I took some time to relax after moving the Electronet fencing for the sheep. Usually, I move the fencing, let the sheep through, move the solar charger and the water and bid them farewell. I check them carefully to ensure their wellbeing, but I don’t always have time to really sit, watch, and listen.
I’ve shared a video or two on Facebook showing the girls gamboling out to pasture with great enthusiasm. After the headlong run out to the far end of the pasture, the girls settle to the intensive work of eating. With Janet gone, the girls are calm, coming near me and moving away without worry. It’s remarkable how one nervous sheep can worry a whole flock.
Another remarkable aspect of my sheep is their ability to move collectively. Much has been made of “following” behaviors of sheep, whether as a positive attribute or as an attribute of stupidity. What I observe in my flock seems less like “following” and more like “consensus.” One sheep moves generally in a particular direction. Others watching move in that general direction, too. One sheep may choose another direction, and the group may agree or the individual may move back towards the center. When the girls are comfortable, they spread out. When worried, they hang close for safety.
Agnes wanders over for some petting. I scratch her brisket. If I hug her, she will stand still. Her wool is like a pillow. I love her sheepy scent.
Fall pasture is starting to wane. The grass is getting less nutritious and the days ever shorter. The hay is in the barn. The rams ran out of suitable pasture at my house and are now grudgingly eating hay. They are thinking about girls and the girls are clearly thinking about them as they baah across the pasture from time to time. The trees are yielding their leaves to the air while guys in camo and blaze orange repair to the woods.