Regular readers of my blog will know by now that we farm on the side of a long lane which has only a few houses on its length - and all of them farms. Our next door but one neighbour - about a mile and a half down the lane - has Wensleydale Longwool Sheep, so I walked down yesterday (it was a lovely Spring day) to take a photograph of some of them.
Let's say straight away, they are not pretty sheep - not the sort that would feature in childrens' stories or be converted into a cuddly toy - that role is best left to the Suffolk or the Dorset breeds. They are large, rather ungainly sheep and as you see in the photograph, have quite a curly coat. By the time it comes to shearing them that coat will be long and lustrous. They all originate from one gentleman called Blue Cap because of his very dark blue head and, as an old breed, they went out of fashion and by 1970 were almost extinct.
Well, they have made a come-back and there are now plenty of them about. If you wish to read about them just Google Wensleydale sheep and you will find a wealth of information.
Our neighbours, as well as having a flock of Wensleydales, also run The Wensleydale Sheep Shop on their farm - they sell fleeces, beautifully dyed wool, knitted garments (knitted by local ladies)
and all manner of sheepy things. The wool is pearly and silky and knits up beautifully. The sheep come in two colours - pearly grey and black.
I hope you enjoy looking at them in my picture. They are inquisitive things and I had only been standing at the gate a couple of minutes before they came nosing towards me. At present some of them are lambing indoors, so maybe next week I can post lambs gambolling in the field, too.