I’ve struggled to think of what to write, because the reality is that Daniel and I aren’t doing much new nowadays due to the covid lockdown in the UK. We’re still out in the sticks in the English countryside, surrounded by sheep fields and not much else. We’ve been staying busy, reading, writing, video-gaming, cooking, etc, but it isn’t any that would be interesting to hear about. So, since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some recent pictures:
A blue speckled egg that I found on a walk. It had already been hatched. I have no idea what kind of bird it came from.
Sunset over our AirBnB’s barn. This barn is right next to our house, but we don’t have access to it. The farmer who owns the surrounding fields and sheep uses it to store equipment.
The bachelor field. I think that all the sheep in these fields are rams. Rams don’t have much purpose expect for providing wool and getting the lady sheep pregnant. In order to time the lambing season, male sheep aren’t allowed in the same fields with female sheep except for very specific times of year, so they hang out with other rams most of the time. Apparently the ratio of rams to ewes needed to have a good lambing season is around 1:50, depending on how “experienced” your rams are. Male sheep seem a lot less shy than female sheep, probably because they haven’t had their babies taken from them every year.
Daniel making tortillas. He told me that this one was the “gold star tortilla.”
As I wrote previously, Daniel and I go on lots of walks, and most of the paths around these parts go though sheep pastures. Where a pasture meets a main road there will often be a very narrow stone opening like this. It’s to keep the sheep from getting free. You have to squeeze though sideways.
This is a grouse. I had never seen these birds before this trip. They remind me of chickens: they’re the same size, live on the ground, and even make a chicken-y sort of noise. The males have green heads and long tail feathers.
Spring is in full swing here and all of the trees are blooming. I think they’re very pretty.
Also blooming is the dandelions. I have never seen dandelions that are so big and lush as they are out here. No one is trying to spray or pull them, so they are growing huge and taking over entire hillsides.
This lamb loves this hole. I pass this field sometimes when I run and this particular lamb spend a lot of time in this hole. I wonder what it is he likes about it.
Amid all of the sheep there is one field with a few cows close by. These particular cows are very friendly and will come up to you if you stop at their wall.
Lamb prison break! As we’ve been here we’ve watched the lambs grow from scared little animals that follow their mother around, to bigger independent animals that now have friendships and play groups with other lambs. (It’s nuts how big sheep can get just eating grass.) I caught this gang jumping the wall and trying to make a run for it down the road.
We discovered an alpaca farm about a mile down to road from us. I think alpacas might be the cutest animals of all, and I take lots of walks to “visit” them. If it’s cold, the farmer will put them in little jackets, which is adorable. Interestingly, the sign in front of the field advertising them for sale says that they make good poultry guards. I would have never thought of getting an alpaca to guard chickens.