I had a great plan for today, but the sheep forestalled me by doing it on their own yesterday: grazing the steep hill facing north toward the farmhouse. They spent the morning there, contentedly grazing the burned area from stem to stern, and even more importantly, from top to bottom. All I can say is downhill in this case was also upwind. Wind won, this time. So, for my following act today, I'm planning to take them into the eastern end of the Highway Reserve and back out again. The Highway Reserve is a rocky area predominantly covered with native plants. In the deep gully about halfway along, though, there is a dense gorse patch that usually takes me quite a while to move the sheep through. Rather than brave it today, especially since I have to be home by 11 to meet a visitor, I'm cravenly just letting them graze the easy bits up top. This is all predicated on the flock being where I think it will be when I get there. Plan B could be completely different!
END OF DAY NOTES: If this keeps up, I'm going to start feeling like I know what the sheep are thinking--or they know what I'm thinking! The only change in the plan was that I left them in the Highway Reserve, trusting the NE wind to bring them back out by the end of the day, which it did--they were back in the main part of the White Gum Grazing Area by about 4 pm. Lovely to see lots of fresh feed in the Reserve, which will eke out the somewhat sparse feed in the Grazing Area as a whole. The Reserve is under a Vegetation Management Agreement with the State, limiting the grazing pressure and the times of year it can be grazed. Overall the VMA rules have worked fine for both the landscape and the livestock. Shepherding is a nice way to manage the grazing pressure, as I don't leave them in the Reserve overnight, just graze them lightly through.