Katahdin


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The annual Irish Fair took place this weekend on Harriet Island in St. Paul. I’d gone once before about 10 years ago and was excited to get in touch with my Irish roots with a pint, some fish & chips, and Irish music and dancing.

I really tried to get acceptable photos of the Irish dancers because their moves were really kickin’. Alas, it was dark under the dance pavilion tent. It’s just as well….they say you should write about what you know. And I know absolutely nothing about Irish dancing, unless you count the Notre Dame jig at football games, and that probably doesn’t count!

do know about sheep and border collies. (Our family had both on the farm.) So, I was excited to see a sheep herding demonstration, and boy, those border collies are wicked smart herding dogs. I’d never seen this sheep breed before, not that that’s saying much with 50 breeds in the U.S. and about 850 worldwide. They are Katahdins, which are a woolless breed. On our farm, we raised Suffolks (meat breed) and Targhees (for wool, and apparently known as a dual-purpose breed, I kid you not.)

During summers, I would “train” lambs for the 4-H county fair, which was a daily endeavor to get them comfortable being around humans and then halter broke. It may look easy at the fair, but it’s ridiculously time consuming. And by the time your sheep are ready for the fair, they’re about three weeks away from lamb chops.

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