Monday, October 29, 2007

Someone is Moving

I never know what I’m going to wake up to. Friday morning, after only a half cup of coffee, The Farmer said to me, “I think I’m going to move the sheep up to The Krautwurst’s.” It sounds innocent enough. You see, we graze our sheep on our neighbors' pastures and sometimes not so close neighbors' fields. Even though our town was once full of hilltown farmers eeking out a living off the land, it’s not quite that way these days. People live in lovely old farmhouses surrounded by rolling pastures. But truth be told, they aren’t farming at all. Haying is a big deal because their equipment no longer works. They all earn their living off the farm in nearby and not so nearby towns. They have the choice to let the once hayed fields become weedy and then revert back to woodlands, or they can pay a landscaping service to brush-hog their fields.

Because The Farmer’s family has been around here farming for a very long time, the farming relationships with other farming families go deep. Luckily, some of our neighboring land-owners let us graze their fields. They don’t have to pay for someone to mow the fields and we can feed our sheep. It’s a good trade. And I must say, there aren’t many people who can resist a field full of sheep slowly grazing while they are also fertilizing the fields.

That said, sometimes the grass is gone and the sheep, of course, still need to eat. The Krautwurst’s fields are two miles from our farm. We have two options – either truck the sheep twenty at a time in a landscape trailer or they can walk themselves.

Friday was a day of Two’s. Two miles, two dogs, two adults, and two kids (we enlisted Julia’s friend Matthew to help who enjoys everything in life - it was a school holiday). It was quite the adventure, I must say. It was a beautifully clear day and not too hot, not too cold. The cooler fall temperatures still hadn’t hit yet and thank goodness the odd heatwave was gone.

Are you ready for the journey? If not, move on to somewhere else becaue this is a rather picture heavy post. I apologize but at least you have the option to leave as compared to sitting at a neighbor's slide show of vacation photos when you didn't want to appear rude.

The sheep don’t quite know what lies in front of them.



They’re off, hopefully taking the right road. (There's a choice of two!)


At this point the sheep have already eaten some prime pasture at the first neighboring farmhouse. It took a lot of nudging from the dogs and humans to move them along up the road.


Looks like they are going forward okay.


Oops – here’s the Mass. Fish and Game people. They had just released a whole bunch of pheasants for hunting. Bet we ALL surprised them. At least they pulled to the side of the road and the sheep kept plowing through.



This is a giant hill that they had to climb.




Down the other side after a quick snack in the field.


Oops, another diversion.....


No, no, go the other way....



Our helpers took their job very seriously.



A sea of sheep.

And so many sheep butts.


At this point, they are running down the hill. The kids and I lost them for the last 1 /2 mile. Who knew sheep could run so fast.


Mission accomplished. Tuckered out – all of us. But at least the sheep had a snack.


Here’s The Farmer and his dogs walking up a beautiful still green field after a job well done.


The dogs, the kids, and The Farmer and I walked the two miles back, pooped but happy after a successful day.

34 comments:

Rachel said...

What a beautiful, perfect day, I am envious!

Willow said...

I would never, never get tired of watching such a wonderful day unfold. Thanks for sharing it! I just wanted to reach out and hug all that wool!

Sara said...

Oh Kristin,
What a lovly day! Julia looks like she's having a great time in that 11th pic, dancing along.
I'm glad you all are doing well and I'm sorry I missed the fiber twist - I ended up working a shift at the store :(
And hopefully next year we'll be at Rhinebeck on the same day!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your post. Such a pretty day.
-punkin

Laritza said...

What a wonderful sequence of pictures! Thanks for sharing.

hopalong682003 said...

How pretty! I bet the kids had a lot of fun with this. Thank you for posting the pictures.

Joan [yarnygirl.com] said...

Aww, I love sheep.

moderncountry said...

This post brightend up my day!!
Aina x

Lena said...

hi kristin!
wow, such great photos!
that just brightened up my day too.

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

Thank you for the wonderful photos. Moving Day was never like that for me, and I did it 23 times! That looks more interesting than a moving van and boxes!

Lesley (El Zed) said...

