Thursday 1 December 2011

1st December

Shep was heading into Cumbria today. Toast and coffee on the front seat of the car due to a refusal to climb out of bed. I was still managing to leave at the optimum time to arrive at my destination when expected I just hadn't allowed time for the porridge and leisurely cuppa, something to do with dark mornings and probably a late night.

I had an hours journey in front of me with headlights cutting through the gloom. Cumbria is west of where I live, now obviously I mustn't have been fully awake as I was driving along viewing the rising sun, very faint to start with getting stronger as time went by, it caught my interest as did the bird of prey which rose from the edge of the road with something dangling from it's talons. A fleeting glimpse of something the size of a sparrowhawk but what it was I do not know. My attention returned to the rising sun.

Why was I driving into a sunrise? Did I not say Cumbria is to the west. Does the sun not rise in the east? I was going in the right direction wasn't I? It has been known before to head off in the wrong direction, thankfully to date I have realised in good time and can't recall arriving at the wrong destination. I yawned and drove on.

I kept driving on, the colour was getting stronger in the sky in front of me, trees were silhouetted against it, ought I not stop and take a photo? Every time I considered this I had passed the photogenic spot - dithering, whilst still working out why I was heading east.

Eventually I found the sunrise was behind me, I was leaving it behind, probably even more distracting as it was getting very strong by this time and the urge to take a photo was getting equally as strong coupled with the relief that at last I was heading west. For years I have travelled this route, why this morning of all mornings I spent so much energy considering which direction I was heading I do not know, unless my body was missing that early morning stretch and breakfast, brain still heavy with sleep mebbes.

The urge overcame me and I pulled over into a car park designated for a historic site. Quite a large historical site really. Housesteads Roman Fort, built on Hadrians wall a stretch of which I was following along this particular route.
Posted by Picasa
There you have it, the sunrise on the 1st December. Now what is it they say about red sky in the morning? Okay! we're safe - it's an orange sky, all will be well!

The day remained dry, cool but dry. Far better day than a day or two back when I got soaked to the britchy arse. I didn't quite end up doing the John Wayne walk that day but definitely had a very wet backside which gave cause for a 'phone call to local agricultural merchants to please deliver a new pair of waterproof trousers this coming weekend. There's nowt quite like one of those piss wet days to make one realise the waterproofs are no longer waterproof and believe you me, soggy backsides ain't the best of company.

The task in hand was to fluke dose a flock of mule ewes.
Posted by Picasa
The ewes were run through a cattle race to allow me to manhandle them and give them their oral dose against them nasty little fluke blighters. Critters which thrive on wet ground and attack the liver of both cattle and sheep, critters which are becoming more and more of a problem in our area and possibly more so this year with the mild conditions which have been experienced of late.
Posted by Picasa
I did grin to myself. The above is a suffolk, one of the tups which have been running with these ewes, he's actually just a lamb but a big one at that. The hanging lugs is what made me grin. How often do we say "it's hanging it's lugs" which basically implies the beast is off colour and here we have a breed which is meant to have 'hanging' lugs. By 'eck, I do think they're ugly! Give me a texel any day.

I also mused the fact that these tups services now appear to be no longer required, their job is done, fertilisation has occured and they now have the rest of the year to swan around and do nowt. How seasons vary, in Tarset some tups have only just recently been let out to the ewes, these boys were let out weeks ago and now find themselves redundant.

My return journey saw me heading east, (before turning off and heading west) it was too late for a sunset but I did see the glow in the sky which I had looked upon this morning and from the exact spot where I'd taken the photo - light pollution, a phenomena we are unaccustomed to in the North Tyne but one easily seen tonight as I looked towards the glow coming from the conurbations of Hexham and beyond to Newcastle, I preferred the sunrise this morning - far more natural.