Saturday, July 16, 2011
After many weeks of preparation, we finally got our Icelandic sheep. Here Gunnar, our two-year old ram, is about to take the plunge into his new pasture...
...followed quickly by two year old Sonja, and Sigrid, this year's lamb. Although Sonja was separated from her lamb, and Sigrid was separated from her mother, don't get the impression that there was any mutual comfort here. Sonja seems to go out of her way to butt Sigrid. Other than that, the transition to their new home went smoothly.
They got right down to their business, eating grass.
Icelandic sheep are descendants of those brought over by the vikings a thousand years ago. Since that time, the importation of sheep to Iceland has been outlawed, so a remarkably pure breed has developed.
Time to lie down in green pastures, on a warm muggy evening.
Although Gunnar is actually registered under another name, we decided to give all the sheep good Norse names. I visited Iceland briefly in 1976 and have read many of the old sagas - which mostly deal with battles and land disputes. What else would you expect from Vikings?
Gunnar is actually a very friendly ram. He will approach you and sniff you. Still, I think I will watch that I don't turn my back on him, particularly during the rut.
In the future we will have plenty of long wool for spinning, etc., with a lot of natural color in it.