Sleeping with the Sheep: Comptche Tales

My friend D moved to Comptche, in the redwoods east of Mendecino, about two years ago. This week she emailed a picture she’d just taken, and the following note:
“i’d just finished cutting this pasture… put a couple water containers
in it… the evening hay… and finally got all the ewes and lambs in
there. What a racket! If they don’t all go together… the ones who miss
out (because they freak out) go nuts and take (what seems) forever to
figure out how the others got to the field out yonder. It can be
frustrating, but… its still great!
As you can see, the lambs are almost a big as the ewes. Shearing has
really changed the colors of the ewes… the browns looked mauve right
after shearing… now, its hard to tell what’s going to happen to their
color. I want to go for more brown fleeces and thinking of getting a
moorit ram from someone (who specializes in ‘browns’) down closer to the
Bay Area.
I’ll keep both of the ram lambs this year because I want to see what
comes out of them. They are both black badgers which is black legs and
underbelly, white (or cream) on top with scattered brown markings/spots
(one more than the other) and badger faces. They both have 4 horns…
one has the fused double horns, like his father, the black ram… the
other has two horns growing straight up fron the top of his head, plus
horns growing out each side of his head… more or less straight out.
This ram lamb already broke of one side horn and one top horn, but they
are continuing to grow out, so he will look a little lop-sided… probably.
sheep sheep sheep!”
Her sheep look like little old men, village elders with amazingly individual faces, but all of the wizened, squinty persuasion.

Here’s the picture she sent me–this is right outside her window.

Contrast this to my life in New York/New Jersey, getting on the train, driving through the Holland Tunnel, pushing past people on NYC streets (it’s push or be pushed sometimes).