Friday, 25 March 2011

Restless


Any day now the sheep that we over-winter will be going back to the high-tops above Buttertubs for the Summer. And they know it! However much we try to keep them in one field they try to get out. They are adept at jumping on to walls and jumping down the other side or pushing open gates which are not securely fastened. And, as every farmer knows, the expression "following like sheep" is very true - one gets out then they all get out. So the time has come when they are beginning to shed great dollops of their fleeces and their feet are getting far too nimble for their own good.

Half of me will be sorry to see them go but the other half knows that life will be infinitely simpler without them over the Summer. These Swaledales are bred for the high tops, bred to be hefted and to roam far and wide in their search for the tough grass they love best.

In the meantime, as we wait for them to be collected, the farmer has hired a mammoth "muck-spreader" which looks like a giant Leviathan and flings the muck about the field with gay abandon. Even with all doors and windows closed (and believe me they need to be closed as the fields are spread with manure) the machine makes a great clanking noise. This afternoon he has taken it up on to the hill top to spread a friend's horse manure - I can see him on the horizon and I can hear the machine from here - and I am quite deaf!

17 comments:

Jinksy said...

I find I fling many things about with gay abandon! Does the soul good! LOL

Rusty said...

That brings back one memory from many years ago. Our high school had to be closed for half a day! A nearby farm had spread the muck with gay whatever on a cool spring day. Then the rain, then the heat! The temperature was well into the 80s - and so was the stink. Sheep manure at that. I will NEVER forget that day though it was almost seventy years ago. ATB!

Crafty Green Poet said...

restless sheep wanting to return to the hills, definitely spring!

Sorry to hear about the ducksn and the hen, a couple of posts back!

angryparsnip said...

What a interesting and funny post today

Buttertubs, hefted, muck-spreader and gay abandon... several words I never thought to read together...
Good Job.

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

I can recall flinging open the bedroom window to enjoy living in the country again, taking a good lungful of country air and nearly choking on it, not realising that the neighbouring farmer had been muckspreading. I told myself it was a good healthy country smell! Hope the sheep enjoy their freedom when it comes and that the summer is kind to them. Buttertubs and hightops sounds very Beatrix Potter but I'm sure they are not quite as cosy.

Rachel said...

There is nothing like the smell of turkey muck. You need to shut all the windows and if you venture outside clutch a handkerchief over your nose. It is good for the land and we have lots of turkeys in Norfolk

Cloudia said...

lovely post-




Aloha to you
from Waikiki!


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steven said...

i'd like to see the sheep as they make their way to the high pastures. i'd especially like to spend some time in their heads as they rediscover their old fields. steven

mrsnesbitt said...

Oh the joys of muck spreading! many a time we would love to sit outside in the sunshine - only to decide to stay indoors - with all windows closed! lol!
Thought of you yesterday when we passed through Thirsk - Golden Lion?

Dave King said...

I take it then, that you get a great clanking smell as well! An enjoyable piece - for us, if not for you.

Rachel said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog Weaver. I have replied to you there.

H said...

I remember standing outside the back door of my Grandparent's Derbyshire bungalow and watching a long line of sheep following each other across the side of the hill. I think it was the first time I had understood the saying about following each other like sheep.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Seems we are all suffering if we live in the country! Thanks for the comments.

Elizabeth said...

Buttertubs sounds so wonderful!

Such delights in your garden.
Yes, manure smells very........manure-like....
Nothing blooming here yet --unless you count a few miserable snowdrops.
It's 28' now so am putting off going out with the dog.

What brave souls parachuting.
Your new trousers sound super useful.

Dartford Warbler said...

I wish The Farmer lived nearer. We have muck heaps to be moved and he would be welcome to every last bucketful! There is only so much that you can dig into the veg garden.

Buttertubs is a lovely place name. I hope the sheep enjoy their summer in the hills.

Jo said...

I'm so glad to re-enter the blog world after the last two weeks' absence with this post!

Delightful to see your village coming to life so beautifully this spring.

Thank you, Weaver.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I can well imagine the scent of the sheep dip. Which reminds me, time to spread it in my own garden. Not certain I'm up for that much muck.