Thursday, December 27, 2007

The (temporary) Pen That Pa Built

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,
by twice visiting Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts ( 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 t
he 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 goa
ts, 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.

1 comment:

Dana said...

I spoke to David on New Year's Eve, he is so pleased with the wonderful illustrations that you did for his book, and more than a little impressed with the research you did to make the details accurate. I've known David for quite a few years and trust me he is not easily impressed!

The Pen That Pa Built has been my primary book gift this holiday season, I've shipped copies to Nebraska, New York, California and Iowa. I hope it achieves the sales that it deserves.