It's been a month in the Basin Grazing Area, so time to make a move. There was a domino effect, starting a couple of weeks ago when my fencing contractors demolished the old fence along the highway in the rams' paddock. I shifted the rams onto the Racecourse, into the triangular paddock I call the "Stud Paddock"--a legacy of the years I bred my own rams from a small flock of high quality ewes known as studs (yes, it confused me at first, too--how can girls be studs??) I no longer breed my own rams, I buy them from the same breeder who supplied my first flock, Glen Stuart (Allan and Carol Phillips) in Evandale, northern Tasmania. And because this is the third year I haven't lambed, due to feed scarcity, I haven't needed to buy any rams anyway. So my nine rams are living the life of Riley, and are so complacent that just moving them slowly out of the Racecourse this morning had them puffing and panting. But back to the domino effect. I have a two-fence policy about keeping ewes and rams separate, so there is always at least one full paddock between the two. As a result, the rams had to come out of the Racecourse, but the highway fence is still under repair. So the rams are having the pleasure of a sojourn in the Lucerne Reserve while the flock is in the Racecourse.
The ewes were in the Grass Gully, the middle paddock of the Basin GA, and quite content to follow me out the gate into Nan's Paddock (so named by my now-retired stockman Davey because it was my favourite paddock when I first bought the farm). Once into Nan's, though, they were in no hurry at all to come down the hill. I let them graze up top for about an hour, then started getting serious about finishing the move about noon. They did ok till they got into the laneway where the January burn had decimated an old stand of cutting saggs (lomandra longifolia). The flock got quite excited about the new growth on the saggs, which they usually spurn, so forward progress stalled for a while longer while they had their fill. The fencing contractors were working at the bottom of the laneway, just beyond where I wanted the sheep to turn into the Racecourse GA, and the flock were intrigued and wary about the strangers dead ahead. It took a bit of pushing to get them on around the corner and into the open gate.
Saturday and Sunday I won't be shepherding, as I'm one of the organisers of a fun event in Oatlands. A team of 12 bullocks (oxen) will be pulling a vintage wool wagon loaded with bales from local woolgrowers (including one from White Gum Wool, of course!) down the main street of town, both days. There will be a display of carts and harness both days, and an auction of horse-and bullock-drawn carts and paraphernalia on Saturday afternoon at 2pm. In addition to the bullocks, there will be working displays of all sorts of heritage crafts, including spinning, at various venues. Any of you who are within cooee of Oatlands would be most welcome! I'll post some photos on Instagram and Facebook during the weekend.
Video V1 above.
Video V2 above: I somehow lost the sound on this video--they were being most enthusiastic about the cutting saggs in the burned area.