Am I purple er lilac?
Standing next to my brother, Brewer, I don’t look black
up close, I don’t look black
What color am I? I’ll ask Shepherd.
Ryan, despite his brown fleece, is not a lilac. As a lamb..
his facial and leg markings and body spots were black. Unlike Damsel, who is a true lilac..
Damsel was an obvious lilac from birth. The lilacs that I’ve seen have very often had body color and leg markings that looked darker at birth and took a bit to turn a more obvious chocolate or blue. The facial markings have been there at birth. It may not be apparent in this photo, but Damsel’s body spots are subtly different from black. At birth, her ankles were close enough to black that I wouldn’t have been able to classify her color if that’s all I was seeing.
She is easily recognized as a lilac now.
So what is Ryan? His small bit of muzzle patch is black. He has no eye ring (but some spooky blue eyes!). His fleece looks brown~~~~~He’s sun bleached~~~~I don’t know if you see this in other parts of the country, but around here, it’s not unusual to see sun bleached brown tips on black fleece. The fleece below the tips and the skin color remains black . Sun bleached fleeces, at least here, are not weak or brittle. From what I’ve observed, the tendency to sun bleach is heritable, much like graying or roaning. It’s unusual to see a lamb that has sun bleached to this extent. I wonder if there is a correlation between the pale blue eyes and the reaction to the sun? Just musing.