Sunday, March 26, 2017

Whirlwind Interruption

Going to water

While I fully intended to blog the last couple days, having a wee social life while I am here, plus preparing to leave, created a whirlwind of interruption in computer time.  

I headed out from Burradoo this morning and this time leaving stirred up a host of feelings am not sure what to make of yet.  Each year it is increasingly tougher to leave the dogs and the place.

I am not headed for home just yet though.  Tonight I am at another ranch in NorthWest Montana, visiting with more kelpies and company.  I had a wonderful sunny afternoon with the host, taking dogs for a long walk across just a tiny portion of this land and then a couple hours to explore and take photographs.  And I did plenty of that, however, we will both have to wait to see any of them because  sleep is sorely needed after a morning of driving and a full afternoon of hiking.

p.s.  I posted a short series of the flock in the top photo going to water on Facebook. 

p.p.s. the lgd in the last post is Akbash, Anatolian Shepherd, Komondor cross.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Unusual LGD

There is new guardian dog at the neighbours, just up the road from here.  After getting permission to be there I took a drive to see if I could get some photos.  I’ve visited a few flocks and several guardian dogs on my trips here but have not yet come across any that look like this fellow.

It was mid afternoon and I woke him from a sound sleep. He was very wary and wasn’t about to let me anywhere close to him.  I don’t know what breeds he is comprised of; I’d take a wild guess that he has a white breed and perhaps Anatolian or Mastiff and maybe Komondor.

Trying to get better photos only succeeding in pushing him further back and off his sheep.  I let him be and took a few photos of some of the members of his flock instead.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Almost Like Home

The sheep got lazier and lazier about moving out to pasture and back so I started using a dog to help them along.  I use either Muster or Drover (two of the Kelpies here at Burradoo) to take sheep out to the day pasture each morning and Gibson gets the pleasure of taking them back to the night corral. This is Gibb moving the group across the bridge and heading through the kennel yard.

We’re bringing the sheep in a little early to sort a group and work a few dogs. 

Holding at the gate, while I take pictures

I worked Gibson a bit, then started with BlackJack and moved on to Nugget and Deuce, two younger dogs Bill asked me to work a bit while here. A pretty easy and relaxed time was had by all, and I felt very pleased with the dogs and myself.  If only working them went that smoothly every time; we might be champions by now :-)  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sheep, Big Ones

Look at what I spent time watching.  An hour or more of photographing flew by like nothing.  I am so taken with these beasts, perhaps because they are sheep, they are wild and I don't get to see them where I live.

Bighorn Sheep

Their winter grazing grounds is in the lower elevation of the Custer National Forest which butts up against a mining site.  I have traveled up here before and not seen a single sheep, this time I saw two bands.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Shearing and Scratching

The day was sunny, warm and windy. The sheep day pasture is just out front of the house so we can watch sheep from the deck. I took advantage of it though and worked BlackJack and Gibson. It’s a large pasture space and we couldn’t work the sheep too long in the warmer temperatures. The dogs felt the heat too and headed to the creek afterward for a swim.

Yesterday was a full day on my feet with chores on either end and in the middle helping at a shearing day for a large flock of Rambouliett sheep.  It was a busy pace all day long and I wasn’t shearing or even hosting shearing :-)  All I managed was a quick photo at the end before the last sheep travelled over the hill to the feed.

Today the tiredness carried over so I took some time off my feet to do some artwork.  I just brought along a couple scratchboards, enough to keep me busy while I’m here and simple enough to pack because not a lot of art supplies are required.

I’ve got two on the go right now.  The first is very interesting to work on.  I’ve titled it The Shed’s and The Dead’s.  On large tracts of rangeland you continually find antler sheds and skulls.  This particular pile of antlers and skulls sits in front of the guest cabin here.

The second piece is another experiment with figuring out how to scratch the texture of wool.  I’m working from an old and rather poor quality photograph so detail is sparse.  This is a very early stage. The dusty look is from chalk, used for the line drawing.