All our sheep sorting is done and yesterday Cajun and I walked the rams out to the pasture, completing the job. I let Cajun move the rams part way and settled them there, knowing they would find the ewes without trouble. I called Cajun back and turned to watch the guardian dogs. Well off in the distance one dog had sounded the alert. It was Lily and Oakley who ventured forward to investigate the rams, sniffing them in greeting, letting them pass and then walking with them.
Cajun and I went home, walking in the lovely, peaceful grey morning. I feel content that this task is done before Christmas this year. I hope the weather gods are with me come the start of lambing mid May.
Every outdoor surface is heavy with the crystals of winter fog that has been lingering for a few days. I’ve been wondering why the ewes are not making regular trips up for water but I suppose they’re taking in some moisture with every mouthful.
I rolled out hay feed this morning and the ewes traveled to the feed. But before I was done chores they left the hay and headed back out to graze. It’s remarkable that they’re still grazing this late in the year. The milk vetch is proving to be a worthwhile stock piled forage.
I’ve been putting my pedal bike to good use this year. Lately I’ve taken to going further along the grid road than usual, riding, in the company of the dogs, until I reach our outlying piece of hay land. This property is not adjacent to any of the others. It’s not fenced and we’ve never grazed the sheep here and I’ve never explored it on foot. I ride my bike on the road until I’m abreast of this piece, then leave the bike and go for a walk across the pasture. The snow cover is minimal and only of issue in the hollows now, and I revel in the simple ability to travel on the pasture and feel frozen, grassy, earth beneath my feet in the winter time. I feel the thrill of walking in the midst of land that has been here all along but yet I’m just discovering now. The stock dogs are enthused and thrilled to be exploring new spaces and it’s energizing just watching them.
We enjoy a long time there each day and afterward, my bike ride, and their run home, are a little less vigorous in a very contented, satisfied and soul filling way.