Sheep Worrying

April 12, 2018

Well, that will teach me to blog about a pleasantly warm day – it hasn’t (thankfully) snowed since my last post but it’s not exactly felt springlike, put it that way. They say the warmer weather is coming; it had better hurry, is all I can say.

Hawthorn leaves emerging

But there are signs of it, and not just in the hedgerows. Exhibit one: putting-lambs-back-in-fields season has begun, with a lamb that had, as usual, worked out the way out of the field but could not for the life of it work the way back in (are modern fences equipped with special one-way sheep valves?) Meanwhile I couldn’t work out for the life of my how a lone cyclist could corner a lamb along a straight stretch of fence in order to chuck it back into its field. Having stood there for a while trying to give it instructions (‘Under, under! You need to go under the fence, not attempt to julienne yourself by going through it, you stupid animal’) and hoping that a driver would stop to help (fat chance), I finally flagged down a tractor driver who said he’d alert the farmer and I was able to head off for my lunch with a relatively clear conscience.

fleeing lamb

My usual lamb photo effort

It only struck me later that would have been a good opportunity to get a better photo of a lamb than the usual ‘distant running-away dot on the horizon’ but it seemed a bit indecent to profit from its misfortune just to bump up my Instagram likes.

lamb huddled by tree

On a related note, I hope that this lamb spotted this afternoon was just sheltering from the east wind, and not actually sick, which was why it didn’t run away. I suppose I could have gone to find another tractor driver or farmer to ask … but while ‘lamb out of field’ seems a legitimate thing for even the most uninformed townie to report, ‘lamb looking a bit depressed’ is a bit more marginal…

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Exciting* Sheep News

April 17, 2017

The field on one side of the house has suddenly been upgraded with the addition of some ewes and their lambs, who have perhaps grown a bit beyond the maximum cute stage.

growing lamb

But are beginning to look fairly delicious.

Fortunately this is not the field with the hole in the fence, which I imagine would not prove lamb-proof even with my improvised defences. Even so, I imagine my lamb-putting-back-in-field adventures are by no means over.

* Not really


What is this Life …

March 24, 2017

spring trees

… if, full of care / We have no time to stand and stare?

There’s a field I pass on the way into Bigtown which is now full of lambs, still at their maximally cute knobbly-kneed, propeller tail stage. They’ve been sheltering by the trees right by the road, maximising photo-taking opportunities, but every time I’ve been passing I’ve been hurrying to catch a train or bus, or meet someone, or otherwise have not had time to stop. Today was probably another such occasion, but it was also a glorious if somewhat chilly spring moment so I thought I’d better try and seize the moment before they grew more reminiscent of Sunday lunch than spring.

lambs

Of course they all mostly ran away and hid behind their mothers as soon as they saw the bike, so you’ll just have to imagine the cuteness.


Sure Signs of Spring

March 22, 2016

Greyish brown blobs of frogspawn in every puddle and ditch…

frogspawn

… and litle white blobs fleeing over the hill at the sight of a blogger with a camera phone

fleeing sheep and lambs

You’ll just have to take my word for it that the lambs are gambolling away like gooduns and are very cute, but a tad flighty.


Routine Ford Update

March 23, 2015

Because we haven’t had one of those for a while, and I know you like them.

Ford in March - almost dry

Ford status: almost dry

frogspawn

Frogspawn update: the annual race between the maturing frogs and the drying up of the ditch has now begun. Ordinarily in south west Scotland this would not be an issue, but given the shallowness of the ditch that Mrs Frog has chosen for her offspring this year, I’m afraid it’s the ditch’s race to lose this year. I will keep you posted, unless it all gets too desperate in which case I’ll probably draw a veil.

lambs and sheep

Bonus ickle lambs: normally given my phone camera capabilities, lambs are usually rendered as white dots on this blog, but apparently I looked enough like a farmer (it must be the tweed cap) to these sheep that they all came running over hoping for tasty sheep treats. Their disappointment is your gain.

one in five hill

We then climbed a 1-in-5 hill to reach the top of the ford road and back into a suddenly icy headwind. Inexplicably, Sustrans haven’t included this in their national cycling network yet, although I imagine it’s only a matter of time.


The Fine Art of Knowing when to Quit

March 25, 2013

Marvellous as they are, my ice tyres don’t quite manage to cope with the situation where all the snow in the surrounding fields has been blown into the road where it has gone just slushy enough to make even the most intrepid cyclist have to deploy God’s stabilisers just to stay upright.


snow covered road

I had a feeling that every dip and hollow between Nearest Village and the Papershop was going to be similar and so, not being all that intrepid, I turned round and deployed the other half in a car instead.

huge pile of snow

It’s going to be fun when this lot melts…

lambs getting fed

But after dire stories in the news about buried sheep, I was relieved to see these little chaps looking so chipper. Clearly right inside the feed bucket is the place to be this March…


And Little Lambs Eat Ivy

March 15, 2013

After the first few bleating woolly blighters were spotted earlier this week … suddenly our fields are full of lambs. I’d been meaning to post earlier but only managed to get self, camera, camera’s SD card and lambs all into roughly the same place this morning.


faraway lambs

And obviously, given I was on a bike, aka the scariest thing in the world, by ‘same place’ I mean me on the edge of the field and sheep and lambs as far away as possible on the other side, testing the limits of my zoom.

lambs posing

Although one family was rather more inclined to pose

lambs_walking_away

Until Mum decided enough was enough and led her pair away from the limelight

lamb gangs

Some of the lambs were already forming lamb gangs all the better to start their assault on any gaps in the walls. I suspect my rides down to the papershop are shortly going to be punctuated by futile attempts to keep them off the road and safely in their fields. And it’s not just the sheep, either. I was stopped on my way back from the pub last night by the local sheepdog breeder and trainer who’d lost one of his best bitches.* I don’t know if he found her or not, but if not, perhaps she can join me on my mission …

* as in female dog, not something to go with his hoes.