Back to the Highway Reserve

Assuming the NW winds are keeping the sheep towards the western end of the property, I'm planning to take them on a repeat of yesterday, into the Highway Reserve from the southwest end.  This time I'll see if I can get them to graze down the hill to the west, before heading north into the tricky gully at the bottom.  If the wind stays NNW there's some chance it will pull them through the gully and on up the other side, in which case we'll keep going.  If not, I'll let them graze out to the south as they did yesterday.  I'll be interested to see if there is as much enthusiasm for wattles today as yesterday, or whether they satiated on wattles in that short, intense browsing session.

END OF THE DAY NOTES:  Well, the northerly component of the wind won over night, and the flock was well up the hill in White Gum Wood.  I stuck to Plan A, though, because it was a good day to try for a full transit of the Highway Reserve.  A beautiful sunny day, breezy but not the threatened 40 kph (I must remember not to let the forecasts fake me out!)  An easy run down into the gully, and a surprisingly easy transit through the narrow track between gorse bushes at the bottom.  I took a video (check for it on Instagram or Facebook--I haven't tried to figure out how to embed it here) of the flock following each other (and me) through the secret passage in the gorse.  The flock then scurried along through the top end of the Reserve, only slowing to graze seriously at the north gate.  We went down into the old quarry, where I left them contemplating mid-day rest.  They like the quarry because it's flat and warm, but still gets a nice breeze when the wind is northerly.  They stayed in the quarry until about 2, but then I'm pretty sure they reversed direction, went back out the way we came in, up onto the top of the steep hill, and circled back around to graze the face of the hill going SW at about 3:30.  I thought they'd just come out of the quarry into the northerly breeze after resting, and move across the hill that way.  Just goes to show how hard it is to predict the combination of factors that determine the way sheep graze!

May 5, 2016
May 5, 2016
This is Elf when he was about a year old. He had severe, crippling infantile arthritis as a lamb. With a fair bit of nursing and physical therapy he has "come right" and you wouldn't know he was crippled. Though he never was willing to take a bottle from me, he is now, at 2 years old,  one of my most faithful friends in the flock. He often comes running up to me, and asks for a pet and a chat, putting his nose right up to mine.  Needless to say, I adore him.

This is Elf when he was about a year old. He had severe, crippling infantile arthritis as a lamb. With a fair bit of nursing and physical therapy he has "come right" and you wouldn't know he was crippled. Though he never was willing to take a bottle from me, he is now, at 2 years old,  one of my most faithful friends in the flock. He often comes running up to me, and asks for a pet and a chat, putting his nose right up to mine.  Needless to say, I adore him.

P1: Pickup. Top end of White Gum Wood. Now we'll head south to the Highway Reserve gate. Lovely sunny day and not too cold or windy yet.

P1: Pickup. Top end of White Gum Wood. Now we'll head south to the Highway Reserve gate. Lovely sunny day and not too cold or windy yet.

P2:  Into the Highway Reserve.

P2:  Into the Highway Reserve.

P3: A patch of everlasting daisies, refreshed by the rain.

P3: A patch of everlasting daisies, refreshed by the rain.

P4: Grazing down the whiling the gully. Dogs are on the top, right.

P4: Grazing down the whiling the gully. Dogs are on the top, right.

P5: The panorama shot ;-)

P5: The panorama shot ;-)

P6: The one very narrow track through the gorse at the bottom of the gully. They followed me through!

P6: The one very narrow track through the gorse at the bottom of the gully. They followed me through!

Follow the leader!

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

P7: Uphill and upwind--no more pushing required. We'll just follow them quietly and out the north gate.

P7: Uphill and upwind--no more pushing required. We'll just follow them quietly and out the north gate.

P8: An almost completely native bank. This is why it's a bio-diverse reserve.

P8: An almost completely native bank. This is why it's a bio-diverse reserve.

P9: Out of the north gate and down through the quarry. Horatio's front centre.

P9: Out of the north gate and down through the quarry. Horatio's front centre.

In the quarry.  This was Crown Land, now mine--used for building the new highway 1 about 20 years ago.

In the quarry.  This was Crown Land, now mine--used for building the new highway 1 about 20 years ago.