In the news, an item about feeding nine billion of us on ‘beef’ from vats. A flock of blackface grazing with black cattle. Rooks sweeping up and down the valley and swallows winging along the fence line. I read how blackface ewes keep diferent habits in summer, some stick to their winter territory, others move further out in summer. I think the plantation was important to them in the winter, shelter.
I think all the lambs have gone. Bullocks instead.
Boundary line of wire – visual link with cabling on a jumper
mapping a heft – Cheviot lambs and ewes by a stell. A bridge of railway sleepers over a burn. A track, marked already on an 1867 map. A route used for droving cattle, maybe sheep too. The ewes have spent winter, and summer, here. The stell a nucleus – the eye of their map?
view from heft nucleus / eye
How do sheep see lichen?
do they notice such details?
Glimpse of earthly paradise, with axes of biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
On a Gator, forgot sketchbook. The shepherds whistle – the ewes know what this means and go to their own heft, lambs following.
“more bad hay made in a good year”
hay cut too early turns into silage – plastic wrapped but still manages to smell sweet
Many kilometres of new forest and cycling tracks up here on Minchmoor. I was tracing one of the oldest roads in Scotland, that leads south east from Traquair towards Selkirk. Cattle, and latterly sheep, were driven to English markets.
I went to read the poem inscribed on the Ogilvie Monument:
With cotton flowers that wave to us
And lone whaups that call …
I settled down, and watched the curlews’ distinctive flight
Formerly, they were buried. Can be burnt but that is expensive. Now removed to Staffordshire, where there is a rendering plant. They get boiled up.
using a telescope:ewe and lambs eating grass. When do the start eating grass? stop suckling?
a jeep, man, two dogs, going through the ewe and lambs’ field, separating out the sheep – dogs jump out and assist on command, sitting looking out the back constantly
Middle Field, 13 April