News from the sheepfold… and a prince

This post was begun yesterday but last night I received the monastery cold. We have a pet cold here, and the community has been taking turns holding it the last few weeks. It seems it is my turn now. Time spent in the cold outside with Nonnie, our vulnerable lamb, must have marked me out as sufficiently caring to mind the cold. The whack on the head when trying to re-odorize her with mother’s scent yesterday (mother is a handful) clinched the deal.

Naturally the first to capture the camera’s attention was Patch, who has a natural camera-awareness that many celebrities would admire. He is now four days old. (All pictures should get a little bigger if you click them)

Patch is a pro

Keeping him company was Thelma, flashing something of a vamp’s smile. She too is now 4 days old.

Thelma flashes a wicked grin.

Popping next door to the isolation shelter, all seemed calm and I was relieved to find Non Nominata (Nonnie) still alive. Mother was still pushing her away but not as violently. She kept coming back to mother nevertheless, and here for once mother does not move when Nonnie gets close, probably distracted by Bianca.

The troublesome pen

After re-odorising Nonnie, involving a less than delicate rubbing of mother’s backside (and a knock to my noggin), the sisters continued to bond while mother remained uninterested. In fact both little ones hopped and skipped like the world was their oyster… but not when the camera was on them.

Bianca and Nonnie

Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, the cheeky older girls Zsa Zsa and Eva have rounded up three of the little ones (Louise rather pointedly stayed with her mother) and took them for a rollicking good romp around the field. Zsa Zsa seems to think she is a gazelle.

The lambs gambol and frolic

What goes up must come down.

Zsa Zsa again

They all get up a great head of steam.


The little ones were getting pooped so they all stop for a breather. And of course, Patch spots the camera.


Indomitable, Zsa Zsa and Eva come charging back for some more attention-seeking.

Back for more

It was almost impossible to get good shots of the lambs at play since they were far off, and too quick for my camera. But you can get a sense of their liveliness.

Now the question remains, how is Nonnie this morning?

**An aside – when one drafts a post on WordPress it suggests tags and links as one progresses, according to the content being typed. For some reason WordPress is suggesting the tag “Frederic Prinz von Anhalt“. The continental nobility is not my forte so I have no idea why he should  be suggested. But since WordPress knows more than I do, and since I would not begrudge the Prince getting his name out there, I will include the tag. Maybe he breeds sheep….


I was wrong about the prince. He is married to Zsa Zsa Gabor. He might still breed sheep though….

Update 2

Oh dear – I just Wikipedia-ed the man. A prince in name only, and quite bizarre. His “son” is even less appetising. There is no way they keep sheep.

Births in the Monastery

Well, not quite births in the monastery. Rather, births among its flock… of sheep, that is. Yesterday twin sister lambs, Eva and Zsa Zsa, were born (pics get bigger if you click them).

Just born

Mother busied herself for a long time indeed giving the little girls a makeover.

A tongue lashing of the best kind

This ewe lost both her twins last year when they emerged together. This confused her and she only managed to get one free of its birth sac, and then only belatedly. The encased one died before I arrived, and the second never recovered from the trauma and died not much later. This year, things worked to plan. I arrived shortly after Eva was born, and she was already clear of the sac, on her feet, and feeding. Having dashed back in for lunch, I returned to find Zsa Zsa had been born, and was also on her feet though having some trouble finding the teat. About Compline time it began to snow and I had fears for the lambs on this chilly first night for them.

So I was relieved to find this sight when I went out this morning…

Both lambs and morning, fresh

Zsa Zsa still has some trouble getting to the milk in timely fashion…

It's there somewehre

In all the lambs seem to be in good form. In fact, they are rather enjoying the attention from the paparazzo.

Taking the adulation like pros


Last night we had enough snow to blanket the earth in a soothing veil of white, fitting on this feast of St Scholastica, Virgin and Nun. There are two “photo essays” of scenes around the monastery this morning. You can see them on the Tumblr page (which is much better suited to pictures).

Sheep may safely graze…

Our small flock of Jacobs sheep is hale and hearty at the moment, despite our autmnal weather. Soon two of the male lambs will have to go to the slaughterman, as four males in this little flock is too many. Luckily the ram has been fairly restrained with his sons. You can click the photos for larger images.

Placid enjoys a photo-opportunity

Perhaps there will be lamb for St Edmund’s Day?

With Benedict in the foreground, the sheep graze in the misty drizzle, their major work of the day