Saturday, 24 June 2017

Goodbye, Sunset

A good sunset is ridiculously hard to come by at the moment. The beautiful spring sunsets I was looking forward to rarely materialised, and now the summer ones are being equally elusive, hiding behind clouds. One evening I saw that the low sun was shining so I dashed out to spend the last moments of daylight with my sheep.

Bob is looking very handsome without his wool (and now we know that roundness wasn't just the wool).

Honey and Rosie.

Just as I was getting into my photography groove the sun disappeared behind clouds and my beautiful light was gone, not to return. Ah well, I still had my beautiful Bob.

When he first arrived, Bob would go nowhere near a dog, but now he marches right up to them. Pip, being a sheepdog, naturally found a sheep that wouldn't run away downright terrifying.

Honey again. I am so relieved she is free of her woolly coat. She was filthy.

Rosie is loving being wool free because now when I give her back scratches, she can feel them - she tilts her head back, shakes her tail and licks her lips. It is adorable.

Millie and Margo, however, were not in a photography mood and would rather eat grass, so Pip and I headed for the gate. Pip escaped with little effort and left me to fend for myself against the scary sheep who don't run away.

(Thankfully, I escaped.)

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Clipping 2017

Father and son team Paddy and Barry were back this year to clip the flock. They were overheating in their thick, woolly coats.

First up were the hoggets who had the thickest coats of all. Prudence's turn:

They hadn't been clipped before so it was a whole new experience for them.

Jess was back on duty, helping me to get the sheep onto the trailer.

Teddy was helping, as usual.

A handful of the hoggets had lambs in tow, who became very confused when their mummies lots their coats.

Barry still working on Prudence - there was a lot of wool there!

One of the hoggets decided, rather than jumping off the platform like every other sheep before her, to stay and supervise.


"You missed a bit."

She even let Paddy tidy her neck.

"Yes, Barry, that's how I would have done it."

Almost finished the hoggets.

Next up for the clip were my sheep - also mostly hoggets. Rosie was in the trailer first.

Barry gets started on Millie.

Paddy got Honey.

Margo awaiting her turn...

Rosie drew the short straw and had to stand at the front to help lure the others in.

Millie and Honey clipped well.

Millie wondered why she suddenly felt so light and cool.

"Who are you?"

Suckie was still with us at this point and Barry clipped her.

Paddy had Bob - his wool had become very brown, so it was nice to see him with his proper colour.

Millie and Honey watched on.

Four down...

Paddy starting with Margo.

Barry had Rosie.

"Is that all mine?"

They didn't quite know what was going on!

A flock transformed!

Next up were the tips.

PD was first.

PD is so quiet you can go up to him and give him a stroke.

The Kerry Hill boys on the platform.

After the tips it was the turn of some ewes.

Iris being clipped.

One by one the ewes were clipped.

It was very hard work and during breaks the dogs relaxed as much as everyone else.

Jess relaxed with an audience.

This year we had extra help from Owen. As well as helping with moving sheep and rolling up fleeces, Teddy found him very useful for hugs.

And Jess liked his tummy rubs.

After two days of hard work the final sheep was clipped.

314 was the total for this year. Numbers have gone down - we need more sheep!