if they do get cold, they huddle together to keep warm.

Ian shearing Robin. Robins wool is much darker than it was when I sheared it in the spring.

It is worse for the sheep to be carrying around a years worth of wool come the spring than to be shorn twice a year.

The rest of the sheep’s wool doesn’t grow as quickly as these four young Romneys. So I only shear them once a year in the spring.

Ian shearing Lori.  Shearers always begin by shearing the sheep’s belly.  That wool is short and usually dirty and get thrown away.

Ian did a great job as always.  He’s easy with the sheep even when they give him a hard time.  He talked to Lori when she got a little restless, cooing her name and she settled down.   And although he doesn’t shear sheep full time anymore, he seemed more relaxed and easy going than I’d ever seen him.

When he was done and the wool tucked in plastic bags in the barn, we had Squash soup and bread for dinner.  We talked about the creative life as we always do with Ian.  Before he left, he read us his latest poem.

4 thoughts on “Shearing Sheep Last Night

  1. I love seeing these photos.

    So glad Ian is still avail to you for shearing.

    I would love to be a spot in the corner lustening to him read his poems. The inflection of a person’s voice always creates the magic brings poems to life.

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