Saturday, 4 August 2012

In the Pink

Like any good shepherd I check my sheep regularly. Like the small flock, pet sheep enthusiast that I really am, I check my sheep lots. So I noticed when Ewe N1125 developed a squint in one eye. I assumed she probably scratched it on a thistle while grazing. This morning 4 other sheep had similar squints.

Pink eye.


I didn't even know sheep could get pink eye. I thought it was a disease specific to kindergarten-aged children (or snotlings, as I call them). Imagine my joy when I read that it's described as an outbreak rather than a disease, and it's both infectious AND contagious.

I rounded them up and gave them the sheep treatment de rigueur: a shot in the ass of antibiotics. The ones that were showing symptoms also got eye cream.  And I got a bill for £75 from the vet surgery, so everybody's hurting. N1125, or Patient Zero as I'm calling her, has the milky eye as in the photo, but the rest are just squinty or have round, red eyes.

Which reminds me, my first tomato harvest is in -

Ta Daaaah!

Mike and I shared that bounty in our salad, which was in danger of being smothered by a lettuce leaf. This week I harvested four more, enough for half a BLT sandwich. I can continue to look on the bright side of things, so long as I don't get pink eye. Then I'll only be able to squint at the bright side.

7 comments:

  1. I can never see pinkeye without thinking of that South Park episode. Did your sheep get into some Worcestershire sauce? (go back and watch the episode.)
    Congrats on your tomato harvest. I'd poke fun, but I recently realized that my gardening is fueled by my wonder at the utter resilience of nature. It works thus: I _mostly_ kill my plants, then they miraculously come back from the brink. OOoohhhh... Nature!
    The only thing I harvest are aphids and caterpillars.

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  2. seester - My first thought was to wonder if they'd been abducted by aliens, a la Cartman. So pop culture wins over scientific reasoning there.

    Did you know that ants "milk" aphids for their honeydew? http://insects.about.com/od/coolandunusualinsects/f/antsandaphids.htm. You're not a bad gardener, you're respecting the biodiversity in your ecosystem.

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  3. Replies
    1. Megan - Be very afraid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sheep_(2007_film)

      Patient Zero has made a miraculous recovery; as of this morning the milky eye is clear again, so the zombie sheep threat is contained. For now...

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  4. It's BLT season! Finally.

    We've been getting cherry tomatoes for a couple of weeks now, and the slicing tomatoes are just beginning to ripen. We're baconed up, awaiting the first Brandywine.

    Sorry to hear about your sheep. I wish them a full and speedy recovery.

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    Replies
    1. I love the idea of a BLT season. It takes a lot to beat a Brandywine, though I think Black Russians are a close second.

      Can we all agree that "baconed-up" is a thing now?

      Sheep resonding well to treatment already - nay a squinter amongst them this morning.

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  5. Janice Bendixen5 August 2012 23:43

    Eeeeeuwwww! As a 30+ year contact wearer (and definitely NOT a snotling), I am deathly afraid of pinkeye. Nothing can be more gross or inconvenient than that despicable condition. Now it makes me wonder if the eye boogers I wipe from Cherni Girl's eyes are suspect. Bleck... A specter in one's own home? Shivers... Great job on being a vigilant shepherdess, tho.

    Oh, and very posh jumper, BTW. I've decided my next project will be an extra-thick blankie for Homestead North. It was chilly up there this weekend and we had fresh snow. I know. Snow. *sigh*

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