mapping a heft (2)

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

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?

some views from an old drove road

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.

what flies overhead the sheep field

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

what happens to sheep that die on the field?

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.

hill lambing

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