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Little lamb, And the fields were white as snow loved ewe Continued from Page 7
He liked that noise. So he picked out the loudest, funniest-sounding lamb, and chased her to make her cry. That lamb was Lily. When I came home from skiing I asked how everything went and Annie told me about the lamb that she helped to deliver. My mother had taken photos of Anastasia helping the ewe, and we looked at them for a while. Then I pulled on my barn coat and boots and went out in search of Lily, my favourite lamb. I found her, lying on her side just outside the barn. She didnâ€™t have a mark on her. She hadnâ€™t been trampled or kicked or bitten. She had just died. I donâ€™t know for sure what happened, because no one saw it and the other sheep canâ€™t tell me. But by the way Donkey was acting, all skitterish and guilty, I think he chased her around the barnyard, enjoying the sound of her funny bleat, until her little heart gave out. I had a good cry, then decided I wouldnâ€™t get attached to another lamb. So I got attached to a ewe instead. Itâ€™s normal for expectant ewes to be a little friendlier than usual once they are in the confines of the lambing room. After all, they are dependent on you for their food and water. But Gracie was different. My sister first noticed that if you patted Gracie on the head, she just seemed to lap up the attention like a dog. If you rested your arms on the pen railing, she would come over and nudge your hand with her nose. She loves to be petted. Breaking my own rule, I gave her a name. Once the ewes have had their lambs and bonded with them for a few weeks, we turn them out to the barnyard. Thatâ€™s when they usually go back to being quite nervous around humans. Not Gracie. She still comes over to me every time I call. She is so tame, I even brought her along with me when I walked in the Christmas parade. Gracie rode in the back of the truck, posed for photos and knickered at people when they called to her, like a good little fleecy celebrity. Gracie is in the lambing room again. I have lost track of how old she is; I suppose I could look up her ear tag number to find out. Itâ€™s probably her third lambing season. I hope she has an easy birth and I donâ€™t lose her anytime soon. I love my Gracie girl.
Michael Runtz Natureâ€™s Way EMC lifestyle - When one lives in an area for many years, one sees changes. Loggerhead Shrikes, once commonly nesting here, are now an Endangered Species. Conversely, Bald Eagles formerly Endangered are now surprisingly common; half a dozen pairs nest locally. Even more dramatic has been the explosion in goose numbers. Currently most geese are on their way to Hudson Bay and points farther north. They pause here to feed, waiting for the frozen north to thaw. While here, they roost in open waters such as the Mississippi and Madawaska rivers, and feed in agricultural fields. Recently Art Goldsmith and I counted thousands of Canada Geese between Arnprior, Antrim, and Pakenham. In one flock containing about a thousand birds were three smaller white geese. They were Snow Geese, which just like Canadas have had populations soar in recent decades. Small groups of Snow Geese are regularly encountered locally during spring and fall migration. Sometimes Snows mingle with Canada Geese but they can also be on their own. However, the numbers of Snow Geese in our area are mere drops in the buckets that visit fields southeast of Ottawa. Recent-
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