Before hunkering down for the major part of the storm, I thought I would check on the sheep and goats. There are several sheep and one goat that are very due to have their babies. The places they choose are not always the wisest, either. That is when I saw that they had elected for freedom. So Robbie nad I herded them back, but they were not having it. They ran past the entrance gate into the other field and kept going to the end of their fenced area. That is a quarter mile! Then we herded them all back, but the goats and Karin Llama decided not to comply and went north again. Grrr! The thunder had started in earnest and the rain was threatening. Please, could we just get this done before the onslaught?
Finally, everyone was in and locked up, and I did a quick check. Darn, one of the young Tunis lambs, just a few days old, was missing. Mamma was calling and calling. I first looked for him in the pen, in case he had followed the other Tunis group, but he was nowhere in sight. So, Charka and Jenna, who are terrified of thunder, along with Robbie and I began the ordeal of trying to find a little tiny ram lamb that completely blends in with his surroundings. The wind had picked up and the poplar trees were crashing down in the forest. Best to stay out of there. The wind was a problem too, in that the scent of the lamb was very hard to track and it had really started to rain, also washing away the scent. I left one small gate open for Mamma Tunis to follow and search on her own. She might have a better chance than my posse.
We traipsed back and forth from one end to the other and criss crossed the pasture 4 times. I called and I asked the trees for help. Nothing. I was ready to go in and take a break, then start in earnest. The lamb would not have a chance of surviving the night if he was not found before dark. The livestock guardian dogs, Mike and Joe, were staying with their sheep, while the rest of us were out hunting. Robbie picked up the scent of something but was looking up a spruce tree. I encouraged him and looked up there too, but the wind had carried the scent. Charka caught a sniff too. Could it be the lamb? Charka ran into the tree and the lamb ran out.
What a sigh of relief and look! Trotting down the path was Tunis Mamma with the other lamb. I do think the trees heard me and sheltered this little one and then told Mamma to get her butt down the trail to pick him up. She was relieved and the baby was too, but not as much as I was . Robbie was excited and beside himself that he found the lamb. Robbie has not always done the right things on the farm and has herded and chased some animals far more than he every should have when he was a bit younger, but I was so grateful for him at that moment! Thank you Robbie, Charka, the trees, Mamma sheep and whomever else was responsible for the safety of the baby.
Mamma sheep took him back to the pen. In the meantime, in the storm, thunder and driving rain, Lissa had given birth at the base of the manure pile? Why the manure pile? GADS, sheep are like that. The little one was up and trying to nurse, but Lissa had not cleaned her off very well. I took the newborn and put her in one of the shelters away from the wind and rain.
The trouble was resolved and a new life came forth as well, all during this terrible thunderstorm. Sometimes events do not go as planned, or expected or even hoped for, but in the end, what transpired is better than anything that could have been orchestrated. Tova is looking like she wants to give birth too. Possibly the pressure system is influencing the deliveries? I am just very grateful. And what an afternoon that one was!