Manyfold Farm Lambing Shift
One of the perks of living in Serenbe is the neighbors. I am surrounded by a diverse and wonderful community of people. Rebecca and Ross live just a couple of houses down from me and I was thrilled to discover that they own a sheep farm only 4 miles from Serenbe called Manyfold Farm. Another amazing Serenbe neighbor, Ali Harper Wittorf, who is an accomplished photographer, has photographed Ross and Rebecca on their farm and has given us a beautiful and profound glimpse into their world. I hope you’ll take a moment to view her photographs; you won’t be disappointed.
I was fortunate enough to arrive in Serenbe just in time for lambing season. I have volunteered for a shift each week for the next month and a half, and let me tell you, I am as happy as a pig in a poke… or should I say a lamb in the fold?
Volunteering for lambing is an experience not easily described. It’s the kind of thing you have to experience firsthand, but let me give you a glimpse.
My shifts are on Tuesday nights. I returned during the day to get these photos, but the night is a magical time. When I first arrive, I walk down the hill to where the expecting Ewes are. I am greeted by a hearty bark from Oak, the great Maremma Sheepdog. He is formidable… until he recognizes me as friend, then he is as cuddly as a polar bear.
I imagine the flock feels safe with him around. He protects them from coyote and fox.
When I arrive at night all alone, I feel safe because I know Oak will protect me. I look around at these amazing creatures and breathe in the peace emanating from the flock. Have you ever heard a hundred sheep chewing their cud all at once in the peaceful, cold night? It is a profound experience, and one that tickles at the corners of my imagination and consciousness.
This baby is only hours old. ”Are you my mother?”
“Maybe if I just rest awhile and look super cute, she’ll find me.”
And of course she does, and she gives a comforting nudge.
This baby was born on my watch. I got to hold her and she melted my heart. I tagged her ear, cleaned her umbilical cord, and returned her to her watchful mother.
Mom cleans her and encourages her in the right direction for much needed nutrition.
All is well. Baby is strong.
This baby was born only hours earlier.
Oak is tired but always alert. He will jump into action if need be.
He watches me go, happy to have received some good head rubs.
As I leave the pasture, I notice the cows in the neighboring field. It is a beautiful scene. I am happy and look forward to my next shift.