Misty presented us with twins (one ram, one ewe) on Wednesday, Jan. 28. Last year she was the only ewe to have twins in our flock (we have had a lot of single lambs since the drought started a few years ago). Last year's twins were badgerface color (that's one of them you can see standing behind Cornflower in her picture below), but this year Misty had black twins. Since Misty is the blackest black sheep we have, these babies might stay dark. That is only a guess, however, as black lambs usually fade and can become various shades of grey, silver, or brown by maturity.
The kids have named the ewe lamb "Black Cloud."
This morning was Amidala's turn. Her lamb is a ewe, and I'm not sure how well you can see that color in the picture, but isn't she a beauty? Big, too. There are at least four colors on that lamb. Her back is dark brown, her sides are reddish brown, and she has tan under her chin and around her eyes, as well as a white crown. I think that the official name for this color of sheep is "brown and tan." Original, isn't it? Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it is also called reverse badgerface. Amidala has had a reverse badgerface lamb before, but he was actually black on top, and his fleece color when he grew up was black. I think that this lamb will be brown, however.
It's interesting the way the sheep stick to the same trails across the field. You can see the places where the snow is kept clear by sheep traffic. Although we had hoped to get down to a total of about five sheep this year, and even attempted to donate the majority of the flock to the Navajo-Churro Sheep Project (to be donated to the Navajo on the reservation), they didn't make it out here to collect our sheep. So they are still here. Since lambing season is always one of the highlights of my year, I am glad to have the chance to see all the new lambs once more. So far they are incredibly nice lambs and I will be tempted to keep them all. But I know that I do have to let go for the next few years. Here's a look at the flock all together.
It's interesting how much culture is emphasized in all of my classes lately. Of course, one of the classes I am taking is specifically about culture, but culture pops up in the others too. Last semester it was particularly prominent in the Interviewing and Counseling class. Health Psychology has also spent one and a half lectures out of four so far dealing with culture. There have been some great discussions about this in all of the classes.
Culture covers so much more than how we celebrate holidays and keep traditions. It is deeply engrained in how we live our lives and how we view the world. One topic that came up was how our society now considers it wrong to expect children to walk to school and other activities. This phenomenon has been bugging me for a while now. When I was a child it seems that we always lived just barely under two miles away from my school. Two miles was the required distance to qualify to ride the bus. So I walked almost two miles to and from school most of the time, from first grade through high school (except when we lived in Spain, and didn't live on base - riding the bus there, driven by a Spanish bus driver who did not speak English, was an experience). But now it seems to be an expectation that parents drive their children everywhere. I allow my children to walk to activities in the neighborhood and to the library, maybe one mile from home, and neighbors pick them up and give them a ride. I'm afraid that they think I am negligent because my kids were walking. I also like to walk when I am going somewhere close, and people look at me funny and offer me a ride home, which is nice of them even if it is only four houses down the street (quite a bit of space between the houses I'll admit - this is a rural area). But it is common for people to go for a walk for exercise and walk two miles, five miles, or more. Why has walking been rejected as a form of transportation even when the distances are reasonable? I guess I got side-tracked there, but still, if you have any ideas about walking, I would love to hear them.