Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Seasons Greetings

'Tis the season to be jolly! 
Shep would like to wish everyone all the best over the festive season and a healthy and happy 2014. 
The best I can manage at the moment is to share with you this 'old' clip, it's been around for some time now but might just light up your day. 

Thursday, 28 February 2013

To brighten your day

I just can't help myself and once again share a link with you all. There seems to be something about the Scottish farmers, they do seem to be able to enjoy themselves and portray bull sales as no one else could. I hope this brings a smile to your faces as it did me.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Spring is springing

Aye, if we awoke from a long sleep we may be forgiven for thinking spring is here. Middle of February and the weather is looking up. It's been dry! and the sun has shone and Shep is convinced she heard the skylark yesterday away out on the hill top. Snowdrops are a mass of white at the moment with the daffodils poking their greeness out of the ground ready for the next month or two.

There is hope, optimism that all is getting better on the farming front, nowt quite like getting the sun on your backs to give a lift to any occasion, mornings are fairly cutting out, light by 6.30 on the frosty ones and holding back 'til closer to 7 on the slower moving mornings. Remaining light until 6pm see's an opportunity to work longer hours and enjoy the weather whilst we've got it.

Pockets of snow are still hanging around some of the hill tops, sitting like mini glaciers where the depth of snow blown in by the winds is refusing to shift in any great hurry, shift it is tho', but now being a solid, frozen mass it is taking longer for the heat to get through it and melt it away.

Scannings are well through, with only a handful left to deal with, results don't seem to have been as bad as many anticipated which is always a bonus, much concern about protein levels in sheep however as dry fodder in the form of silage and hay isn't always up to it's expected quality due to the horrendously poor climatic conditions when it was made.

Hill ewes are going about their business out there on those vast areas, not quite waddling yet unlike the earlier field sheep which are beginning to show signs of being in lamb with their bellies growing. It is less than 6 weeks until the 1st April when many of the in bye flocks of Tarset and surrounding areas will be commencing to lamb, a very important time in the health of the ewe, one which will decree how healthy her lambs will be and how much milk she'll have to feed them with.

It is amazing how quickly memories of wet, wet days dissipitate when enjoying a spell of dry, sunny days. Ground is also drying up, albeit slowly, but drying it is. Long may it last!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow warning

We had an yellow snow warning, then we were upgraded to an amber snow warning, I always thought snow was white - ah ha!  I now know what the forecasters were on about........................
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Amber snow! or is it yellow? pretty rare stuff I doubt coz most places you look it has a whiteish hue about it.

Aye! It snowed, quite a change from Thursday
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Thursday saw the covering of snow we'd had melting away nicely, okay, this isn't exactly a picture of snow, the hard frosts we'd experienced made the stuff run off roofs and duly freeze, now the freezing was dripping (yes you're right, it took me ages to catch that drip in mid air, must have nowt better to do!) 

So, that was Thursday. Friday saw hay being frantically laid out for sheep, Friday afternoon saw sheep being hounded in to lower ground, where the hay was laid out for them, ready for the onslaught, and it came, right on cue, this was the yellow snow we'd been warned about. It wasn't until today, Monday, that the amber stuff appeared, again right on cue. The weekend had seen as much feed put out for sheep as possible before the onslaught of wind and snow hit them and had them blocked out from the comfort of feed and security.

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This picture may not exactly show signs of comfort and security but at least if they should get happed with snow in these driving winds I'll know where to find them.
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As for old Glen, so long as his lugs are sticking up I'll be able to find him an' all!
Thought you'd all enjoy this link, showing the highs of farming, a cheery compilation

Monday, 14 January 2013

Christmas Past, New Year Present

Aye! Time flies when you're having fun. It has been brought to Shep's attention, by good ol' Dafad, that this blog has been somewhat overlooked of late - apologies to all and sundry, but it is fair to say that I really don't know where the time goes.

It seems ages back since Christmas, a day where Shep enjoyed the company of family, although it is fair to say we all seemed to have a lump in our throats this year, I did try my hardest to honour the request I received " We need you to fetch the Christmas cheer, we don't feel at all Christmassy"

Christmas morning actually found me out on a hill top, perusing sheep (what else) it was as though the world was at peace with itself, not a soul or a sound, just sheep lying peacefully and contentedly where they ought to be, dogs happy to get their legs stretched and Shep happy to have peace and tranquility coupled with the wind on my face.

As is so oft par for the course, the 'Christmas holiday' period saw the onslaught of the sniffles causing all those visitations upon friends and family being cancelled as hankies and bed were often the chosen company. Tups were brought off hill ewes on the run up to the new year and New Years day dawned in a special fashion.

Special? A frost, no wind and wait for it.................. NO precipitation - what better way to start the new year! We even had sunshine!! What more could anyone ask for?? I also found my.self in good company, enjoying the pleasure of following the hounds for the day, being invited for new years dinner and mixing with many friends and acquaintances throughout the day and night. A great way to start off the New Year.

Time is flying by, won't be long now until the scannings are in full flow again, sheep are once again being treated for lice, liver fluke is an issue with some flocks, wet is an issue with all farms and livestock. Should the jolly news people and the climatologists be right that we are to expect much of the same for more than just months to come it will leave farming in a dodgy predicament, indeed it may well put many farmers out of business as they struggle to produce either live or dead crops from their sodden ground. A gloomy thought for the new year but unfortunately one which does need consideration. However, we will remain optimistic that the weather will improve, drying winds will come our way, paddy fields will disappear and be replaced with sound pasture ground which we were once accustomed to seeing, we will get the sun on our backs this coming summer and all will be well in the world.

Here's wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2013!