Thursday, December 27, 2007
The (temporary) Pen That Pa Built
For several months last year I lived part time back 1838. I researched one of my new books, The Pen That Pa Built by David Edwards, http://windyhillbooks.blogspot.com
by twice visiting Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts (www.osv.org) and taking many photos of how a colonial family lived and worked. I painted the pen and the sheep in every season. One of my favorite images is of the pen and sheep in typical New England December weather.
This Christmas Eve, while spending a few days over Christmas at The Sea Ranch on the Northern California coast, I saw a different kind of sheep pen built. This one only lasts a couple of days each time it is erected. It is much bigger than the one in the book.
It has to be.
It has to contain about 500 adult sheep and goats, as well as an uncounted number of lambs. This hard working herd are 4-legged lawn mowers whose job is to eat all the invasive shrubs and to keep the native grasses short and neat. When shepherd Leland Falk, built his new, solar powered, hot wire pen across the street, the sheep all rushed over into the fresh grass but left several new-born lambs behind. I was lucky enough to help ferry them back to their moms.
That was my favorite Christmas treat.