Racecourse Grazing Area

The plan is to work the flock around all the lower edges of the paddocks that make up the Racecourse Grazing Area.  Sheep prefer high ground-a predator thing, I'm convinced:  much easier to spot the lions in the long grass if you hold the high ground.  Of course, there's not much long grass to hide in these days...  So, a circuit that keeps them toward the bottom of the paddocks gives them a chance to find the relatively lush forage they often miss on their own.  Interestingly, cattle ranchers in the western US have the opposite problem--cows mostly like to stay in the creek "bottoms", messing up the water and the riparian vegetation.  There, the cowboy "shepherds" spend their time rousting out the cows from the bottoms and pushing them uphill.  I'll post photos on Instagram (whitegumwool if you want to follow) during the circuit. END OF DAY NOTES:  For once, the plan and the actual day went the same, so I haven't bothered to put in a red "final" track.  It was a lovely day after a mild frost this morning, nearly shirtsleeves by the time we finished.  The sheep kept moving steadily, grazing all the while, so we didn't even get to stop for morning tea, though Chance got a drink partway through.  The main job of shepherding was keeping them from climbing up the slopes as we went around, but overall they were very good about grazing the coarser "green stuff" as Thumper would say--the ranker cocksfoot at the bottom of each paddock.  I was really happy with the circuit, even though it didn't last all that long.

April 13, 2016
April 13, 2016
  Pickup

Pickup

 Clara

Clara

 Elf

Elf

 Vicki

Vicki

 Clara in the foreground, with the flock grazing northward.

Clara in the foreground, with the flock grazing northward.

 The longer grass in the "bottom" of the paddock.

The longer grass in the "bottom" of the paddock.

 On the final leg, with the sheep cheating uphill.

On the final leg, with the sheep cheating uphill.

 Next-to-last gate

Next-to-last gate

 ...ta-da! Sheep bending to me into the last gate. Water and rest await them at the top of the hill behind me.

...ta-da! Sheep bending to me into the last gate. Water and rest await them at the top of the hill behind me.