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A partial eclipse of the lamb

Friday, January 18, 2013

BLC21 dictates doing something I havenít managed before this weekend, so Iíll try to drink 8 glasses of water for the next four days. Wish my bladder luck. It also dictates 20 minutes of cardio a day (easy enough), interacting with other member of my team (easy enough) and tracking every bit of food that passes betwixt my lipst. Thatíll be a challenge. Maybe I should have just killed two birds with one stone trying to do that for the first phase, instead.

Boring weekend ahead, at least in terms of external plans. Fortunately, I can be entirely entertained by watching games on TV, and the NHL comes back to life tomorrow. Only too bad that I donít get CBC, wish I could catch some Hockey Night in Canada. In between periods of the Red Wings game, that is. Havenít a clue what to expect from the truncated season, but glad to have that, at least.

In the get to know me memes thing I did last week, I mentioned shepherding experience, but forgot to follow up on Kristinaís (KMM1123) request for that story. Itís not particularly exciting, I just happened to work in a lab one summer in undergrad for a boss who had a farm, and a flock of sheep. Every once in a while, I got to go out there and do farm stuff. The day we baled hay might have been the trigger for the worst allergies I have ever suffered in my life! The day the boss brought a dying lamb to the lab was one of the most heartbreaking things Iíve experienced. We had the poor thing on an IV, trying to keep it hydrated, as it faded away to the great pasture in the sky. The shepherding I mentioned was just from trying to bring the flock from their field back into the barn at the end of the day on the occasions I was out there in the evening. You talk about your herd mentality, and add in stubborn creatures like sheep, and that wasnít an easy task, let me tell you! I also got to help shear the sheep when it came time to collect wool. The poor animals looked so cold afterwards, even in the heat of summer.

And then there was May 10, 1994, the solar eclipse on a day out at the farm that was, simply put, the coolest thing Iíve ever seen. The sun started fading at around 4 PM or so, a few hours before the sheep were usually brought in for the night. But theyíre wired for light, and while at 3:45 they were roaming the field, a few running around, most just grazing contentedly, as the sun started failing, they all tucked their legs underneath and went down to the ground, for all the world looking like they were getting ready for sleep. Just a powerful sight, nature overruling the clock claiming that, no, really, it was still afternoon.

Not all of them stayed fooled, as the light failed to fade any further, a few got up and started wandering again. But the majority of the small flock remained down, and I think a few even took a nap, until well after the peak of the eclipse passed. As the light brightened again, they just got back up and went back to grazing, as if nothing had happened.

That was an awesome experience.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 1/22/2013 5:20PM

    like the sheep story!

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GARDENCHRIS 1/19/2013 8:07AM

    that is a cool sheep story.

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KMM1123 1/19/2013 12:36AM

    Very cool sheep story! Hmm... never thought I'd write that sentence. Thanks for sharing though and appeasing my demanding and inquisitive comment. Observing a natural phenomenon can be very awe-inspiring. A few years ago I witnessed a nest of sea turtles emerge from the sand and make their way to the Gulf. Way, way awesome. By far, the best thing I've ever witnessed.
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FLEURGARDEN 1/18/2013 8:35PM

    CBC is the best for hockey - you must be just out of range. I'm closer to Detroit, so I have no problem getting their signal.

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ANDY_54 1/18/2013 6:58PM

    My husband and I own a small hobby farm--no animals, just crops--but it makes me feel the cyclical nature of the world and more tuned in to the seasons as they turn from one to another. Hm, kind of like those sheep (but I hope I have a bit more brain engaged, lol). Thanks for the reminder!

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1CRAZYDOG 1/18/2013 5:44PM

    Awww . . . poor little lamb!

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DONNATINWV 1/18/2013 3:14PM

    I, too, love remembering summers on a farm when my grandparents were living... They are some of the sweetest memories I have. Thanks for bringing them back to me!

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