Wednesday 1 December 2010

A snowy Friday (26/11/10)

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Beautiful isn't it? Best place for it is on photos that's for sure.

It is tup time out on Northumberlands hills, but only just. Some were lucky to get their hill sheep gathered before the snow arrived, some weren't. Last week ( was it only last week?) I was gathering out bye. Monday it rained cats and dogs, Tuesday it was so cold you could almost cry. Wednesday it thought it might like to try and snow. By Thursday it was snowing. Friday saw me having to head into the Rede to help another farmer gather his ewes for tup time. Roads were poor but I took my time and arrived in one piece.
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The farmer and I would normally split up to gather these sheep, meeting at a set point with the 'mob', however, due to quad bikes getting stuck we went out together. Sheep were held in spots all over the hill, they had all gathered together on their cuts and were just waiting to be found and gathered. One quad would go in front to cut tracks through the snow whilst I would follow on the other quad. It was a bright cheerful morning,the sort that makes your cheeks glow, it had registered -10 at Sheps house when I'd left so that gives you some idea of the conditions.
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Sheep were rounded up and set on their journey away in towards the farm, Shep turned around to collect a handful more that could just be seen. The weather can change quickly, there was no doubt about it that further East they were getting their fair share of snow by the look of the sky, it finally came our way.
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Moss was fighting with this bunch of swaledale ewes to try and steer them onto the bike track and out of the deeper snow which they were in, the weather was turning decidedly wintry. Finally everything got gathered in and down towards the farm, nearer at hand and waiting for the day the tups would finally be released.
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The tups are waiting patiently, (probably an understatement, they will be desperate to be released to the ewes)in a field in front of the farmhouse. Their day will come once the sheep all get gathered. There is a lot more ground to be covered yet. Back tomorrow to gather yet more sheep off the hill.


abbey meadows said...

And I thought we had a lot of snow here at Morpeth! One positive thing is that it gives the opportunuty for some wonderful photography...keep up the good work.

Tarset Shepherd said...

No doubt about it Abbey, we can definitely get some good photos. I am beginning to think I should have a small pocket camera, I might find I get even more photos!