Potential Kinetic Energy
Today, March 9th, marks the beginning of lambing and kidding season for us. Or perhaps I should say, the potential beginning of lambing and kidding season. Lambs and kids are sort of like potential kinetic energy, stored in an object and waiting for the right moment to get motivated enough to move.
For roughly five months, since October fifteenth, I have waited. Over the past five years, I have discovered that farming is mostly a waiting game. Even today I could not tell you if each, or all, of my seventeen ewes and seven does are hosting tiny bundles of potential kinetic energy anxious to become part of the Dry Hollow Farm family. I could turn to urine tests or ultrasounds to answer that question, but instead I stand in the different pastures and watch them wander around me, checking udders and abdominal size. Of course with the sheep sporting a year’s growth of wool, it’s pretty much a pointless endeavor.
I make no claim to expertise. Last year I lost numerous bundles of kinetic energy to premature fetuses and stillborn multiples. Why remains a mystery. At the time, we blamed it on the prolonged cold and wet weather. This winter, however, has been dreary and rainy to the point I have decided we are living a real-life reading of Ray Bradbury’s short story, All Summer in a Day.
So I checked the sheep three times today. I let the milk goats wander around the yard for extra forage as I worked in the barn. They all looked at me and shrugged. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe a week from tomorrow. Either way, we are all hoping for the advent of a little kinetic energy around here soon.