Hector, horse Peanut, and the guard dogs trail the sheep through Tierra Amarilla as they make their way down the mountain from summer pasture in the fall.
A ewe looks back briefly before running to catch up with the rest of the flock, which has moved just beyond the ridge. Canjilon, NM
Antonio cleans muddy tire chains in the creek after struggling to reach the top of the mountain and deliver groceries to the sheep camp.
Antonio helps a sheep stand upright after shearing her at Tierra Wools Handweaving Workshop's annual Spring Harvest Festival.
A close-up of the wool of one of our sheep. This amazing coat keeps the sheep warm and dry and blocks debris and UV rays from reaching her sensitive skin.
Molly, Sophia, and Nathaniel remove debris from a freshly shorn fleece (a process called "skirting") as a member of the shearing crew prepares the next fleece.
Antonio and son Agustín load freshly packed bales of wool onto the trailer after shearing is over. Photo by Molly Manzanares
Spring Lambing is the most intense season of the year: The entire flock (around 800 ewes) gives birth within six weeks. Here, Antonio carries a newborn lamb to the corral to be reunited with its mother.
New lambs face their first life challenge: getting across the ditch! This usually isn't a problem – lambs can run and jump like track stars within hours of being born.
(L-R) Greg Martin, Baldo LaSalle, Antonio, and Michael Combs follow the sheep out of the lambing pen after a rough day on the range near Tres Piedras, just west of Taos.
Home on the Range: One of our older sheep camps spends spring Lambing Season amongst the sagebrush near Tres Piedras, just west of Taos.
Baldo, Juanito, and horse Peanut do their best to corral a group of incredibly spry little lambs.
Molly provides water for Antonio to wash his hands as they break for lunch during a long workday.
The trailer door latches shut: One task is finished; the next five are waiting to be done.
Molly, mare Jimmie, and dogs Sammie and Bert trail the sheep through the Carson National Forest at an altitude of approximately 10,000 feet.
Antonio, Molly, horses Tomato and Jimmie, and dog Sammie survey the flock during a warm spring afternoon on the ranch.
(L-R) Luisa Manzanares, Toni Broaddus, Molly, and Lara Manzanares pose for a photo during lunch on the fall trail drive. Photo by Antonio Manzanares
Toni Broaddus (Molly's sister) and horse Shorty guide the flock through the ranch gates.
Domingo and Antonio trail the sheep down the highway by foot just outside the ranch.
Molly, shown here with dog Bert and horse Jimmie, has spotted and rescued a sick lamb who cannot keep up with the others.
Molly's rescue gets a luxurious ride to the corral, where he will have a chance to recuperate.
Heather and Molly work on a weaving at Tierra Wools Handweaving Workshop as Heather's daughter naps nearby. The weavers at Tierra Wools have designed and woven tapestries and striped weavings using the flock's yarn since 1984.
Molly's tapestry weaving patiently awaits her return at Tierra Wools Handweaving Workshop.
Molly and Antonio chat with a customer at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Shepherd's Lamb has been a weekly vendor at the Farmers Market for over 15 years.
Molly, Hector, horses Jimmie and Peanut, and the dogs make their way down the hill toward the flock during the annual fall sheep drive.
Toni Broaddus and horse Shorty lead a semi truck through the flock during the annual fall sheep drive.
Raquel Manzanares feeds the sheep. During winter months, the sheep's daily meal consists of dry bales of hay harvested from the ranch's fields each fall.
A guard dog pup looks up from his breakfast. We use Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherd, or Common Door guard dogs to guard our flock from predators.
(L-R) Molly, Sammie, and Antonio take a quick nap after lunch during the fall sheep drive through the Carson National Forest.
During a quiet afternoon, Roy, one of our border collie sheepdogs, decides to take a brief vacation from ranch life. This note from Molly says: "Gone to look for Roy. Be back soon."
Ubaldo LaSalle enjoys a refreshment during a quiet moment at the sheep camp. Canjilon, NM
As Antonio gets ready to head out to the sheep camp, dog Sammie warms up the truck. ;-)
Antonio, Hector, and horses Jimmie and Peanut make steady progress up the mountainside behind the sheep. Canjilon, NM
Shepherd Hector Cataño gathers grain for the horses after a long day on the trail during the fall sheep drive.
Antonio and horse Jimmie struggle through a freak snowstorm during the annual fall trail drive in October.
Javier, shepherd and ranch foreman, pauses for a photograph as we drive the sheep down the highway in Tierra Amarilla.
The shepherd stays in a remote camp with the sheep for months at a time. Here, the shepherd's grocery list reads: "Bring me oil for the lamp and some gum."
It's decision-making time on the ranch: Hector and Antonio get ready to sort sheep in the corral.
Freedom lies ahead for the sheep as they shuffle through the sorting chute and emerge into their appropriate pens.
Hector, Toni, Molly, and Antonio look on as the last sheep leaves the sorting chute.
Luisa Manzanares saddles her mare in preparation for a sheep drive through the mountains. Canjilon, NM
Luisa Manzanares and horse trail the sheep down the mountain and through the fall colors on their way to the ranch for winter.
Dinner at the Shepherd's Lamb house usually consists of freshly cooked lamb and vegetables from the farmer's market, where other vendors trade produce for meat each Saturday.
Antonio bottle-feeds an orphan lamb as granddaughter Amelia naps nearby.
Antonio and Sammie irrigate the fields on the ranch. The Tierra Amarilla valley (and most of northern New Mexico) is irrigated by a centuries-old system of acequias, or community ditches, that carry water from streams and rivers and into networks of fields.
Musician Michael Combs buys a package of ground lamb from Antonio at the Santa Fe Farmers Market.