Brian's Track

Sunshine makes all the difference.  Today's forecast was much the same as last Monday's, but this was a much more pleasant circuit.  As you might guess from my roundabout track to the sheep this morning, I had a lovely idea for a completely different circuit than the one we did.  The sheep foiled me by placing themselves nearly at the gate into the highway reserve, so off we went, to repeat last week's trek.  Aside from being a nicer day, the sheep are clearly getting used to walking through water, and also are getting used to being asked to weave through the gorse to get through various tricky bits.  To change from last week's circuit, today we made a concerted effort to go up Brian's Track, at the far southern end of the Highway Reserve.  It's a narrow, gorse-walled, rough track that is a challenge for 500 sheep, one shepherd (at the front) and two dogs (nominally at the back, though Chance has just lately developed a trick of finding wallaby runs through the gorse and has started doing end runs around the sheep--not always when I want him to!).  I can't see more than the few sheep at the front of the line, and I can't see the dogs at all.  Happily, the sheep were willing to graze, ever so slowly, up Brian's Track.  Chance did one of his end run tricks about halfway up, bringing the top half of the flock with him, but leaving poor Janie to hold the lower half.  We managed to sneak back down and get Chance around to the back of the second lot, and they came up quite smartly, led by a ewe with no name.  The sheep really took their time grazing in each phase of the circuit today, so I have a lovely, satisfied feeling they got a varied, and substantial, forage.  We had a 3-eagle escort up Brian's Track.  I didn't manage to get them all in one frame of the camera, but it made my heart glad to see three at once--knowing there's a juvenile gives me hope for the continuation of my eagle family.  I didn't take any videos today.  I'm still trying to find a good balance between capturing and conveying the feeling of what I'm doing, but not getting sucked too far into the fast lane of modern technology.  I'm still not sure where the balance point is, but it was nice to have a day where my focus was more on the sheep and landscape than on my iPad and words.

June 27, 2016
June 27, 2016
P0: Readers of Saturday's post will remember I was worried about Clara's whereabouts, since I couldn't find her all day. Yesterday I did a "sweep" of all the places we'd been, looking for any sign of her--caught in gorse, or down for some reason. Nothing. Then, just as I was leaving the southern paddock of the White Gum GA, out of the corner of my eye I saw the missing group--about 50, including (hooray!) Clara and Annie.

P0: Readers of Saturday's post will remember I was worried about Clara's whereabouts, since I couldn't find her all day. Yesterday I did a "sweep" of all the places we'd been, looking for any sign of her--caught in gorse, or down for some reason. Nothing. Then, just as I was leaving the southern paddock of the White Gum GA, out of the corner of my eye I saw the missing group--about 50, including (hooray!) Clara and Annie.

P1: I don't know whether I was more pleased to see Clara, or she me! The group was "stuck" in a corner, wanting to go into the wind (fence) or uphill (closed gate). It took me about an hour to work them back to the main flock, mostly because, silly me, I didn't take the dogs with me. Clara likes to follow me, but I have to push from the back when I'm in the buggy. Clara does a lot of turning around and trying to come to me, instead of heading off with the others, so it's a bit of circular progress! That's Clara on the left, Annie on the right.

P1: I don't know whether I was more pleased to see Clara, or she me! The group was "stuck" in a corner, wanting to go into the wind (fence) or uphill (closed gate). It took me about an hour to work them back to the main flock, mostly because, silly me, I didn't take the dogs with me. Clara likes to follow me, but I have to push from the back when I'm in the buggy. Clara does a lot of turning around and trying to come to me, instead of heading off with the others, so it's a bit of circular progress! That's Clara on the left, Annie on the right.

P2:  Two of our 3-eagle escort.

P2:  Two of our 3-eagle escort.

P3: Starting up Brian's track.

P3: Starting up Brian's track.

P4: The top half of the flock through the worst of it.

P4: The top half of the flock through the worst of it.

P5: The second half of the flock nearing the top of Brian's Track

P5: The second half of the flock nearing the top of Brian's Track

P6: Coming through the gate at the top of Brian's Track, into the far southern end of the White Gum Grazing Area

P6: Coming through the gate at the top of Brian's Track, into the far southern end of the White Gum Grazing Area