Thursday, June 2, 2016

Road Trip, Part 2

I am always happy to meet sheep on my travels. I visited Mount Vernon in May for the first time. Besides learning that George Washington was his own architect--and that the stately mansion is faced with wood, mocked up to look like stone with varnish, sand, and paint--I didn't know how much of an innovator he was in farming. He studied up on crop rotation, composting, and what breeds of animals worked best. He had some Leicester sheep, known for the fine quality of their wool, and some rather-more-assorted-looking creatures. The ones in the rail-fenced pasture had goat-like faces.

Luckily, there was someone I could ask--a demonstrator who explained that the motley sheep had come from Hog Island, a barrier island off Virginia where Europeans had put them in the 18th century. The Hog Island sheep are rare and are re-enactor flocks for Mount Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg. Maybe they could have historical misadventures with my crew.