Opportunistic Play Time

Come on now……. she called.  They were playing in the field, the first fine day they had been able to get out to do so, in their young lives.

She called again as she opened the gate; come on now…..and they ambled toward her .  The three lambs, two black ones, Suffolks, (their body wool will change to a cream colour as they mature) and a North Country Cheviot lamb  and the two mums, obediently followed the farmer back into the barn.

it is too early for lambs to be out for any length of time. Today, a lull between storms, offered the first decent window of opportunity for these lambs  to be introduced to pasture and, for their mums to eat a bit of  grass.  Even the  remaining heavily pregnant Suffolk  was able to contentedly waddle around  the field. She also obediently trailed back in to the barn with the others.

The winds of the early hours of the morning had been strong enough to dry off surface  water, giving just the right conditions for two or three hours time out in the ‘playground’.

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LIFE SPRINGS ETERNAL

This time last year, snowdrops had no sooner popped up their heads than they decided it was just too, too cold, and popped their heads back in again. About six weeks later than usual they warily reappeared. A lot of hardy plants didn’t survive last winter here in Scotland, and those that did, either partially presented, appearing half dead, or, appeared very late indeed. The ground was so cold that bulbs that would have flowered by June, were pushing through green shoots in mid August and were then fading away by the end of September. So, there was not much of a flowering season for anything or anyone.

Today, the clumps of snowdrops are prolific. Wherever you walked there were carpets of them to be seen. Many people have been remarking upon the lovely sight of the snowdrops, I suspect, in part, because it is all so different from 2011. I didn’t have my camera with me today, however, instead of flowering plant life, here is a picture of some other new life of the year.

Twin-ewe-Suffolk-lambs-born-2012-1-11th Wb

These Suffolk lamb twin girls were born on the 11th January this year. In this picture, the lambs are about twelve days old, they are following mum, Megan, back into the lambing shed. It was a cold bright day, where the frost lifted, allowing the lambs to experience the outdoors for a little while, then return to the protection of the shed before the temperatures dropped. Being a month old today,now bigger and stronger, the lambs with their mum are to be seen more regularly out in the field.

SEE HOW THEY GROW

Do you remember this little fellow from one of my posts in 2010? I am sure you don’t. His name is Angus. In this picture he is with his mum.

Suffolk Mum and lamb

Here he is again with his little cousin Skye.

Suffolks and lambs

Both Angus and Skye grew into lovely first year Suffolk lambs, Skye winning prizes in her own right;

P1030257 2010 Aug 5th Angus' relative

Young Angus received first year lamb Championship and Supreme Champion accolades at a large agricultural show in 2010. This year, Angus will be fully grown. There are high hopes of him achieving some prizes in 2011.

P1030255 2010 Aug 5th Angus lamb Champion

There is a new kid on the block, a Suffolk lamb born Hogmanay. This wee chap has been called Dougal. He looks sturdy. It will be interesting to see how he develops. He is pictured here in the field with Skye.

P1000411 Young Dougal 2

And here is Skye sticking her head through the dyke slab to pose for the camera and ‘baaa-baa’ at the photographer.

P1000404 Dougal + shorn sheep

The Suffolk breed of sheep is fast becoming a rare breed. It is being maintained by ‘hobbyists’, or in this case, the interest of the farmer’s school-age grandson. The farmer grandparents, support his interest. The reason for the reduction in the rearing of the breed, is that they take about two years to mature. There is a very similar breed, (the name of which escapes me) that mature in a year. Economic times being what they are, very difficult, and weather conditions being tough, farmers like everyone else are having to seek out efficiencies in what they do.

PORTRAITS OF A DIFFERENT KIND.

I managed to get some pictures of the Suffolks with their lambs from a distance. They still weren’t in the ideal position, (Click on link for the reference).

Suffolk Mum and lamb

but they were a little more obliging today, than on my previous attempts to take their portraits.

Suffolks and lambs

It seemed one ewe was on the wrong path to find her own lamb.

Not  related

There were also a new pair of wobbly leggéd twins, (different breed)on a first outing with their mum.

First Outing