Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Tending sheep"

3 lambs right outside our fromt porch

Tess holding the invisible line

View from our front porch

This last weekend the weather was got into the 70s and was hot and just enjoyable. Having such a nice day, I turned the sheep loose on the farm. Then I set Tess to do the *tending duties*....she has been doing it for almsot 8 yrs and knows the program.

1. Sheep must be on front lawn near front porch and house pond
2. Sheep are not allowed in the driveway or barn.
3. If the sheep crosses the *invisible line* it will be put back
4. Diane sits on the porch and has her glass of wine and reads a book
5. Tess does the tending by herself.

The ewes know the program--well at least some of them do- not the new ewes and certainly not the lambs. So Tess is constantly in motion until they have it all figured out.

Some of the ewes like to try to sneak away.....there are 4 avenues of to the north of the house, one down the second driveway to the road, one to the barn and the last avenue is to the main driveway. A couple of ewes wait until Tess is preoccupied then will sneak away. She has 35 ewes and 45 lambs to watch.

I sit and read. I also drink my wine very slowly.

Tess will be tending and then her head will flip up and she will dart off to get the sneaky ewes and when she is doing that then a couple of more will sneak off. She returns with the first set and then she will flip her head up again and peer in the distance and then race off to get the second sneak away set.....soon, she has them all staying in the area and then her head will slowly droop and then droop more and then she is asleep.

Ah ha, says some ewes...we can sneak away and then they try but Tess will leap up and then rush back into the flock. Soon she will take a cat nap and the ewes will be finished grazing and then they all will lie down and sleep. Then the lambs follow suit and next thing you now, I have a huge slumber party in the front lawn.

Then I get sleepy so then it is time to put the sheep away and then Tess and I will go in for a nap.

Tess loves to tend and I love to sit on my front porch and's a fine way to spend a Saturday afternoon

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