Sunday, December 29, 2013

Nice to Meet Ewe!


On Saturday, Robb and I drove out to Davis to meet up with Alison and Allan. We poked around a few local farm stands (locally grown lacto-fermented olives! Astonishingly inexpensive pecans!)

We drove around the nature loop at the Yolo Bypass, and saw a staggering number of birds.  (Not many photos alas, because I was the driver.)  Alison and Allen are ideal birding pals. They're unbelievably knowledgeable, creative and terrifically fun to hang out with. 

After gawking at the birds, and having lunch, we drove the back roads to a local sheep farm, Meridian Jacobs.  The sheep were charming and curious.

I've met Robin, who owns meridian Jacobs a few times at fiber events.  She and Alison are good friends.  Robin generously gave us a tour of the barn.   (Photography was a bit difficult, because the sheep are active and squirmy, and because the barn was quite dark.)

Jacobs are a rare "primitive" breed of sheep, who naturally grow multicolored fleece.  Robin has about 75 animals.  According to Wikipedia, there are thought to be about 1,000 Jacob sheep in North America, and only 5,000 worldwide. 

Robin's sheep were bred back in October, and she expects lambing to commence in February. 

But sheep don't always breed according to plan.  A ram jumped the fence earlier in the year, and this little cutie was the result.  It's not easy to get a decent photo of a wiggly black lamb in a dark barn.

Jacobs are easily mistaken for goats, because of their horns.  Both the males and females grown horns.  I find it interesting that they can grow either two, four, or six horns. 

These are both young males, and new members of the flock.  I find sheep and goats entirely charming. 

There's an on-site shop at Meridian Jacobs, so of course I bought some yarn.  A natural white, and a pale grey that is known as "lilac."  I just love natural sheep-colored yarn. 


Rabid Quilter from CA said...

My first thought upon reading this interesting post was, "And they didn't come see US?" But we were out letterboxing ALL day in Walnut Creek trying to get to F-2000 before the new year. (made it, too!) Looks like you had a wonderful time!

Stefaneener said...

Now I'm officially jealous. Looks like a fantastic day. There was just an article in the paper about how many "rare" birds are around this year. Hell in a handbasket, but good birding. . .


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