Every now and then, usually near then end of winter, when the back yard is too soaked to mow but the grass is rising on knee-deep, I talk about recruiting some sheep to graze it down again.
I'm never really serious. Every time I consider such ovine madness, I remember my friend Leslie Hildreth's Fishwhistle Farm website and her essay 10 Stupidest Reasons to Raise Sheep. And yes, mowing the grass was on the list.
But still, it's fun to watch spring lambs gambol in the fields like clockwork toys, and however dim or difficult the adults, they're soft, fluffy and fun to draw. In addition to visiting Leslie's flock, we've gone down to Eugene's Black Sheep Gathering and the Lane County Fair, sketching the woolies. Leslie's no longer in the shepherding business, but we've developed quite a flock of sheep and lamb patterns of our own, on coffee mugs, soup bowls, toddler bowls and dessert plates.
Hope ewe like them too.