Be still my heart. The sheep are back. Rocklin has a surprising number of wetlands and meadows, the latter of which needs trimming annually. And the other night St. Bob asked me to hop in the car for “a surprise.”
Could it be a decadent new dessert café? A glorious sunset? How about an incredible garden, a misspelled sign (I love those), or tickets to a brand new movie?
It was something even better: a giant herd of sheep just one block away, baa-ing and meandering about. It was evening, so this is the best shot I could get:
They only stay for a day or two before their owners move them to another juicy munching spot, so you have to enjoy them while you can. Using sheep to trim grass is not a brand new concept: Woodrow Wilson had them trim the White House lawn during World War I.
I told you here about my attempt at sheep shearing. But despite that disaster, I love them to pieces, especially the baby lambs. I grew up watching ventriloquist Shari Lewis doing the voice for her puppet, Lamb Chop, and have been smitten ever since.
So today I’m going to share 10 amazing facts about sheep that I’ll bet you didn’t know:
1. Feta cheese, which we all love, comes from sheep’s milk.
2. Sheep have gigantic, rectangular eyes that see 300 degrees, so they can see behind themselves without even turning their heads. And you thought only owls could do that.
3. About 5 years ago, a farmer in Scotland paid almost half a million dollars for a breeding ram. I AM IN THE WRONG BUSINESS.
4. Sheep are like elephants when it comes to memories, and can remember 50 people’s faces, as well as voices, for years.
5. Sheep are almost as smart as pigs, and will self-medicate, eating the plants they need when they’re sick.
6. There are 900 breeds of sheep around the world. (I wonder who counted them.)
7. A pound of wool can make 10 miles of yarn. Mankind has been spinning it since 3500 BC.
8. A sheep on its back cannot get up, just like a turtle. So if you see one on its back, give a helping hand and turn it over. Talk about doing a good turn!
9. Sheep don’t have top teeth, only bottom teeth.
10. Sheep are highly social and even have best friends (see Number 8!)
And now you can share my excitement when you see a flock of sheep. Especially if it’s lambing season, pull over and enjoy one of the cutest faces in the animal kingdom!
Be a lamb and order my books, too. You can find them here.