Archive for July 2010

Snow to Spring


…to our Wits End Farm website. Our goal is to make your visit enjoyable and educational, while sharing the beauty and rhythm of nature that daily touch our lives.  We use our homepage to chronicle the happenings at our 22-acre family farm located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Both animals and humans let out a sigh of relief when the first warm Spring-like days arrived recently.  We had snow on the ground for two months, beginning with a blizzard-and-a-half in mid-December.  We had all the sheep in the barn for over a month, and they were all champs because no one became ill or lost condition, including the pregnant ewes.

Dave-with-ewe-in-barnAfter a storm dropped two feet of snow atop what was already there, some neighbors had a ‘Snowmageddon’ pot-luck dinner.  What to take when treking through the snow over a mile to get there?  A tossed salad secured in a Tupperware lidded bowl and carried in a backpack.  By the way, they brewed some ‘Snowmageddon’ porter made with snow in it for authenticity.

Now the forsythias and cherry trees are in bloom, and we’ve enjoyed the first 70-degree days.  The snow seems to have insulated the grass during the cold because things seem to be greening up earllier than usual.  As the leaves bud out on the lilacs, 16 new lambs cavort in the field with unbridled enthusiasm.  As of now, there are 13 Border Leicester lambs and 3 Bluefaced Leicester lambs.  All the white border lambs are all progeny of Merlin, our champion ram from Overlook Manor Farm.  In particular, there are several really nice ram lambs.  Check out Merlin’s photo and photos of his get on the ‘Sheep for Sale’ page.  As for the ’baby blues,’ they are all enchanting ewe lambs, two of which are silver.  The photo of two of them is further down this page.

With Springs come plans to attend the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, held at the Howard County Fairgrounds over the first weekend of May.  I will have several Border Leicester yearling rams for sale there, both white and natural-colored,  along with several Border Leicester ram lambs.  I also will have two natural-colored Border Leicester-Bluefaced Leicester cross yearling ewes that will be for sale.  Their fleeces are something to behold.

We also have news of our friends in Pennsylvania who have the therapy sheep; Mike and Sue Reifsnyder. By the way, Sue has written a child’s book about raising sheep.  I will be illustrating it for her and will publish it in a limited edition for sale at our pens at Maryland Sheep and Wool.  All proceeds will support Mike and Sue’s mentoring program for troubled kids.