The sheep began inhabiting this spot of land in 1991. There have been many over the years--a couple of Rambouillet ewes, a Romney ram, Leicester longwools, a Merino ewe, Bluefaced Leicesters, Gotland crosses and a Corriedale cross ram that Mrs. LB said had a nose like velvet and smelled like heaven. Personally, I never understood that relationship but she sure did love old Billy. While other breeds had a representative here or there, the CVMs came in 1991 and stayed.
The first came from Linda Pfeiffer's Cascade CVM flock. The second and third migrations came from Mark & Karen Eidman's Kansas flock. We loved them. They had personality, humor and a sense of family. Over the years, we have celebrated, mourned, laughed, cried and lived the California Variegated Mutants. I could go on for days remembering....the old SO303 ewe that hid behind the shelter all day and didn't come out till after the shearer had finished. I can still hear that New Zealand accent, "Where the #@!! did she come from?" I guess she thought no one would notice! E306 who had a "fainting spell" anytime you caught her for worming. Smokey with her head in an orange bucket desperately trying to catch up with the flock--that was running from her. Flutter's girl who almost died mourning her twins that came just a bit too early. She had stopped eating or drinking and couldn't stand. Mrs. LB gave her a Rambouillet lamb just to see..... She immediately cleaned it and shoved that lamb under her leg. She was standing by morning, eating and drinking with her little white ewe lamb. So many memories.
It's only fitting that the last two CVMs residing in a small flock of BFL crosses were who they were. Virginia Slims was Pfeiffer blood through and through. She had arthritis in her knees for the last 5 years but managed to fight every shearing, worming or hoof trimming. She passed away Monday September 9, 2019. Country Crock was the last direct descendant of Butterfly, one of Glen Eidman's original CVM ewes. Just like every member of her family she was strong, fair, hard when she needed to be but loving as well. All enviable traits in sheep or people as far as I can tell. 7 years ago we had a dog attack. Thankfully the only one we have ever endured. Country Crock was injured severely. She had a fractured skull. Her frontal sinuses were movable shards of bone. Her right ear was ripped off and she had numerous cuts and punctures. While on the farm to euthanize two other sheep, our vet watched Mrs. LB flushing Country's wounds and stapling her ear hole closed. As she covered the cuts with flour and fly repellent, the vet stated that the ewe probably wouldn't make it. Mrs. LB replied that she would be fine because of her bloodlines, because of who she was. She was right. Country healed up. Not as pretty to some but amazingly beautiful to us. A survivor. So fitting that she was the last.
Country Crock passed away this morning, September, 12, 2019. She will rest with her mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Yes, we still have sheep. There are 13 ewes and two wethers out there. Don't get me wrong, we love the girls....and used-to-be guys. Longwool crosses all and so much easier to shear. But it's not the same. 28 years is a long affair with one breed. A long affair...but it was love.
Till we meet again old girls...you still have our hearts.