Monday, 26 September 2016

The Ram Sale

Ram sales can be quite exciting. It's a chance to pick out some of the best rams to join the flock. Texels, like this one, are always good sellers.

This one ended up coming home with us.

I'd been talking about how cute Hampshire Down sheep were. When one came into the ring that I liked the look of, to my surprise Dad started bidding. We wound up with two lovely ones.

The following morning they were put to work mowing down this horribly overgrown little field. This is the smaller of the two Hampshires.

The smaller of the Texels.

The bigger Hampshire. He's my favourite. There's just something about this face that is full of character.

And finally the larger of the Texels.

And then there's Blue Belle, who's keeping an eye on them for us.

"Are you boys behaving down there?"

I'm really happy with our new rams (two Hampshire Down lambs and two Texel shearlings).

I'm really looking forward to seeing the baby Hampshires in the spring!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Red All Round

The light was beautiful on this evening as the sun was going down. While Dad was loading up the trailers with haylage bales (the last of the season), I mucked about with Teddy and the camera.

Teddy sporting some handsome devil fluff.

I love it when I can get some action in the background of shots too. It tells more of a story, I think.

The mountains looked gorgeous.

Meanwhile, Teddy had fun with a squeaky ball.

Even with the sun going down our job wasn't finished yet. The tractors weren't switched off until midnight. Everyone breathes a huge sigh of relief when we get the bales finished!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016


All summer I kept Nobby clean and fly-strike-free the organic way. While every other sheep on the farm was treated with a strong chemical fly repellant, Nobby was kept spotlessly clean instead. This was because he was often going out for walks in public areas and having children stroking him and I didn't want anyone, however unlikely, to have an adverse reaction to the chemicals. This meant I spent my summer keeping a very close eye on him indeed - and worrying if there was even so much as a speck of dirt on him.

Washing him was easy. First I threw a bucket of water (or two) on him. Wool is very good at repelling water, so the water alone would do absolutely nothing to make him cleaner - it was just so I could get a good lather on him with the soap.

Once he was wet enough, I broke out the Fairy Liquid (lemon, if you were wondering). As you can see he isn't very bothered about having a bath.

Soap applied, it was time for - yep - more water. Poor Nobby - for an animal who doesn't much like water, he copes very well.

And I last I've emptied the bucket and he can have a good shake!

Yet more water - I like to be thorough.

Nobby just checking that the bucket is actually going away this time.

Then it was Nobby's favourite part - rubbing the soap into those harder-to-reach places. This a great shake here - soap suds flying, and you can see why I wore waterproofs!

He's soapy, but happy. Just look at that proud pose. He loves all of this attention!

One more rinse later you have a spotlessly clean lamb, ready for more adventures.

I wish the dogs liked baths this much!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Barley Fields

So far on my travels I'm yet to bump into someone else who brings a dog and camera everywhere with them, but I digress...

On any given dry day at this time of year (sadly few and far between), the roads will be inundated with various farm machines - combines, forage harvesters - and too many tractors to mention. On such a day Dad, Jess and I headed to these fields of barley to pick up our yearly ration of round straw bales, as Jess demonstrates below.

The barley was taller than Jess!

One man was driving the combine, and another followed with a round baler. I only photographed the combine, though - I find them more interesting as I only see them once a year.

Jess was a little nervous of the huge combine and its noises, but she behaved herself very well.

Before long we had a trailer-load of bales to take home. The ewes will be comfy in their pens this winter.

Meanwhile, the combine drove on, always in a rush to beat the rain...