Monday, 11 April 2011
In the meantime Shep is on night duty. The 'field' ewes are lambing and are housed in a shed overnight, it is Shep's responsibility to ensure all is well during the hours of darkness. To date all has been fairly well, although I did feel sorry for one ewe one night who was held at my mercy for two hours, I honestly thought I was going to be beat and the thought ran through my head to raise the shepherd from his bed. Fortunately perseverance paid off and the ewe was finally rid of her rotten lamb and even better she went on and lived - yipee! The highlight of my night shift is when morning dawns and dogs and I head to the hill to feed the hill ewes before we retire for the day.
Kale turned a year old on the 5th April, what a day that was! Not because of the dogs birthday, such things just fly by unnoticed, no, it was a pretty lousy morning run. The weather was atrocious, fortunately mild with it. Howling gales and driving rain - awful. The first cut of sheep I went to I found a ewe standing over a keb (aborted lamb), same on the second cut of sheep and the third, I hardly dared head to the last cut but all seemed well. Two sheep were with their dead premature lambs, the other lamb had a great big ugly black backed seagull for company and no ewe anywhere to be seen, the seagull was having a great feast managing even to hold the Ravens off - nasty beast!
My humour was failing, rain running down my neck, sheep to pen up ready to set something on to. I found myself taking a different route to usual around the hill and was aghast when reaching a hill top and looking back to sheep which I had already fed I noticed they weren't there. I had left them in shelter from the elements, away from the wind and driving rain and they had gone, every last one of them. In their place was a horse and rider merrily cantering backwards and forwards.
The quad was fired up as was I and the pair of us shot off at a rate of knots in an attempt to head the horse and rider off, we succeeded and joined up with them just before they left the hill ground. I was polite, the girl looked terrified (not surprising when you see a quad flying at speed from a far distance but gaining on you all the time). I don't expect I will be seeing a horse out on the hill for the remaining duration of my lambing, I truly hope not anyhow or I may not be quite so civil the next time.
Fortunately the 6th April was a better day, the two lambs set on the day previously to the ewes which had kebbed are full and happy and away out. I saw my first swallow of the season - yipee! I also sat and watched some hares for a good long while.
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