The last week seems to have dissolved in a blur of not-much-ness. After our victorious CBC, followed immediately by a huge party with 50 or 60 of our closest friends, I went in to serious Slug Mode. For a few days I've been wrestling with a little bit of a cold. It has never gotten the upper hand, but neither has it given up and gone slinking back to the morass of germs whence it came. Still, it's been a good excuse to sit on the sofa reading mystery novels and watching Star Trek reruns.
Christmas Eve we had a lovely dinner out with friends, and Christmas Day we spent bundled up in the house making such a feast for two that we have leftovers to tide us for at least a week.
Oh, yeah. We're slowing-moving non-vertebrates, alright.
It's a good thing I had our penance for this time-squandering and caloric indulgence all lined up.
Each winter the local Division of Wildlife baits bighorn sheep in order to administer lungworm meds. Alfalfa hay and apple mash are put out each day... think holiday cookies for sheep. Once a goodly number of sheep are coming in to the site, meds are added to the apple mash and voila! Everyone gets dosed without the stress of trapping or darting.
We're fortunate here in our area, because volunteers are allowed to help with this daily "chore," and I've been able to participate in the project for several years. This year I was really excited to be able to bring the DM along A) to have the experience and b) to help.
Yesterday was our first scheduled day to bait, so of course when I got up it was snowing and blowing and miserable. It's a 25-mile drive up the valley to get the truck, the hay, and the apple mash... so just GETTING to the site might prove challenging. (sigh) Not precisely what I had in mind for the DM's first bighorn adventure, but whaterya gonna do?
The weather stayed, in the DM's words, "funky" all morning. A little ice, a little snow, a lot of wind. In places we were driving through 18 inches of untrammeled snow, and twice I got us nearly stuck. A little digging, a little swearing, a little calculated effort and we made it back out to the main road. Whew!
But, hey.. it was worth it. I was delighted to see 14 lambs among the 46 sheep that came in to the Chalk Creek site, and 2 more among the 18 sheep at Cottonwood. It's still pretty early in the season, so probably more sheep will come down in the next few weeks. I've got my eyes peeled for one in particular: a young ewe I helped tag two seasons ago. Could be she's gone off to new territory, could be she's gone off to the great sheep herd in the sky.. but could be she'll stop by for a bit of nostalgic apple mash tippling and we'll get to catch up on the news.