Reprise-Highway Reserve

There's lots of good forage still in the Highway Reserve, so my plan for today is to head back there and try to work some of the less-grazed corners.  I have no idea where the sheep will be, so have done an "eeny-meeny" guess.  We'll see!  Light northerly winds may help us to do a full length transit.   I've appended two of my favourite photos of Elf and friends Clara and Vicki.  They were raised together-Clara and Vicki were bottle lambs in the same kindergarten class as Elf  ;-) and they often hang out near each other (and me).

END OF THE DAY NOTES:  Once again, they weren't where I guessed--the northerly winds had just drawn them through the gate out of White Gum Wood (middle paddock of the GA) and they were heading for the north gate of the Highway Reserve.  In a brilliant, but unintended, move the dogs put them back through the gate they had just come out (this was actually a complete mess-up--failure to get all the way around behind the flock), so that decided me to graze the "bottom" of White Gum Wood, and head, downhill and downwind, to the south gate of the Highway Reserve.  Considering the usual reluctance to go down either hill or wind, it worked surprisingly well.  Mostly, I think, because the forage was fresh and abundant (see videos V1 and V2 on Instagram).  Once in the Highway Reserve, things went very easily back upwind, and we even managed to have a short graze along the right hand fence through the gully, an area that is very densely covered with a combination of silver tussock (native) and cocksfoot (introduced) grasses (see video V3 on Instagram).  Because the flock is following me so much better lately, I'm able to get a new level of precision in where I'm taking them to graze.  Not just satisfying for the shepherd, quite useful in hoovering up the places where there is lots of forage but little sheep traffic.  Like Thursday, they weren't terribly interested in grazing the all-native hill, but hurried on to the top end of the Reserve and had a leisurely graze there.  Then through the quarry, and down into Eeyore's Patch, where they quite happily spent the next 3.5 hours grazing and resting before heading back up the hill through the eastern gate about 3 pm.  Another really good circuit!  No shepherding Monday, as the forecast is for more rain.  What, you ask?  Didn't you invest in all sorts of expensive rain gear not that long ago?  Yes, I did.  My excuse for not shepherding when it's really raining (as opposed to just threatening showers) is that wet sheep with lots of wool are very sluggish to move.  My real reason is at least as much that it's just not fun for the shepherd.  This is why the French alpine shepherds are the true heroes of shepherding!  They are out there on the mountain every day, no matter the weather.  Note added on Sunday--about noon, the flock came back down the hill and into Eeyore's Patch via the east gate.  Grazed across, and then spread out on the western side.

May 7, 2016
May 7, 2016
P1: Pickup, near the north gate into the Highway Reserve. Hmmmm. What's my new plan???

P1: Pickup, near the north gate into the Highway Reserve. Hmmmm. What's my new plan???

P2: We'll graze down into the "bottom" of White Gum Wood, and go in the south gate to the Highway Reserve

P2: We'll graze down into the "bottom" of White Gum Wood, and go in the south gate to the Highway Reserve

P3: Some of the young trees. I haven't been down here for a while and didn't realise how big they've grown :)

P3: Some of the young trees. I haven't been down here for a while and didn't realise how big they've grown :)

Enjoying their morning tucker!

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

...with a little briar rose chaser.

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

P4: Heading down into the infamous gorse gully. Thursday we came up the other side on the left of this photo. I'd dearly love to take them up on the right side where it's still quite rank.

P4: Heading down into the infamous gorse gully. Thursday we came up the other side on the left of this photo. I'd dearly love to take them up on the right side where it's still quite rank.

Hehe! We're doing it!

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

P5: Hard to see, but they are about even now with the pickup point. A true closed circuit!

P5: Hard to see, but they are about even now with the pickup point. A true closed circuit!

P6: ...through the quarry and down the face of the hill into Eeyore's Patch. Also part of the burn (and formally part of the Racecourse GA) Eeyore's used to have an impenetrable stand of variegated thistles. A couple of years of intensive shepherding and the thistles are only a shadow of their former selves. The east gate is open for them to head back up the hill, so we're done for the day!

P6: ...through the quarry and down the face of the hill into Eeyore's Patch. Also part of the burn (and formally part of the Racecourse GA) Eeyore's used to have an impenetrable stand of variegated thistles. A couple of years of intensive shepherding and the thistles are only a shadow of their former selves. The east gate is open for them to head back up the hill, so we're done for the day!

Left to right: Clara, un-named ewe, Elf and HRH (Old Leader) grazing around the "bottoms" of the Racecourse Reserve in March of last year.

Left to right: Clara, un-named ewe, Elf and HRH (Old Leader) grazing around the "bottoms" of the Racecourse Reserve in March of last year.

Elf in May 2015, Clara is behind him and I think that's Vicki on her right.

Elf in May 2015, Clara is behind him and I think that's Vicki on her right.