Back Gully Reserve

A long, cold day.  The sun only came out briefly about 2 pm, and there was a chilly southwesterly wind all day.  As usual, it was ok when I was moving, but really, really cold when I stopped.  I had my bivouac bag with me, but the sheep didn't choose to have a mid-day rest. At one point, I thought they were settling, and I starting looking for a sheltered, level spot to put my bivvy bag.  When I turned around to look again at the flock, they were grazing just a few metres behind me.  The good news is they grazed well and slowly the whole day, hitting two dense patches in the Basin Grazing Area (P2) on our way through to the Back Gully Reserve.  And there, they settled down and grazed a particularly nice patch they've missed in the last few circuits (that's where I though we might get mid-day rest: P3).  Then across the dam wall and onto the far hill (P4), over into the native grassland section, then down the hill right to the old highway in an opening among the gorse(P5, P6).  They didn't graze there long, just had a nibble and quick explore, then back up the hill.  They did not want to go back across the dam wall and head home.  I did.  I won, but it took some serious persuading.  That's the power of the wind in this differential equation I call shepherding: I wanted them to go downwind, and they knew they didn't want to.  We traveled quite quickly through the top of the Back Gully, and then settled into a good graze in the dense patch on the SW side of the middle paddock (called the Grass Gully, by the way) down into the bottom of the gully and up the other side.  They grazed really well, and would have been quite happy to turn around and do it in reverse (this time into the wind) had I let them.  I left them near the yards just through the gate into the Basin.

Today I finally figured out how to do videos on my Nikon digital camera (I've only had it for about 15 years!) and I took lots of experimental clips.  Only a few of them came out with any real clarity.  My iPad videos for Instagram are streets ahead in quality.  Hmmm.  I guess technology has come a long way in the last 15 years!  I'll have to figure out how to get them into Vimeo so I can embed them in these posts, but I'm too tired to even think of trying that tonight.  Janie, Chance and I will sleep well!

May 30, 2016
May 30, 2016
P1: Pickup. The sheep you can see on the far green slope are not mine--my boundary is where the reddish-brown grass stops. My sheep are in the nearer patch of old grass.

P1: Pickup. The sheep you can see on the far green slope are not mine--my boundary is where the reddish-brown grass stops. My sheep are in the nearer patch of old grass.

P2: Grazing toward the end of the dense patch in the Grass Gully

P2: Grazing toward the end of the dense patch in the Grass Gully

P3: The main reason I like to take the sheep to graze in the Back Guly Reserve is the diversity. This Spiky Bitter Pea bush (Daviesia ulicifolia) is always a favourite. There are perhaps 10 of them in a small area, and it's the only place I've seen them on the property. My theory is they occupy a similar ecological nice to gorse, and got out-competed, and probably over-grazed as well.

P3: The main reason I like to take the sheep to graze in the Back Guly Reserve is the diversity. This Spiky Bitter Pea bush (Daviesia ulicifolia) is always a favourite. There are perhaps 10 of them in a small area, and it's the only place I've seen them on the property. My theory is they occupy a similar ecological nice to gorse, and got out-competed, and probably over-grazed as well.

P4: moving across the southernmost hill. The native grassland section is on the right, and over the crest of the hill.

P4: moving across the southernmost hill. The native grassland section is on the right, and over the crest of the hill.

P5: Down into the clearing in the gorse. This was one of the sunny moments.

P5: Down into the clearing in the gorse. This was one of the sunny moments.

P6: Dogs having a well-deserved rest in the sun. I'd just finished the second half of my lunch.

P6: Dogs having a well-deserved rest in the sun. I'd just finished the second half of my lunch.