No lambs in the barn when I pointed the dim flashlight into the ewes' pen. The short walk back from the barn was peaceful. The morning sky was lightening and the waning cresent moon showed its slightly reddish dark side, Earthshine.
I learned from www.science.nasa.gov:"Leonardo Da Vinci explained the phenomenon nearly 500 years ago. He realized that both Earth and the Moon reflect sunlight. But when the Sun sets anywhere on the Earth-facining side of the Moon (this happens every 29.5 Earth-days) the landscape remains lit -- illuminated by sunlight reflected from our own planet. Astronomers call it Earthshine. It's also known as the Moon's "ashen glow" or "the old Moon in the New Moon's arms."
Reasearchers also note that northern spring is the best time to see the Moon's ashen glow; perfect timing for lambing barn checks.