May was both a difficult and comforting month for everyone at the farm. As we entered May it was often cold and wet. The pastures were slow to green up and grow with the result that it was not possible to get the flock out onto pasture as soon as we would have liked. Eventually it did warm up and the pastures exploded in growth. The spring wildflowers were late in blooming, but when they started it was a dramatically beautiful display. The Marsh Marigolds in our Cedar/Ash wetlands were spectacular.
Finally with the last week of May, we were able to get the flock started on pasture. As always, the first day out is very special for the sheep and for us. The first day out began in heavy fog, but that did not deter the ewes from sampling their first green grass of the year. The only thing missing from this special day was the presence of new lambs. They are still deeply missed. Nonetheless the ewes were happy. Velveeta seemed a bit serious about everything, but that is her way. On the other hand Cha Cha was definitely smiling. And Calamity Jane seemed to be a bit more reserved.It was also reassuring to have a number of regular May events occur, seemingly as if perfectly timed. The first Monarch butterflies arrived at the farm in the last week of May. It was a pleasure to look up from working in the vegetable garden to see the first arrival fly by.
As also seems to be the predictable case, the next morning we spotted a newborn White-tailed fawn disappearing into deep grass in the pasture outside our breakfast window. I regret not documenting the frequency of the event, but it now seems like many, many years that we have always had fawns born within the confines of what we call the Orchard Pasture. I am a firm believer that the mother finds some degree of security within that pasture and its close proximity to the house. It would not surprise me to learn that we have had at least 3 or 4 generations of White-tailed Deer born in this same location.
On the less than positive side of life in May, Gretchen and I made the difficult decision that we would not open our B&B nor our Gallery in 2020. The uncertainty of our safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is too great. In addition, the suggested guidelines for operating a B&B and/or a gallery make it almost impossible for the two of us to realistically operate either business at present. There are just too many constraints and unknowns to make the effort worthwhile and enjoyable. As we get into this coming winter we will re-think our position and decide whether we open either business in 2021. On a more positive note, we are thinking of offering more of our fiber productions online, including our finished woven productions and naturally dyed yarns. If we figure out a plan we will announce in here in the Ewe Turn blog.