Monday, September 26, 2005

Springing into lambing season

August and September mark the start of spring in New Zealand. But not only do we get the usual spring treats like asparagus, daffodils, and warmer winds, we also get lambs. Lots of them. Cute, cuddly and very playful ones.

Spring is the annual lambing season and millions of ewes (female sheep) give birth to the little ones and are then sheparded off into separate grazing areas from the males to keep a watchful eye over the lambs. The lambs never stray very far from their mothers' sides, and as we learned this weekend the mommas are VERY protective of their babies. If, for example, an American with a camera jumps out of a passing car to snap a close-up photo of the cuties, the mommas take off with the youngins' in tow and the photographer is left with lots of pics of sheeps' behinds.

Trivia question: How many sheep are there for each human in New Zealand? The ratio of sheep to humans is 10:1 (40 million sheep to 4 million humans), but at lambing season that ratio jumps as high as 35:1.


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