Random drive-by post! - Tactical Ninja
Dec. 24th, 2013
11:26 am - Random drive-by post!
So I've come to the realisation that I'm crap at blogging while on holiday. Reasons include:
Shearing, Cullen, Brainfart, Monster Project, handstands, perving at Dr Wheel juggling, playing in playgrounds, cleaning the house, and playing through DA2 again because I lost all my saves when my hard drive failed*.
In other words, I spend virtually no time in front of my computer and my schedule is all out of whack, so my posts for the next couple of weeks will be sporadic at best. To all those who asked for advent posts during this time, chances are they won't happen. Well, they will happen, but it'll be when I get back to normal routines. K?
I wasn't lying about the shearing. Two of the three days of my holiday have involved shearing, but it's just been cleaning up the last of the little jobs that needed doing before Christmas. To be honest cutting it off at Christmas is pretty arbitrary, given that in the New Year I'll have a bunch of lambs to do, and then Michelle's Polwarths again, and then it'll be into the second shearing for the year for those that do it, which will take us through to winter crutching time...
.. but to all intents and purposes, I'm done with the main lot of shearing for the season. So have a last blast of sheep pics.
This is Beauty:
Her folks call her that because she's apparently got the prettiest profile of her flock. Personally I think she's a bit undershot in the jaw, but I like her wee smile. I also like the little black chap photobombing in the background.
In fact, all the lambs in this flock were black this year:
Apparently she used a Dorper ram. These are a South African breed that shed their fleece, and normally are white with a black head. But something weird happens genetically when you cross them with wool breeds, and you get black lambs. Although, why anyone would want to cross Dorper into lovely sheep like these ones, beats me.
Meanwhile, up in Emerald Hill, here is another nice profile:
This is Dora. She is SRS BSNS sheep. I would be too if I lived with this monstrosity:
There is something about this property that turns sheep into giant blobs. I've been going there for about 7 years and they consistently have the biggest sheep. Their last wether, George, who died a couple of years ago, managed to give me a permanent scar simply by falling against the yard rail with my hand in between, and crushing it with his ample proportions. It is the least violently-earned scar I have.
And here's what Dora and the Monstrosity look like without their wool:
I would say they are morbidly obese, but morbid implies deathly, and apart from weighing about 20kg more than they need to to survive, they are perfectly healthy. Although with sheep, they have the same amount of fat on the inside as you can see on the outside, so they probably wouldn't cope well with sudden running, what with their hearts sitting inside a blobble of fat...
And finally it was off out to Tawa yesterday to deal with Mrs Stumpylegs and her crew:
Yes, they have a sheep called Mrs Stumpylegs. She is a Romney among a flock of Perendales and she really does look stumpy. Meanwhile, part of this job was to help the people decide who to cull. They've had the same ram for the last 5 years and some of the ewes are aging, so we went through and picked out the ones that looked like their teeth were crapping out. That got three, including the ram. Then we picked a couple of others with less good feet. So they can easily cull 5 of the 13, and after that I suggested just choosing for the traits they want. Like, temperament**.
Most importantly though, it's time to change ram, or bring in some new ewe blood. Otherwise they are going to end up inbreeding. I'm trying to get people to start talking to each other about rams, because I see enough small farms that run into this trouble and it'd be cool if they could organise ram swaps or something to keep those fresh genes coming in. Remember my client with all the rams? I'm hoping some folks will call her for rams because hers are a) nice, b) good tempered, and c) not sharing bloodlines with anyone else's sheep around the area. Here's hoping.
Anyway, here is a slightly blurry (because of sheep grease) shot of the tail end of mainshear:
One of my favourite sights in the world - happy, freshly-shorn sheep munching on the summer grass in the sunshine. And yes I did whoop and high-five the farmer for the last one.
And on a completely different note, check this out:
Neither Dr Wheel nor I have ever had a real tree before. In fact, I haven't had a tree since the YoT was 18 months old. So it feels a bit special.
Happy Christmas everyone.
* Worth noting that Origin's cloud saves also disappeared because I had to reinstall the game. Back up your game saves folks!
** Shearers will always advise you to select for temperament. Funny that.