Find the Easter criminal…

I knew I couldn’t keep sheep out of this for long. You can’t keep them out of anywhere for very long.

Some friends of mine were away for a few days, down in the exciting metropolis of Cardiff. When they got back, the gate was open and they had a marked lack of crocuses where there had once been crocuses. However, the culprits had left clues behind them:

hah

No sign of the owner of the fluff in the rest of the garden. No hoofprints either, but they’re a little redundant when you’ve left traces of your, er, clothing everywhere. No culprits along the lane, or just off it.

lane

I suppose they could have nipped in, noshed the crocuses and nipped out a couple of days earlier, but the clues were quite fresh – and, for any spinners out there, the one in the photo above was really soft but with a suspiciously short staple length. It was also quite close to the ground, meaning its owner was probably quite small, but being trained in bad habits by the taller one. So we went hunting.

Some suspects simply hoofed it,

zoom

while others relied on being unbearably cute and seasonal and radiating innocence:

innocentthough I’m not entirely convinced by the slightly sly look of the lamb at the back; I have a feeling it knows more than it’s letting on. Like how to open gates, perhaps? (Though the gate in question could probably be opened by being leant on and – in all fairness – it’s a little like the Siegfried Line and the Nazis: you can just go round it if you want.)

Some were showing early promise in the wall-climbing and escapology stakes,

climb

but that is not enough to convict.

This, on the other hand, probably is:

squeeeeze

There’s a gate that clearly needs a fencepost hanging from the bottom.

This post is something of an antidote to all the footage of the appalling conditions and dire consequences facing hill farmers elsewhere in Wales (and other parts of Britain) as we have one of the coldest springs in years. We’re lucky here, close to the western coast; crocuses or no crocuses, the lambs are, by and large, fine, as are their mums. The in-lamb ewes are fine, too; no snowdrifts with us. Unfortunately it’s not the same elsewhere.

And thanks to everyone whose comments after my last post encouraged me to go for it…

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12 thoughts on “Find the Easter criminal…

  1. Lydia

    Little lambs are so impossibly endearing… yes, I have been reading and listening to tales of the plight of the hill farmers and their flocks which is very sad. Also, I imagine pretty tough for all the birds and animals starting to think it should be spring. All I can do from over here in very pleasant autumn weather that Western Australia knows so well how to provide, is to send some warm thoughts to all those cold and shivering in the hills and forests over there.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      They are, aren’t they? I’d not eaten lamb until I went to uni because though we had lambs on the croft and sold them at the lamb sales (ultimately to the meat packers), my mother couldn’t bear to cook it. Not surprising… awwwwww

      And thanks for the warm thoughts – they’ve not got here quite yet!

      Reply
  2. Lydia

    Me again. I listened to a lovely BBC podcast about Edward Thomas the poet. In 1913 he went on a 130 mile cycle ride, leaving around March 3rd, in search of Spring which was dreaming around the corner…..

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      March 3rd? March 3rd! MARCH 3rd?!!! Hah…. spring wasn’t just dreaming on March 3 this year, it was in full hiber-flipping-nation….

      Reply
  3. islandthreads

    lovely amusing post Kate, those pesky lambs get every where, up here we are lucky no snow but fires as the lack of rain and drying winds have made the moors very dry, the lambs haven’t started here, ewes have a tough enough life, constanly pregant or suckling only to have your baby snatch away from you, now buried alive! as a veggie I don’t profess to love meat traders but yes I do feel for people who may have lost their livelyhood, Frances

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      The dryness isn’t any good for them either, is it? We’re promised rain and warmer temperatures next week, but I’m not holding my breath, and we’ve just chopped more logs.

      The culprits were eventually found – my friend’s neighbour rang up and said ‘we’ve got 16 sheep in the garden, do you know whose they might be?’. A little investigation produced relevant farmer plus trailer and a gate left open… (Easter weekend walkers?)

      Reply
  4. islandthreads

    after saying yesterday the lambs haven’t started here I heard my first today while I was in the garden,
    when I was walking in the north of England in the 80’s I found some farmers had padlocked their gates, I don’t blame them,
    we are promised showers Sunday, I don’t mind showers or even the odd downpour but not the constant rain of the last 2 years, Frances

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I do understand the padlocking, but it’s not supposed to happen. We get a lot of Duke of Edinburgh Award walkers round here in June, and depressingly they are TERRIBLE with gates. When I lived up the hill I used to spend all my time then popping out and closing gates after them. Grrrrr.

      Reply
  5. knitsofacto

    Somehow I would have expected you to have more snow than us! The hills above Wrexham, Llangollen and Mold got the worst of it, but even here in the lower Dee valley it’s hung on where it’s out of the sun. The local farmer has finally turned his ewes and lambs out today.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I thought you might be snowy still. Being by the coast probably keeps us relatively snow-free and even during the big snow a couple of Christmases ago, we got hit much later than the rest of the country. The aerial views then were quite silly – white UK, with a totty greenish bit in the west. Us.

      Reply

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