Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Farm has come to life.





Suddenly it is all happening here on the farm. First of all, the pedigree Swaledale sheep are going today. In the photograph they are waiting in the barn for the transport to arrive - notice there is always one that is King of the Castle! The grass is now growing well in the fields, which means it is beginning to be too lush for these hardy upland sheep. Without putting too fine a point on it, they are getting very messed up at the "back end" and this results in maggots, clipping out and all kinds of disgusting things. So it is time for these sheep to go back onto the hefted fells where they belong, where the grass is poor quality and where they can roam at will. In addition to the grass being too lush, they are also shedding great clumps of their wool as they scratch on various bushes - must be horrible carrying that heavy weight of wool around when the weather warms up - it is 15 Celsius today and a beautiful blue sky with puffy white clouds.

In the little barn in the pasture stock doves are nesting and flitting in and out of the 'window' carrying twigs. My father always used to say 'two stick across and a little bit of moss' is all that constitutes a pigeon's nest - and as this one is on a ledge in the barn, that is all that will be necessary.

The farmer is overjoyed today to report the first swallow of Summer - today, April 6th. The earliest they have arrived before is April 9th. At present there is only one and it is soaring high in the air - full of joi de vivre - if it had been sitting on the wires I would have photographed it for you.

The farmer is out spreading fertiliser on the fields and I am here watching out for the sheep men coming so that I can ring the farmer to come back home and give them a helping hand at loading up.

16 comments:

Sal said...

I have a book called 'Day by Day' and I always write down when I see the first Swallow/Martin/Swift ... it certainly varies from year to year!
Lovely to see the farm coming to life!
You should write a poem about it!
;-) x

Lucy Corrander said...

The sheep look so smart and ready it is as if you have taken them to the hair-dressers in preparation for an evening out.

Lucy

angryparsnip said...

What a beautiful day at the farm.
When do the sheep get sheered ? They must be tired of all that wool and probably want a good scratch by now !

cheers, parsnip

Jo said...

Fabulous photos, Weaver. It looks like an exciting awakening on the farm!

Your posts are so perfectly descriptive...thanks for allowing us to visit your charming world.

Tess Kincaid said...

Your beautiful farm makes me smile.

Heather said...

I love reading about the goings on on the farm and it is great news that the swallow has arrived - I wonder if that mean we will have a good summer this year. Today has be lovely here too, so warm compared with yesterday when I felt cold all day. Everything is bursting into life and all around the garden there are little 'peep-peeps' from various birds nests. I think all creatures enjoy springtime.

The Weaver of Grass said...

In answer to angry parsnip's query - these upland sheep get shorn around July time - when the weather is warm. Before that the wool, which is often hanging off them, must drive them crazy!

Cloudia said...

Howsley and sheep = BLISS!



Warm Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

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Hildred and Charles said...

Spring brings exciting times on the farm. Now Weaver, if you were to go out and pick up all the lovely fleece that is hanging on the bushes you could bring it in and spin it, - no excuse if you haven't a wheel or a drop spindle you can always roll it around on your thigh and have a product you would be quite proud of! The sheep make me nostalgic for younger days.......

MarmaladeRose said...

Lovely post Weaver and what a beautiful day we've had today here in the Dales. Rather windy though. I had trouble keeping my washing on the line!

steven said...

a lovely and gentle post weaver that makes me want to hear vaughan-william's "she's like the swallow"...... steven

Midlife Jobhunter said...

The swallows have returned to our area also. With the new paint on our dock, their nests of the past few years are gone. They nested in the neighbors a few doors down - who removed their nests and then sprayed for spiders. I stood on the dock as the swallows flew around in a frenzy. Come here, again! I hope next time I'm out there they will have decided to come home to our house.

I had no idea sheep needed a meager fodder.

Pondside said...

Lovely spring post - and I had a chuckle at the sheep, and the one lone king of the castle at the back!

Robin Mac said...

Great photos as always. When they shear the sheep, is it in the fascinating portable shearing yards we saw in the nineties when we visited Yorkshire? We were amazed at the contrast with our large sheds in Austrlia. The verification word almost reflects your post - it is spings. Cheers

mrsnesbitt said...

Fantastic Pat! It was lovely seeing all the lambs out with their mums yesterday. We went over to Sadberge & Penrith. We "waved" as we passed the end of the lane from your house. We had 4 appointments re Jon's business so we couldn't stop - was shattered when we got home. Dxx

ChrisJ said...

Going down to the Discovery Center soon to see where the swallows are nesting. I would really love to see those beautiful sheep in the flesh. This is not sheep country, sadly.