Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Sign of Sheep by the Sea

Trotting along by the side of a tidal channel on Morecambe Bay this line of  sheep attracted my attention as I walked the coastal path.  They seemed to have purpose in mind. The sign says 'Beware", not of sheep, but of 'fast incoming tides. Quicksand close inshore'.  These woolly locals intuitively know that because they are sticking to the rocky outcrop and perhaps are going  in search of sweet green grass.
Heading into western slopes of the Pennines, a duo of signs, one for the farm and one saying "No HGV" although the only reason they would be on this rough road,
which I would be more inclined to call a path, would be the driver paying more attention to his Sat Nav than the road.  Perhaps these two sheep are the farmer's look out, although one of them has more interest in grass nibbling. The stripy legs are one of the indicators they are Rough Fell sheep, a descendant of a breed found in northern Britain in the middle ages.
It is a docile breed, sometimes cross bred, but is very hardy, it needs to be to survive the harsh conditions of the Pennine and Cumbrian fells.
Rough Fell with the Cumbrian fells in the background in the low November sun
The regulations for ear tags seems to change all the time and as I no longer work with my farming colleague who ran a herd and had a wealth of amusing incidents I'm not sure of the significance.  I believe that sheep born after 1 January 2010 have a yellow electronic tag in one ear and either a matching tag on the other or a tattoo.
And just as a change from Rough Fell sheep here is Cheviot; my that coat does look cosy.  This is a wool that is sometimes used by hand spinners.  These white faced sheep have been run in the borders for hundreds of years.  They can be found  up to 3,000 ft above sea level however this one is actually at sea level in the Duddon estuary.The last three photos were all taken in November last year and unlike the previous year the winter turned out to be mild but the waterproof nature of sheep wool might have come into its own.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at S here


Leslie: said...

I read a series of detective novels set in the Pennines and the author, Stephen Booth, really made the area sound harsh! Love your photos.

abcw team

Roger Owen Green said...

Looks dry now, but things change!

Reader Wil said...

These are places I should like to visit!But I am 80 and don't know if I have time of life. There is so much I still like to do.
Wil, ABCW Team.

MaR said...

Beautiful place, superb sheep shots :)

SamuraiFrog said...

Beautiful pictures!

Ann said...

Its so interesting how the sheep know when to walk the edge of the water. They such a pretty group of sheep.

Cristina Pop said...

Sheeps are so so cute! And your pics are amazing! Lovely sights