Back Gully Reserve

I'm expecting to find the flock about where they were on Monday, and then with the northwest wind to graze them into the Back Gully Reserve, one of the biodiverse areas.  There's quite a lot of gorse in the gully itself, and so far the sheep haven't shown their usual winter interest in gorse as a forage.  Maybe with the recent rains they're just focusing on the new, fresh growth.  Their metabolism will start to slow before long (as will ours here in the southern hemisphere with the onset of winter) and they will be able to thrive on forage with less nutritional content--a natural consequence of winter.  (By the way, this is why we modern humans tend to put on a bit of weight in winter--our food sources don't change and diminish as they would if we were out there foraging too!)  The weather should be reasonable today:  I'm hoping for sunshine to warm up the northwesterly breeze. END OF THE DAY NOTES:  Wednesdays are slow starters for me, as I have choir practice on Tuesday nights, so don't get to sleep until 11 or so, when my usual bedtime is closer to 9!  So I didn't leave the house until 9:30, and had a 45 minute hike out to the sheep, who were, to my surprise, where I'd anticipated them to be.  I went into the paddock quietly, hoping to get a good shot or two before the flock got on the move--this is often the time my "specials" will come up to say hello.  Instead, a big wedge-tailed eagle landed in the tree right behind me, and gave me a perfect chance at a short video.  Then Elf, my fellow who was crippled as a lamb with arthritis, but who "came right" with nursing and physical therapy, came running up to say, "Good morning, mum!" giving me a second video highlight of the day.  I could nearly have just stopped there and been satisfied with my morning.  But the sheep were more than content to graze along behind me into the Reserve, and along the track I'd hoped to take.  The northerly wind helped us make the turn at the southern boundary and cross the steep gully at the end.  I was back up within sight of the Reserve about 4:30, and they had grazed back onto the big hill, and were coming back northward through some of the denser grass/gorse above the waterhole.  So, a most successful day of grazing somewhere other than the thin bits in the middle of the Basin Grazing Area!

May18, 2016
May18, 2016
P1: Pickup, right where I was expecting them. I must be late, as they are lying down waiting :-)

P1: Pickup, right where I was expecting them. I must be late, as they are lying down waiting :-)

Elf coming to say g'day

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

Flowing across the dam wall to the far side of the gully.

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

P2: Grazing down into the native grassland on the steep slope, southern end of the property. The natives have survived in places where even the most determined farmer couldn't plow.

P2: Grazing down into the native grassland on the steep slope, southern end of the property. The natives have survived in places where even the most determined farmer couldn't plow.

Grazing toward me.

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

Grazing toward me.

A video posted by White Gum Wool (@whitegumwool) on

P3: End of the track for this morning. There's a water trough hidden in the gorse toward the back of the flock, but otherwise this is a dead end--impassable gorse ahead. We'll leave them here to graze back out of the Reserve at their leisure.

P3: End of the track for this morning. There's a water trough hidden in the gorse toward the back of the flock, but otherwise this is a dead end--impassable gorse ahead. We'll leave them here to graze back out of the Reserve at their leisure.

A photo taken in January 2015 in the Back Gully Reserve. I was still quite a novice shepherd, and this was a pivotal moment for me, when a ewe stood and regarded me with interest instead of immediately moving away (I was sitting just a few feet from her).

A photo taken in January 2015 in the Back Gully Reserve. I was still quite a novice shepherd, and this was a pivotal moment for me, when a ewe stood and regarded me with interest instead of immediately moving away (I was sitting just a few feet from her).

On the same day, about the same time, these two wedge-tailed eagles watched us for nearly an hour, just overhead.

On the same day, about the same time, these two wedge-tailed eagles watched us for nearly an hour, just overhead.