Lambs and keeping things crossed

Hee hee, there’s no connection really (despite the preponderance of sheep / Wales jokes, which I consider grounds for immediate independence and strict border controls – ‘Have you ever laughed at a joke about Welshmen and sheep? Yes? To the mines with you, bach’) but it looks as though my broadband is behaving itself again. I’m so excited. Ok, I’m quite excited.

However, my next post was going to be one of my longer, researched, historical/bizarre posts and I have to confess that it’s not ready. So here, as holding images, are some of the people (OK…) who have making the air round here very noisy indeed in the last couple of months. Bless.

Some things aren't edible

Some things just aren’t particularly edible, even for sheep. You’ll learn.

sweetie

and you know I’m no threat whatsoever, don’t you?

IMG_1928

It’s not a shadow, it’s a black lamb (remember an earlier post about coloured sheep? They happen quite spontaneously). And it’s very cute.

IMG_1932

Finally, just to give you an idea of the sort of environment these tough little Welsh Mountain lambs live in – I know it’s not a brilliant shot but it was windy, all right? And when I say windy, I mean WINDY- here’s a pair of twins below Moelfre (trans: bald place), which is the very recognisable hill above our village, and which is all shattered rock at the top and looks like Mordor. Lovely. Really.

BTW, The lambs may be tough, and the ewes certainly are, but there’s one thing they have a real problem with. Dogs.

I have had several ‘discussions’ with walkers who have had their dogs off their leads while near sheep this lambing season. In one instance the dog owner told me her dog was very good, perfectly under control – and before her sentence was even finished the dog had rushed off like a mad thing in search (I think) of a squirrel that had rustled in the bushes. It wouldn’t come back. She did eventually manage to grab it, getting thoroughly blackthorned in the process, and was putting it on its lead as I walked on – but for how long? Most dogs – well, 99.9% – will chase things given half a chance, and there’ve been some nasty pics on Twitter… please, please keep dogs on leads.

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10 thoughts on “Lambs and keeping things crossed

  1. nanacathy2

    Lovely pictures of Wales, and the lambs are very cute. Quite right about dogs, and good for you tackling the silly dog owner, especially as it would be the dog that had to be put down and not her! I told a cyclist off this week for riding on a pavement when there was a perfectly good cycle lane.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      They are, aren’t they? I mean, I know I like sheep – har, har, har – but they are sweet. But they’ve really hard heads when they run at you and a (quite big) lamb bit right through a friend’s fingernail and it needed hospital attention. Um, her nail needed attention, not the lamb…

      Reply
  2. thetinfoilhatsociety

    Your hill looks like a cinder cone! Near where I live there is a hill named “Glassford Hill” that is in fact a cinder cone, and it’s being monitored closely due to the fact that it’s a dormant volcano – although the monitoring shows it’s not nearly as dormant as those who live in the luxury houses at its base would like 🙂

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      It does!

      This area was volcanic, a long long long time ago. We do have the occasional earthquake, though very minor – mind you, one did wake me up. A friend of mine, a geologist, was very envious* as she’d lived here for ages and never felt one. Then she moved away and…

      *only a geologist would feel like this, really… most people would be very grateful. Disconcerting, and that was only a mag 2.

      Reply
  3. grackleandsun

    Agreed. Even the nicest, most wonderful dog in the world cannot resist chasing a lamb. Ask me how I know. My fault entirely, as a dog’s nature is his to obey. A mistake that will never be made again.

    Reply
  4. Sally

    A lot of people don’t realise that a dog can pose a significant threat to a sheep even if it doesn’t get hold of her. When ewes are pregnant especially, and also when they are rearing lambs in springtime, their systems cannot always cope well with stress. They may die of stress simply from being chased, or even just being barked at.

    The other risk to lambing sheep is if a dog disturbs a ewe when she is in the middle of lambing. She may end up abandoning a newborn lamb, even if the dog never came near to her or the lamb.

    And of course, lambs may get separated from their mothers by a dog disturbing the flock, and end up the wrong side of a fence, river, or whatever. Mostly they do find their way back to mum, or she to them, but not always.

    I know of no farmers or sheepkeepers who are able to be relaxed when people are walking their land with dogs. Even if the dog is on the lead when you see it, we see so many people leashing their dog only when they see / hear the farmer approaching, that we know many of them will be released again as soon as we are out of sight.

    Sorry for the rant. When you farm sheep on a national tourist trail, it’s something of a hobby horse…

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      You are absolutely right to rant. I’ve been busy myself this half-term, but there are lots of tourists about and I’m sure I’d have had another argument or two if I’d been out and about. I love dogs dearly, but some people seem to be so naive about their dog’s behaviour…

      Reply

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