We truly feel like we are suspended between seasons. Our minds are on all the tasks of April. We are ready to dive right in and get to work, yet we can only tend to the ones that present themselves as the snow slowly melts and as the plants finally have access to the direct and warming light. Full on gardening? Not quite yet. This year it has been a long slow process. We stand by, and then feel such delight when we can finally engage in some seasonal task…like sheep shearing. Real work, something to do other than twiddle our fingers waiting to hit the ground running ( I’m not sure we’re actually ever ‘sitting around twiddling our fingers’, that may be a bit dramatic). But the sheep shearing has to happen. The ewe’s fleeces have grown heavy and shaggy. Despite some still chilly temperatures, I think they are more than ready to shed those long winter coats…..and so are we, by the way! So off they come, each fleece skirted ( which means to remove the unwanted areas around the outside of the fleece which may be heavily soiled) and then wrapped into a sheet, labeled and dated. The fleeces are stored until we can begin sorting through them, deciding which ones will be sold and which ones will be kept, picked over, washed, carded, and then spun into yarn. The sheep seem happy to have less weight to carry around, inside and out! Their lambs find it much easier to find their milk supply without having to tunnel through thick locks of fleece. Imagine having to eat your breakfast with a heavy carpet over your head. Shearing brings about some real freedom for the flock and a day of good solid work for us. Now with that done, we’ll carry on as winter takes it’s leave and spring slowly doles out her request for action. We stand by, ready and waiting.