Friday, December 3, 2010

"It Takes Half a Day to do Anything"

A friend of ours is always saying, "It takes half a day to do anything". When we have gotten a slow start to the day, John has taken up the expression. Lately, it has taken me a half day to move sheep.

At least I started earlier today. Here is how today went. Let Beau and the sheep out around 1:30. I let them go into the new area since I haven't fixed the broken rail yet. I was involved in a new fiber project and the new area is in good site from where I was working in the house. Five minutes after I went back in I looked out to see Amelia outside of the designated area. Not sure how she got out, but she is my wanderer/explorer. The rest of the sheep didn't seem to pay any attention except Thor. One sheep out will usually go back-- two sheep out constitutes a sub flock. Thor jumped the fence. When Amelia picked up her head from grazing and started wandering and Thor was heading her way I decided it was time to take action.

I tried to coax Amelia back to the flock but she wasn't ready to go back. I went down to get some grain and Sarah started to follow me along with Annie and Charlotte. When I looked back at the rest Amelia and Thor were back in with the rest of the sheep but I didn't see how they got there. When Sarah and her followers saw that I didn't have grain they decided to head back. When I got the grain they turned around, this time followed by Thor. They followed me into the little pasture so I dumped the grain in a bowl and hurried out closing the red gate behind me. Amelia and Mira decided to come see what was going on so I led them in through the barnyard gate and gave them a handful of grain. Hildegard and Beau were still out so I decided to open the gate between the two pastures and get them all in one or the other.

I guess sheep get smarter every day too. They made sure there was always sheep in both pastures or one in the middle of the gate so if Hildegard came in they would have a chance to get back out. I closed the gate with Thor, Charlotte, and the finns on one side and let Hildegard in the barnyard without Amelia or Mira leaving. That just left Beau who continued to graze nearby looking up occasionally to see how things were going. With all sheep in I opened the gate between the pastures again and waited for Thor and his group to join the others. I hid behind the garage again. Finally they all went off toward the barn and I closed the gate again and opened big red for Beau.

I feel like a football coach with a play book. Who's on the field-- what play shall we run. At least I got some good exercise but it took me half a day to move sheep and half a day to finish the fiber project.

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