Thursday, December 5, 2013

December 4, 2013 - A Shepherd's Day in Photographs

I thought it would be fun (at least for me and for my family) to document my day with photographs.  Today, I set the alarm on my phone to go off on the hour, with the idea that I'd take a photo that would be indicative of what I was doing at that point in time.  I added a few additional photos - there are always interesting things going on where sheep are involved.  I'm under no illusions that anyone else will find these photos fun or thought-provoking, but they will serve as a way for me to share my day with my wife and daughters.
When the cold wakes me up, I turn to coffee!

The first week of December is typically one of the coldest times of the year in Northern California, and 2013 is no exception.  At 4:30 this morning, the cold air coming from the furnace in my trailer awakened me.  When it was light, I discovered that I was out of propane.

My work day started with a check of the ewes that were due to have single lambs.  I walked through the entire bunch, looking for birthing problems and cold lambs.  I did find a ewe who had given birth to a dead lamb.  Everybody else looked great!
Bundled up for breakfast!

Headed out to work, just as the sun came up.

Getting ready to leave the office.

If these lambs had cameras, they'd have photographed me!

Then I moved on to the twin-lambing bunch.  We've made it through the wave of intensive lambing - only one new set of twins overnight.  The ewe was a great mother, and I quickly tagged her lambs and gave them tetanus antitoxin and selenium injections.

Our next task was to finish tagging the rest of the new lambs in this bunch.  After sorting out which lambs went with which ewes, we moved the rest of the still-pregnant ewes to another field to finish lambing - consolidating the "drop" bunches will cut down on labor in the coming weeks.

Taking a late lunch, I drove into Rio Vista to pick up propane and pipe insulation, grabbing lunch at Lira's Super Market while I was in town.
The modern shepherd's notebook - just like UPS!

Selfie - with sheep.

Moving the last of the drop bunch - with Mo.

Catch-pen - tagging lambs.

Holding our sheep with Mo - waiting for another group to pass by.

Rosie is on the job!

Walking the drop bunch past our ewes.

Fresh feed!

After lunch, I built fence, moved the pairs we had tagged that morning, and tagged the 4 new sets of lambs born during the day.

As the sun set, I finished winterizing the water system for my trailer, and drove to Al and Jeannie's home for a quick meeting.  I came back to my trailer for dinner and fell asleep watching a movie!  Just a typical day for this shepherd!

Ace Hardware in Rio Vista - picking up propane and pipe insulation!

My view at 3 p.m.

The water truck, the ewes and lambs, and a very large ship in the background.

Sunset on sheep.

Sunset on Mt. Diablo.

My home away from home.