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Stray sheep - Helen's journal and online home
heleninwales
heleninwales
Stray sheep
Stray sheep by Helen in Wales
Stray sheep, a photo by Helen in Wales on Flickr.

7/12

I just happened to glance out of an upstairs window first thing this morning and spotted this woolly intruder. I grabbed my camera and as I opened the front door, the sheep looked up with a guilty expression on its face. It's clearly saying, "Uh, oh! We've been rumbled." :)

There were actually 4 of them, all happily munching on our front grass. I would have been happy to let them stay and mow my grass for me, but I knew the neighbour wouldn't want sheep eating their plants and anyway it would be best to send them home before the road got busy.

A quick bit of sheep herding later, they were safely back where they belonged, behind a gate with a sign saying, "Please keep this gate closed or the sheep will get out onto the road and into people's gardens." Either someone had been careless (though the gate was shut when I got to it with the sheep) or the storms have created another way out and the sheep have found it.

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Comments
tychist From: tychist Date: February 15th, 2014 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sheep seem particularly suicidal to me. Local ones seem to spend their energy hurling themselves down slopes into the small river nearby. I much prefer it when we have the dairy herd in the nearby pasture. I do love watching them run. Funny as hell.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: February 18th, 2014 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welsh sheep seem to be simultaneously canny and resourceful and suicidally bonkers. They switch without warning from one state to the other.
khiemtran From: khiemtran Date: February 15th, 2014 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Either someone had been careless (though the gate was shut when I got to it with the sheep) or the storms have created another way out and the sheep have found it.

I guess you'll find out which one it was shortly...
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: February 18th, 2014 08:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
No sign of sheepy interlopers yet. But if they appear again, I will contact the owner and suggest that they either impose a stricter gate closing routine and/or check the boundary for illicit exit points.
nutmeg3 From: nutmeg3 Date: February 15th, 2014 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm impressed they let you herd them home instead of scattering to the winds (and the road).
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: February 18th, 2014 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have had plenty of practice from the years when we were Youth Hostel wardens and lived some miles out of town. Our neighbour's son had a habit of not closing the gate when he returned from the pub late at night and we would regularly wake to find 20 or 30 or their sheep on our field.

With the herding, it helps that the sheep know full well that they are not where they should be and as long as you herd them gently and don't panic them, they will naturally bunch together.
houseboatonstyx From: houseboatonstyx Date: February 15th, 2014 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
This reminds me of a wonderful discussion at Ozarque's LJ a few years ago, about how, in the Ozark Mountains, to politely by phone tell a neighbor that his cattle are in your yard.

I think the preferred way was: "Guess who's over here again."

And next: "You might want to take a look out your west window."
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: February 18th, 2014 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Yes, cattle are worse. I wouldn't want them trampling our front grass.

When we were Youth Hostel wardens and lived some miles out of town. Our neighbour's son had a habit of not closing the gate when he returned from the pub late at night and we would regularly wake to find 20 or 30 or their sheep on our field. Sometimes we would find about a dozen cows plus bull!
veronica_milvus From: veronica_milvus Date: February 16th, 2014 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Cute sheep. It has a somewhat defiant stance!
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: February 18th, 2014 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Somewhere between defiant and guilty, I would have said, from seeing its expression in the flesh. :)

Straying sheep are fully aware that they're not where they're supposed to be, which is one reason why it's usually fairly easy to herd them back. The only problem occurs when they've squeezed out through some small gap in the fence and then promptly forgotten where exactly the gap was. Then they end up galloping up and down the road in a panic.
rymrytr From: rymrytr Date: February 17th, 2014 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)


You missed your chance for a quick shearing, carding, dying, spinning... :o)

heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: February 18th, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
It would be a bit cruel to deprive them of their fleece at this time of year, but if they should return in May, which is shearing time, I might be very tempted. :)
elsewhereangel From: elsewhereangel Date: February 17th, 2014 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am a bit envious. We occasionally get wild turkeys but that's about it. I find sheep charming in the way of someone unexperienced with sheep outside of children's books.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: February 18th, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welsh sheep seem to be simultaneously canny and resourceful and suicidally bonkers. They switch without warning from one state to the other. The lambs are incredibly cute, but it's too early for local lambs. Round here the sheep lamb outdoors round about April.
14 comments or Leave a comment