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Spring is in the air... or now wait is that Cicada's?

Usually I like to start off my blog posts with some cute little picture of a lamb, or goat or one of the farm animals. But, in honor of the double cicada storm we are about to be in, I thought one of these little fella's (or girls... I don't really know which it is) should be the lead for this blog! Yes, this is the year where we have two different 'broods' of Cicada's (both 7 and 14 year) hatching at once.. so things are kind of noisy on the farm.

Even though it is noisy right now, this is one of my favorite times of year on the farm. Spring is demanding, exciting, and fun all at the same time. We are finishing up our lambing season with (at the moment) almost 50 lambs. We have 6 bummer lambs (that is what we call lambs that we have to raise on the bottle due to a mom not being able to feed the lambs, lambing issues, or whatever reason), which is not surprising since we have had 7 sets of triples, about 13 sets of twins, and then just a few singles. From a business perspective this is great - but it does put more work on our plates since bottle babies are time intensive. Beast, Bubbles, and Beauty are seen here just chillin and relaxing! Soon we will shift from lambing into weaning... and then things get really exciting!

And of course, sheep aren't the only ones making babies this time of year.... Princess, our youngest Great Pyrenees livestock guard dog had a set of beautiful young puppies a few weeks ago. Both she, and the dad (Sampson) are registered, so this is our first set of registered puppies. We only sell puppies as working dogs, not pets. While Great Pyrenees can be wonderful pets, we think they are happiest working in the fields protecting a flock. We also have seen (in the past) that even though we tell people, that cute little puppy is going to grow into a 120-150 pound barking machine who sheds lots of hair and will try it's best to protect your home by roaming out to find predators.... we have ended up getting back puppies when people act surprised and come back and say... that puppy now ways 130 pounds, it barks a lot, and it likes to escape and roam..... ugghhh! Also, there are just too many great Pyrenees puppies that end up being abandoned or in humane societies... so no pet sales for us, we just sell our puppies to be working dogs on farms we have vetted.

And one of the best things about spring at our ranch are the amazing vistas as the warm, wet weather of spring creates amazing sun sets and sun rises, mist filled mornings, and lush green hill sides shaded by our beautiful hardwood forests. This is a magical time of year for us.

Taking morning walks with Delilah, the matriarch of our Great Pyrenees clan is another one of my favorite parts of spring. At almost 10 years old, Delilah is starting to walk a little slower, stop for breaks more often, and generally take her time more. But this girl just loves going on walks. She is a great companion, and she has been with us since we started this journey. I think spring is her favorite time of year also!

And of course, none of this would be the possible without my amazing wife and companion Terri. This lovely lady, amazing mom, and incredibly talented business partner makes the entire journey worthwhile. She puts up with my crazy ideas, grounds me when I think I can do it all and don't have any limitations, and pulls me up when I am struggling with the challenges of balancing the ranch, my educational career, and my constant over commitment to public service activities! She says she is a city girl, but I think she has a country girls heart! (The first photo is on our engagement trip in New York City - over 21 years ago! It's been an amazing journey together!)

We love sharing our ranch and all of it's beauty and wonderful animals with visitors. Whether it is coming to shop our on-farm store, taking a tour, visiting us during our annual fiber festival, coming for a farm 'experience' stay, or as a hip camp or harvest host visitor we hope you can come visit us soon!


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