What beautiful countryside - and it looked like a great day. Lucky kids!

maryse said...

this post made me laugh out loud. thanks!

anmiryam said...

This post made me smile and wish that I could spend a day experiencing the same thing!

bob y said...

Why did the sheep cross the road?
To get to the Baa Baa Shop for a haircut!!!!!!!!!!!
Nice pictures.

WandaWoman said...

Nope, not boring at all. I enjoyed reading and watching the pictures. The sheep butt was hilarious!

Anonymous said...

OH MY THIS POST BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES!!! MY FAMILY ARE ALL CATTLE RANCHERS!!! LIKE YOU SAID YOU HAVE TWO CHOICES ON THE WAY TO MOVE, NOW DONE BY TRUCKS AND TRAILERS, BUT WHEN I WAS A WEE ONE, WE MOVED THE CATTLE BY HORSES AND DOGS....BUT I DO NOT REMEMBER SEEING SUCH BEAUTIFUL FALL SCENERY HERE IN CALIFORNIA ON OUR HERDING THE CATTLE DAY!!! THANKS FOR SHARING!

southern gal said...

WOW What an idyllic day! How you must love your life - we love your sharing it with us (well, I do)

must order my copy of the book!

Marcy said...

That was wonderful, Kristen. Thanks!

Gammy aka Peggy said...

Thank you for such lovely pictures. Makes me wish I were there. Yeah, yeah, I know, looking at pictures and walking the walk is quite different. I received my wonderful book today. Thanks!!!! I can't wait to get started with it.

Felicia said...

Oh, I loved that so much! I feel like I was right there with y'all. Thank you so much for taking us along with you, the farmer, the kids, and the sheep :)

marit said...

What a great adventure- and how well behaved your sheep are!!! Thank you so much for sharing, it makes me smile:-)

Snarled Yarns said...

everything I wanted to say has been said. except I am only more encouraged to get a sheep farm of my own.

knittingiris said...

Great pictures and story told here. It reminds me of seeing some sheep being herded on our way through Wyoming a couple of months ago. Wait, I think we were actually in Idaho, but anyways, we were speeding by on the highway and they were on a frontage road. I didn't have time to grab the camera but the picture is still fixed in my head. REAL cowboys on horseback even with REAL shepherd's wagons, although these were modern ones made from sheet metal on the back of trucks.
It was such a beautiful site.

Suzanne said...

Great pictures.

It was nice meeting you at the Fiber Twist on Saturday. I love the book.

Strawberry Lane said...

Through some lucky clicks, I happened upon your site. Love the photos and your story on moving the sheep. Will be checking in often !

Susanne said...

Oh my what a pastoral post! The picture of the "sheep butts" should be on a postcard-seriously!!
Just fabulous pictures, I bet Julia had a great day, looks like everyone did!

Connie said...

So cute! What a endeavor (2 miles!) to arrange the orderly movement of so many sheep.

Lynn said...

Love it!

RVFG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dianehk said...

Great pictures, Kristin!

It was nice to meet The Farmer in person Saturday, at last!

Mary Jane said...

What a great Shepard's post! My Aunt is a cattle rancher in Idaho, and does it just like Anon and knittingiris mentioned, with dogs and on horseback. I once went from NYC to her ranch and on a 9hr cattle drive, from Wildhorse up to Bear, by the end I was spurring the horse and yipping like the best of them! to keep those cattle from straying!
Since my uncle died, my aunt has cut back on cattle and increased her flock of sheep.
Thanks for triggering the memory. And thanks for visiting my knitted eyeball post! I have been your fan FOR EVER! I am so pleased!

bd said...

What a beautiful pictorial! Thanks for that wonderful post. It really is a lot of hard work to run a farm. People who work mostly indoors have no idea!

Lisa said...

Your post with photos was a delightful diversion. Last time I saw sheep *en masse* was in England decades ago. It is heartwarming to know this kind of thing still goes on. And right here in New England, no less. Lovely. Thank you.

June said...

Oh, how very, very cool. We enjoyed your walk and hope to see the return journey! :)