What a month it has been! April has gone by in a flash and a combination of lambing and having to put in a lot of extra hours with one of my other jobs has meant that Bee Croft has had to take a bit of a back seat and I haven't been able to progress the website/online shop as I'd hoped. I want to thank you all, however, for your patience and support and hope to be back on track soon!
As you can see by the above image, lambing has been pretty full-on here, with 16 of my ewes all choosing to lamb in a five-day period - for me and my small flock, that is quite a lot in a short space of time! Luckily, it all went well and I'm so pleased with how the ewes and lambs are doing. I only bred seven of my pure Shetland ewes this year and they certainly did me proud - just look at these gorgeous colourings on some of their lambs!
We were blessed with mild and settled weather for most of lambing, however, from Easter Monday until the day before my first ewes lambed, it was rather a different story!
The poor old daffodils which had just started to bloom took rather a battering and it was so sad to see them decimated by the gales and snow. The bad weather did, however, give me a good opportunity to wear the prototype of one of my hoods - a little 'pixie' hat and scarf combination, which really does keep your head, ears and neck warm. Amazingly, the frogspawn had survived under a thick sheet of ice!
During lambing season the crofters are all scheduled for 'hill rota' duty - the north half of isle, where the 'wild' sheep roam free, is split into three areas, with each area being covered every day by two crofts. This ensures that we are able to keep a good eye on the ewes, in case of any difficulties lambing, and the lambs, in case any have been abandoned or are sick or have got separated from their mums.
On my very first hill rota of the season it was a really miserable day - foggy, cold and wet - and all the way round the back of Ward Hill I could hear a lamb crying and crying. I eventually found this little chap, soaking wet, starving and freezing, by his dead mother. I towelled him off and wrapped him in the inner fleece of my jacket and he came home to live with me as a caddy (hand-reared) lamb - of which I now have six! - where his favourite activity is helping in the garden!
In other news, the lovely Corinne at The Woolly Thistle asked me to film a short vlog each month (you can see the first of these by clicking on the photo to the left), Ruffalo decided my seedlings made a good cat bed and Tiny Lamb gave his big sister lots of kisses and proved an amazing model!
I apologise for all the 'lamb spam' in this month's blog, but it's fair to say it does take over my life for several weeks every April/May! I hope you've enjoyed reading a bit about what's being going on these last few weeks on the croft and I'll leave you with......just a couple more cute lamb photos!