web analytics

Hello, I’m new!

Be grateful my blog is in black and white; this little dude is not five minutes old and is still a bit messy. It’s coming to something when you can’t walk to the store without stuff giving birth in front of you.

Yes, it’s lambing time! That magical time of year when all the fields around are full of mamas and babies and I fob you off with cute lamb pictures because I’ve been lolling around in a lawnchair all day soaking up rays instead of sitting at the computer drawing pictures of politicians who piss me off.

I took this video over the weekend, standing in the back yard looking over the field. For some reason (possibly having to do with sheepdogs) the flock only comes to our end of the field at dusk, so the video is a little dark and blurry. These two are maybe three days old; they’ve only just learned they can hop — though “hop” doesn’t really do it justice. We call it a sproing.

These little dudes aren’t entirely in control of the sproing yet, but they LIKE it.



Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: April 11, 2011, 10:45 pm

cute lil’ guys!

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: April 11, 2011, 10:48 pm

A bit like bucking broncos. . .and the head-butting is adorable.

Comment from JeffS
Time: April 11, 2011, 11:13 pm


Comment from Spad13
Time: April 11, 2011, 11:14 pm

It’s my considered opion that these sheep are labourin’ under the misaprehension that theyr’e birds. / Monty Python off.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 11, 2011, 11:16 pm

We don’t know (not being sheep farmers ourselves) whether the butting means they’re male, or if ewes butt, too. I think I’ve seen ewes get into minor ewe fights.

When the rams go at it — yow! I made the mistake of dropping some grass cuttings over the fence one day. The sounds of skull against skull was like hitting a log with a baseball bat.

If you watch closely, one of the two is dominant. He backs the other one up, and he’s the one that hops backwards a few feet so he can get a little momentum in his last head-butt.

These will be twins; they don’t all mix together in a happy lamb flock until they’re a little older.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: April 12, 2011, 12:27 am


/Eric Cartman


Seriously though, it’s fun getting to watch a birth….

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: April 12, 2011, 12:57 am

There is a word for it. It is called pronking.
pronk – jump straight up; “kangaroos pronk”

Its also known as “Stotting”:

Whilst hunting deer, mostly high plains Mule deer, I witness the behaviour as the deer attempt to gather as much visual information as possible.

AND….I lurves me some spring lamb, range fed and wild tasty.

Comment from Andrea Harris
Time: April 12, 2011, 3:48 am

A lot of people around where I live raise lamb. This part of the Shenandoah Valley is too rocky for crops, so it’s cattle — cows, lambs, goats, someone has a herd of alpaca or llamas or something around here… And once I saw a family of deer springing across the road.

And then there are the skunks. Oy.

Comment from gebrauchshund
Time: April 12, 2011, 6:45 am

How many legs do them mutant sheeps have, and do they make ’em that way on purpose, or is it somthin’ in the water?

Comment from Oceania
Time: April 12, 2011, 7:17 am

Hmmm that ewe needs to have been docked …

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: April 12, 2011, 12:41 pm

For gebrauchshund:

Only four. Long tail looks like a leg as it flops about. And there may be some artifacting from the video camera. Most video cameras shoot as 60i and output as 30p. In fast moving action, that means stuff that was in one place in the first 60i scan has moved by the time of the second scan and shows in a different location. Those two scans are then combined into the single frame output. Which can make running critters look like they have 8 legs instead of 4.

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: April 12, 2011, 1:54 pm

Silly Mark Mathis. Critters do have 8 legs. 2 front, 2 hind, 2 right, 2 left. I left nothing out of this count.

SWeasel, have you seen rooks pecking the lambs in the eyes?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: April 12, 2011, 2:02 pm

Silly Mark Mathis. Critters do have 8 legs. 2 front, 2 hind, 2 right, 2 left. I left nothing out of this count.

Does anyone remember the article from “The Worm Runner’s Digest,” anthologized in The Worm Returns in which it was proved that Alexander the great did not exist and if he did he had an infinite number of limbs? I am reminded. . .

SWeasel, have you seen rooks pecking the lambs in the eyes?

Do they do that for real? I know in lullabies, although the one I remember best says it is the bees and the butterflies who peck out their eyes. . .

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 12, 2011, 5:02 pm

Farmers swear crows can and will kill lambs when they’re very small. We have crows, rooks and magpies in huge numbers here, but I’ve never seen them do anything dastardly.

I have a soft spot for corvids. We had a couple of pet crows when I was a kid; smart as whips.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: April 12, 2011, 5:07 pm

Are you West Pondian? If so, I see that you are a Democrat. After all, that IS how they count the votes…

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: April 12, 2011, 6:13 pm

There is a book you might wish to read. Its a wonder, a small bit of genius all about a scientist/philosopher/writer observing Ravens during the brutal Maine winter.


Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: April 12, 2011, 6:24 pm

The magpies of my youth have all moved into the countryside. They have been replaced by the meanest bird I have ever known:
The Grackle! (Think Hitchcock, Tippy Hedren in the phone booth in “The Birds.”)

I maintain a suppressed .177 air rifle that will come into play in about a month when the nasty creatures return to harass feline, canine and all manner of avian critter.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: April 12, 2011, 7:38 pm

For Sven:
Actually, around here grackles are a smallish bird and don’t seem to harass much of anything. Of course, they probably would only need to try it one time with a mockingbird to recognize their folly…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 12, 2011, 9:41 pm

Thanks for the recommendation, Sven. You know what’s infuriating? My wish list on amazon.com is entirely separate from my wish list on amazon.co.uk. I have to turn around and look stuff up on the UK site to get my hands on it.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: April 13, 2011, 1:59 pm

But SWeas – if they DIDN’T do that, can you imagine how the Taxmen would love to intermingle the purchases from the two sites? Not to mention the Legal Eagles in both countries looking for an opportunity to show violation of incorporation clauses and codicils…

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: April 13, 2011, 2:31 pm

I’m a ‘Murkan however I spend quite many moons outside. Hope to change that this year as the follies of heathen ‘furners take a toll.
The quote of 8 legged hoss was instilled in me about 20 years ago when I made some spendin’ moneys by working at a very busy warehouse (+40 truck ramps). The old much feared inventory foreman told it as a proof of his expertise in arithmetics.
I’m a very weak Republican (insomuch that I am not impressed by the modern variety). Would be a Libertarian if they grew a spotless difk about national defense AND had any chance of winning anything. I am a very staunch anti-Democrat as these guys positively frighten me, a cancer you cannot cut out “because it is your own flesh”.

SWeasel, some rural Britisher chaps assured me that rooks treat lamb eyeballs as delicacy.
There is plenty of reference in corvids helping themselves to eyeballs on the battlefields, but since these are not so common around in these boring times, lambs offer at least a substitute.

Saw plenty of long-tailed grackles in San Antonio, TX maybe a year ago. They left a lasting impression about so much obnoxiousness packed tightly into a very small package.

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny