Sunday, 5 December 2010

Thursday and.......... it snowed! (2/12/10)

Posted by Picasa
After heading down the valley this morning to feed two lots of sheep Shep turned around, collected Moss and Kale and headed up the valley, following a gritter for a short while then meeting a tractor and plough further on before meeting the out bye shepherd who once again was cutting his road out to give me and the quad access to help him.
Posted by Picasa
During the journey I passed these cattle enjoying the silage at a ring feeder, they seemed to be taking less hurt than I felt I was but then they are bred for hard weather.
Posted by Picasa
The snow is now deeper than it was last year, there is a fence somewhere in this photo. As for the snow being 22 inches deep (the length of the shepherds leg to the knee) I don't know how deep it is now, he seemed shy to let me take his inside leg measurement! Definitely too much of it is bum height to me!!
Posted by Picasa
I hayed some sheep at the home farm before heading further out, the shepherd had set away in front with the tractor and plough to cut the road out, a daily task and very time consuming
Posted by Picasa
Moss ran away ahead of the bike, Kale had been left secure at the farm, he actually just went with me for excersice on the way there. A young, keen untrained dog is not the thing you want to be bothered by on days like this. Glen had been left at home, these days can be hard on a dog and are not the sort of days to put a ten year old fella through.
Posted by Picasa
I eventually caught up with the plough which was heading back towards me, the shepherd thought I was getting stuck with the bike on the roughly ploughed road because I kept stopping, I didn't dare admit I'd been taking pretty pictures!! The plough is fitted on the back of the tractor which means the tractor has to go backwards when ploughing, which means the shepherd gets a crick in his neck. Not the easiest of jobs.
Posted by Picasa
First port of call was to access the sheep we had walked away in a couple of days ago. The tractor had knocked the fence down into a planting that day. On purpose I may add. We had taken them to a spot where there was little shelter from the north or east but it was accessible with the tractor. For that reason the fence had been knocked down so the sheep could access shelter in the trees if nothing else. There was quite a mob of them in there, wild creatures, they weren't keen on showing their faces and who could blame them after the hassle they were put through the other day. They did start coming out to the bent hay as we were leaving.

A hair raising journey out to some others with the tractor sliding and almost sticking on a number of occasions had us find sheep which once again needed walking out and bunching together. Shep had got sick of carrying a bulky camera and cursed all the time as the weather was bright, the view outstanding and the photos would have been great - but there you go, it's hard enough walking through this snowy stuff without being hampered with a camera!
Posted by Picasa
Our final port of call was to seek out the Monkside ewes, not seen since Monday but all held together in an inaccessible place for a bale, we would just roll the bale to them. Not the easiest as this again was a bale of bent hay (hill grasses baled up) and not a good one at that so it was quite well stuck together.
Posted by Picasa
As you can see I left all the hard work to the shepherd!
Posted by Picasa
Eventually they too had their fodder, hopefully they might pull themselves out of the hole they are in, even more fortunately we had a 'carpet' to walk back on as the depth of snow was ridiculous and I really didn't want to look like a floundering girlie trying to drag my carcase up hill out of deep snow. The sheep will flatten it down as they eat the fodder laid out for them, or that is what we hope!

Heading for home just on darkening it decided to snow again, I was lucky and got in behind a tractor further down the valley, I tucked in tight in the hope of getting some shelter off it as we travelled along and arrived home rather chilled but with cheeks glowing.

Tomorrow is another day, back out bye to get to yet more sheep, it is never ending as feeding them all on one day is not possible at the moment, there are still some we have not accessed but have seen from a distance and they are in no immeadiate danger.

Hopefully an argo cat fitted with tracks may be arriving in a day or two, the snow is getting too deep for a tractor and it is also getting dangerous for the tractor to travel, the shepherd out bye is a lone shepherd and needs something to make life not only easier but also safer.

On that note I had a phone call this evening from the farmer in the Rede. He is the farmer who got tracks for his quad bike last year and says it is the best £3,500 he has ever spent, to date there is absolutely nothing has stopped this bike fitted with tracks. The snow out there will be as deep as it is out bye and some of the ground as steep and apparently this contraption will travel anywhere.
 
Posted by Picasa
The photo which was taken at the end of January of the tracked bike. A god send in deep snow. I will try and encourage the shepherd out bye to look into getting these, unfortunately it will be up to his employers at the end of the day but it would surely make his job easier and safer.

6 comments:

pepper said...

Lord love a duck...That is a lot of snow! Your snow laden photos are certainly pretty but just the mere notion of you having to wade through such thick snowfall is exhausting. Thinking of you and the critters!

Tarset Shepherd said...

We are fortunate to date in that there has be little snowfall since. It could get a lot worse and is not as bad as the famous 1947 or 1963 (so I am told), however it is far too early.

We'll be fine Pepper, keeps you fit!

Emma Anderson said...

It certainly has snowed, and I think more than last year too. That quad bike with tracks is very intersting. Take care when you're out and about.

Tarset Shepherd said...

I would wholly agree Emma that there has been more snow than last year, it came fresher on Saturday and is amazing how it has flattened and no longer looks as dramatic - thankfully! Lets hope that will be it and no more of the stuff.

Can't help but think the quad bike with tracks is the way forward for many. The reports are extremely positive. Wonder if the company needs a rep??

pepper said...

Gimme the warm sun of Texas... and a pool with palm trees.

Tarset Shepherd said...

Sounds idyllic Pepper, would be a pleasant change for an hour or two!