Actually it is dry here. Very dry. The hundred degree temps have broken, and there has been rain to the south of us. But valleys being strange weather warps....nope....we didn't get any. The nice grass that sprouted with the inch and 1/2 half we got the last 6 weeks has dried up and disappeared. I have more ewes and lambs waiting around the barn in the morning for me to open a bale of hay. I have to bring hay for the front 7 rams....and now the show pen and dumping spot for my ram lambs is out of grazing too. So they get hay. As everyone knows, you can't just feed hay to one sheep....they all want it. I did throw a clovery flake of hay right on top of one of my show sheep this morning....back to the hose. I'll brush and pick as much as I can off the lamb...and then wet her down. Yes, really wet....but not her head. Then the sheep get to graze on a halter in the back yard until they mostly drip off well. That is so they don't lay down right in the dust and get mud all over them. It would be nice to have a month for the sheep to get their fluffy look back after being wet....but I only have a week to work with.
Speaking of sheep...we lost another one to whatever cat we have out back. Yesterday morning, I put on my gun belt about 7 am and walked out with a bucket of water to count the rams. Opps....one short. Shepherds don't worry about predators....I just penned the rams...a couple may weight as much as I do....so I don't trust them. And I walked out in their pasture. I checked the spot where two of the last rams were killed and cleaned. Nothing there, so I wandered around for a few minutes, calling sheep....sheeeeep!....and listening for a stray ram to answer back. After a while of walking around, my husband came out to see who was missing. He went to get his gun too....looked like we had a problem. As he went to the house, I found the new kill site. I looked around for a path where the carcass was dragged. I did find some weeds tall enough to catch brown wool....I was half way across the pasture watching for my trail when my husband got back. Finally we found a patch of skin and a three inch splinter of bone. Yup....seems our cat was headed up to the same spot in the woods, where two of the last sheep had been eaten. I started up the hill to the fence. Head down to watch for brown wool on the twigs. Puurrr....grrrrrrr.....owl. It was a soft strange sound....I stopped walking and stood up. What was that sound? Was it a tree rubbing?
Again I heard a noise.....it dawned on me that a cat with food in it's mouth would sound like that...."go away I'm eating!" Purrrrrowl...grooorowl....grrr. That second noise was a sure signal. The cat could see me....and it didn't want me taking it's food away. I convinced my husband that he shouldn't stay out in the woods alone either.....hard to do with an armed husband. And I left for the house and the phone. The conservation fellow was right out....and armed with a couple of shotguns, the two men started out into the woods again. I stayed in the yard near the house. OK, I was walking sheep...but it was a pretty good excuse to keep me out of the woods.
We are going to have a night hunt with a deer stand and bait. I need to train the bait to stay on a rope. I won't be out in the woods looking for a trail of wool or bones...or horns...or pussy cat. I figure that cat said my presence was not appreciated....and I believe it. I'll be home in the house....thank you very much.