I've been out with a nasty tummy bug since Friday, so no shepherding this weekend. I'm preparing to totter around the Racecourse GA (Grazing Area) with the flock this morning, hopefully all will be ok. We are now desperately short of rain, again. Essentially no rain for the past 7 weeks. So I am trying to spin out the grazing in the Racecourse GA as long as I possibly can, before putting the flock back on the White Gum Grazing Area. The Racecourse is basically old cocksfoot-dominated ryegrass and clover--a standard pasture mix in this part of the world for the last 50 years or so. The cocksfoot is a deep-rooted, tussocky, coarse grass that can take amazing abuse in the overgrazing department and still come back. Ryegrass, a softer grass, is much more sensitive, hence after years of overgrazing the paddocks become dominated by cocksfoot. Then in a good year, the cocksfoot goes wild and becomes an impenetrable dense mass of coarse grass. A lot of what I've been doing with shepherding over the last 2+ years is teaching the sheep to graze into dense stands of cocksfoot, which we've done quite successfully--there is no stand of cocksfoot on the place that the sheep won't graze. Flip side: not as much forage in the cocksfoot "bank" now! Anyway, should be a gorgeous day, and we'll take it slow and easy. Oh, if you want to see the photos in real time, follow whitegumwool on instagram. I haven't figured out how to do the badge thing yet for you to just click on. Sigh. I used to be on top of computing when it was still FORTRAN programming... (sort of like walking 7 miles to school through the blizzard). END OF THE DAY notes: I have to say that shepherding, with all its challenges is way more fun than wrestling with HTML and websites generally! Surprisingly, this was another textbook day, where the real circuit followed the plan exactly. If I keep this up, I'm going to start believing my own hype! I did, as usual, start later than I intended--10, not 9, and I finished a bit after noon. The actual wind was 15-20 kph out of the east, so I did better than the Bureau of Met, and the easterly wind helped keep the sheep moving on the first leg and the bend. At the end of the run, it pulled them back down the hill again, which was great--rather than having them drift (or charge) up to the water points that I cleverly put at the high points of almost every paddock on the place before I realised what a tactical error it was. Couldn't have been happier with the day, if my tummy had just felt a bit better.