The shepherd has brought his flock to nearby fields, as he does every year at this time. I wanted to ask him whether these sheep made wool, thinking I’d be meeting my next yarn stash early. But he doesn’t speak English. I’m going to pretend these sheep will have long and happy lives donating their coats to a future knitting project.
By now everything is very dry and the herd kicks up a lot of dust.
The babies have been born over the past week. I thought babies were born in the spring; shows you what I know! The moms and babies are separated out from the rest of the herd and kept in a large pen.
The herding dogs are amazing. The shepherd uses a whole symphony of whistles which send the dogs off to move the sheep around.
The shepherding dogs know they’re special. The shepherd lives in a small trailer (which I didn’t photograph in order to respect his privacy). The mamas and babies live near the trailer and are guarded by two other scruffy-looking dogs. They bark like crazy when anyone comes within sight, which works great to scare away coyotes, bobcats and me. Later in the day I saw the herding dogs sitting very primly at attention near the trailer. The guard dogs were going berserk because I was within sight of “their” ewes and babies. I had to laugh – the herding dogs had their backs turned to the guard dogs as if to say that they were way too cool for such undisciplined mutts.