Lucerne Reserve

I haven't seen the flock move into the Lucerne Reserve on their own, so I'm assuming I'll find them somewhere in the middle of the Basin.  The forecast wind is westerly, so depending on how miserable it is I may or may not have trouble moving them down the hill into Old Cabin.  If that all goes well, I'll take them on our usual circuit around the perimeter of the paddock, and from there into the Lucerne Reserve.  I'll plan to leave them there to graze as long as they like.  The gates are open both to the Racecourse Grazing Area, and from the top of the Lucerne Reserve back into the Basin.  The forecast is not particularly appealing, but I think it'll be ok for a half-day circuit--as long as I remember to take my rain pants today, and keep moving!  Those warm, dry days of April are looking quite good in hindsight.

END OF DAY NOTES:  Once again, important not to let the forecast fake you out!  Yes, it was cold, with the bitterness that comes when the wind is in the sou'west, and carrying the bite of the southern ocean.  However, the sun was out the entire time, and we were mostly walking with tails into the wind, or in the lee of the hills.  It was just the last video caption that really got me cold--standing in the full blast of the (by then) northwesterly, trying to type one-handed, with no gloves.  Overall, it was a great circuit.  I was pleased that we went slowly through the dense patch in the Basin (V2)--they had a really good graze there.  And again in the corner at the top of the Lucerne Reserve.  The flock were clearly delighted to be let loose in the lucerne and hadn't tired of it by the time we left.  I'll check a bit later when I run the dogs to see where they went after grazing back SE when we released them near the yards (V4, V5).  The flock is now free to go back into Old Cabin, the Basin or the Racecourse Grazing Area.  It'll be interesting to see which they pick, and how long it takes them to leave the lucerne.  There's a little game I play when I drive past sheep grazing on any forage crop--lucerne, stubble, turnips, etc:  I look for the animals eating around the edges of the crop, in the strips that can't be plowed because they are too close to a fence.  The higher the percentage of edge grazers, the longer I reckon the flock has been left in that paddock--they're starting to look for ANY diversity after too long on a single plant type.  At least my lucerne has lots of grass and weeds interspersed among the lucerne plants!  I should have waited to post this until running the dogs.  By 3:30 the sheep had made their way back into the corner at the top of the Lucerne Reserve, and were looking quite contented and relaxed.  The power of the wind to pull sheep is pretty awesome.

May 28, 2016
May 28, 2016
P1: Pickup, a bit upwind of where I thought. Beautifully sunny, but a very chilly SW breeze. We'll have it at our tails for the first leg--heading into the Lucerne Reserve via the top gate.

P1: Pickup, a bit upwind of where I thought. Beautifully sunny, but a very chilly SW breeze. We'll have it at our tails for the first leg--heading into the Lucerne Reserve via the top gate.

P2: Albert, one of Vicki's many boyfriends, enjoying some silver tussock.

P2: Albert, one of Vicki's many boyfriends, enjoying some silver tussock.

Video V1 above.

Grazing toward me into the SW corner. Lots of feed here. They seldom graze corners--don't know why.

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

ideo V2 above

P3: Time for a cuppa--for me and the dogs. We're hunkered down out of the wind and facing the sun. The flock is spread out through the lucerne.

P3: Time for a cuppa--for me and the dogs. We're hunkered down out of the wind and facing the sun. The flock is spread out through the lucerne.

Video V3 above

Video V4 above:  short clip of Janie and Chance holding position despite the sheep coming towards us.

ideo V5 above

A frosted scotch thistle rosette I photographed the other morning. I used to see thistles as a pestilence, but since coming to appreciate the value of forage diversity, I don't worry about them any more. Maybe that's what made it possible for me to see this one as a snowflake, rather than a pest.

A frosted scotch thistle rosette I photographed the other morning. I used to see thistles as a pestilence, but since coming to appreciate the value of forage diversity, I don't worry about them any more. Maybe that's what made it possible for me to see this one as a snowflake, rather than a pest.