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Showing posts from December, 2011

No such thing as average

On this date last year, we'd received 10.99 inches of rain for the month of December.  Our average for December (at least in the ten Decembers we've lived in Auburn) is 8.13 inches.  So far in 2011, we've received 0.10 inches.  After getting just 1.12 inches in November, things are awfully dry here.  One definition of average is that half of the data falls above the average, and half falls below.  We're definitely on the "below" side this December!

Statistics may be boring, but the ramifications of such a drastically below average December (rainfall-wise) are anything but boring.  We're scrambling to find enough feed for the sheep now, let alone in 8 weeks when we start lambing.  While the cold weather and lack of moisture means that green grass is scarce right now, it also means that the forage we've already grazed isn't regrowing.  We experience our greatest forage demand in the last 4-5 weeks of pregnancy and the first 4-6 weeks of lactation -…

A Shepherd's Christmas Chores

While Christmas Day is a special day for our family, it’s also a day like most others.We still need to check the sheep, feed the guard dogs, gather the eggs – in short, the chores still have to get done.For me, my chores as a shepherd take on a different feeling – indeed, a different significance – on Christmas Day.