It continues terribly dry, though a bit of rain is forecast for Thursday, so I decided to do my full-day shepherd a day early and keep Thursday for a (hopefully!) rainy day of finishing my quarterly taxes. The bugs are gaining on the sheep in the lucerne (for those who missed earlier posts on this, I have aphids/mites turning my beautiful stand of lush green lucerne (alfalfa) into yellow standing hay). So I'm bringing the sheep back in to try to graze as much more of it as I can get them to eat. After yesterday's high precision shepherding, my plan for the lucerne is laissez-faire--except for a couple of bare stretches in the lucerne, I plan to let them graze at will--hence the several arrows on the map. It will be a very warm, breezy day, and I expect I'll be champing at the bit for them to get going after mid-day rest. I'm trying to keep in mind the words of Australian cartoonist Leunig, between Vasco Pyjama and guru Mr Curly. Vasco asks Mr Curly, "What is worth doing and what is worth having?", and the guru responds: "It is worth doing nothing and having a rest." He goes on to talk at length about the evil effects of prolonged fatigue on the whole world, and finishes with, "So I gently urge you, Vasco, do as we do in Curly Flat--learn to curl up and rest--feel your noble tiredness--learn about it and make a generous place for it in your life and enjoyment will surely follow." Sheep are superb at doing this in the middle of the day. I have lots to learn from them. Follow whitegumwool on Instagram for real time photos. No photos during nap-time, so you can get some rest, too.
END OF DAY NOTES: All in all, a good day. When it gets warm early and stays warm it makes the sheep reluctant to move, so I was pleasantly surprised at how well they grazed both before and after mid-day rest. Because we didn't have the usual sojourn in the native pasture before MDR, I think they got tired of the lucerne more quickly, and were very ready to settle down and graze the nice grass in Curly Sedge Creek at the end of the circuit. Just shows you how diversity needs to be woven into each day's diet. Personally, a really good day. I had a great nap, even took my socks off--a rare event shepherding in Tas, believe me! I woke to the sound of many twittering birds, including, as it turns out, several flame robins along with the fairy wrens, silvereyes, skylarks and something I've yet to identify. Oh, and I had the most spectacular eagle fly-over--3, one at a time, right over the she-oak and not more than 20 feet up. Instead of reaching for my camera, I simply gaped. It's always a good spot to hear birds, but today was special. These are the things I set against the ongoing dryness and feeling sad about the state of the landscape.