Girls Just Want To Have Fun

“When the working day is done
Girls – they want to have fun”

Even though a working LGD’s (livestock guardian dog) working day is never done, girls still want to have fun.

Sadie loves playing with sticks. I was going to say fetch, but she doesn’t bring them back to me. She just tosses them around and waits for me to throw another.  Fetching sticks is not her job. Guarding sheep is. Sticks are fun.





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2 + 2 = 4

2 horns on the left +  2 horns on the right = 4 horns


As Captain, Hektor, and Pilsner are happy to demonstrate.

Except when 2 + 2 =2


Belton is an evenly fused four horned ram. He looked like a two horned ram when he was born. As his horns grew, the seam became visible and is apparent in this photo.  His horns are taking a very wide sweep as often happens with evenly fused four horned sheep.


Patrick is also a fused four horned, but his horns were separate at birth and are just now becoming fully fused. It seems that when horns fuse later, the direction is not always as wideswept as when they are fused at birth. One horn (usually the top) tends to pull the lateral in whatever direction it’s heading, rather than the two horns pulling evenly as when they are fused at birth. When the horns begin to fuse seems to play a part.  This is just a bit of speculation/observation/WAG  (not SWAG, as there is no science in my guess).


And then we have an easy one – 1 + 1 = 2. Hickory is a solid two horned.


Sometimes 2 + 3 = 3.  Cindra is fused on one side. She appears 3 horned, but is actually 5  horned.


Sometimes experience contrives to turn 2 + 2 into 1? 1 1/2?  1 1/8? Elsa managed to tear off both laterals when she was gone by getting caught in a hay rack. I take responsibility for breaking the right top 😦  At nine years old, she still shows some horn regrowth.


But she won’t ever have the horns she had as yearling –
when 2 plus 2 equaled 4.



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Pasture Walk..

Okay – not really an actual pasture. It’s a small fenced piece next to the barn lot. It’s hilly and a pain to mow. I’d rather put up fence than drag a lawn mower.


I love this little salad bar patch. It’s an eclectic mix of native plants and seeds I’ve tossed out. Today was mowing day for the sheep. They love salad, too.


Porter picked out all the radish tops. He even ate the radishes.


Captain likes the sericea.


Stacia prefers to browse


Holly eats everything – including the curly dock.


And for Fancy – the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. There is one in every bunch!

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24/7 A Working Dog’s Day

I’ve always loved working dogs – bird dogs, coon dogs, herding dogs, tracking dogs.. it’s so amazing to see a dog doing a job he loves and was born to do. It’s exciting.

A livestock guardian dog is a working dog of a different sort. Most days aren’t very exciting. The best days are spent just hanging out with the flock. IMG_9673

Visiting with friends




Making sure that stray dogs and coyotes know that protection is 24/7


A livestock guardian dog works 24/7 for too short a time..


Goodbye Sam,  my friend and a true working dog.
Sometime in 2002 – May 23, 2014

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Snippet – and what color is lilac, anyway?

“a small piece of information or news, a small part of something”
Snippet – the word of the day and the theme of this post. Because sometimes ….that’s the way it is.

What color is lilac? Well, it’s not the color of my pretty new spiderwort plant (a present from me to me).. more like the color of a Snickers candy bar (another present from me to me. Snickers bars are my one candy craving.)


Since I blogged last, we are deep into spring with summer fast approaching.


I love this rose! A $5 unmarked variety I found in a sale bin years ago.


“Lambing is over” really deserves more than a snippet.  And there will be a post soon introducing the 23 new additions to the Patchwork flock.  Fancy is enjoying the green grass of spring!


And shearing is over! Alicia’s fleece is the first one to hit the wash tub and the carder. One down, 27 fleeces to go.


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Just The Facts

Sometimes finding the time or the creative impulse to sit down and write an interesting blog is not only difficult, it’s impossible.

So prepare to be presented with just the facts…

Since the last blog, we’ve had 9 more lambs – 6 rams and 3 ewes, bringing the count to 8 rams and 3 ewes . It’s been a heavy ram year. It made Badger’s twin ewes especially welcome. Hello ladies!


Nine more ewes left to lamb. Updated pictures are frequently posted at:



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If Wishes Were Horses…

I’d need alot more land and alot more money for all those horses..


Sometimes wishes are just wishes. I wished the first lambs would hold off until after last week’s sleet, rain, and freezing temperatures. I didn’t get any horses, but we started lambing on a beautiful day.

Most years I see the the rams breed and have a pretty good idea of when the ewes are due. I have inked rams some years, but my rams seem to continue to mount a cycle or two after conception. Or I forget to change the colors. Last fall I didn’t see many breed and I didn’t ink. This year I’m guessing for most. Lambs could have started anytime in the last 10 days. Polite Patchwork Harper picked yesterday – the nicest day this year – sunshine and 65 degrees.


Some years I do naming themes and some years I wing it. Yesterday was so warm and sunny that it was the first day of the year when we decided to sit outside in the sunshine and drink a beer at the end of our workday. Ahh.. springtime! Harper decided that was also a good time to deliver her Unzicker Abbott lambs ….

Welcome Patchwork Pilsner – 4 horn ram


And Patchwork Porter – 4 horned ram


Porter is missing eye patches on both sides and he has less color on the side not pictured. He’s a little bitty boy – half the size of his twin.
He’s vigorous and bouncy and
His momma loves him…


and he inherited his dam’s fleece.

I wish for many things when thinking about each year’s lamb crop. Perfect horns, markings, fleece, a ram from one cross, a ewe from another cross.

It all starts with healthy lambs and easy births and I get my wish every time a newborn lamb jumps up ready to face the world .

Thanks, Harper…


Harper as a lamb with her dam,  Broken O Melodie

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