Author Archives: Frances

Poor Harrel

Yesterday, Maggie was sheared and we gave everyone the last of their Heptavac booster injection (active immunisation of sheep as an aid in the control of lamb dysentery, pulpy kidney, struck, tetanus, braxy, blackleg, black disease and clostridial metritis – Missy died of one of these ghastly diseases so I vowed to never lose a sheep to this.) It is expensive as you can only get the bottle for a minimum of 25 doses and have to use it within 10 hours of opening the bottle. I give the rest away.

Maggie was hand-sheared which was fascinating to watch. Our shearer is very experienced (and good) at this.

Afterwards, everyone went out into their field whereupon Harrel spent the next 24 hours shouting his head off to anyone who would listen that his Mother had “gone”.

He was totally unconsoleable and very loud.

Maggie looked wonderful.

She has put on weight. A perfect size.

But there was no telling Harrel.

He couldn’t  believe his Mum would just leave him like this.

What was she thinking?

Dear Maggie followed him around while Harrel had his histrionics.

She was only “quite” concerned.  Not very.

Harrel is a wee fatty and would be fine if he was weaned.

Poor Harrel – he felt utterly desolate.

All alone in the world.

And then there was this strange “velvet” covered sheep that kept following him around.

I mean what’s that all about?

Note – Harrel is a bit quieter today, so hopefully they have been reunited as Maggie has been there all the time.  He is also very tired.

Minions in Flowers

The purple flowers (Devil’s Bit Scabious) are particularly gorgeous this year.  There seem to be more, or maybe I’ve forgotten just how many we always have.

And then there are the odd white ones.

Dotted around here and there – an individual little plant. I wonder if we will see more next year as they seed themselves.

Little Newt was on fine form.  You have to love a face like that.

You have to. It is probably The Law.

Silver was in his calm place.

Waffle and Vitamin both looked good in the long grass.

Vitamin is maintaining her weight this summer so, for the time being, we have stopped feeding her.

And Waffle is a fattie!

Dear little Tiddles was looking pretty.

He is enjoying this field and, like the others, stuffing his face all the time.

Storm, well, just Storm really. He was in a friendly mood until we wanted to put sunscreen on his nosey and then he ran off, giggling unhelpfully.

Fivla was by herself. She was in a foul mood as there were flies around.

She seemed to attract them, or at least mind, more than anyone else.

One day the sun might shine. That would be nice for everyone.

Never Seen This Flower Before

Well, we’ve still got eleven little squeakers and Mummy-Duck is doing a fabulous job.  They huddle under her outspread wings and she hisses at me every time I come into her shed to give them fresh water or food.  I think they are eating the chick-crumb as the tray looks like someone is dancing in it.  I change their water twice a day too as it is dirty so there is probably dancing in that too.

Daisy and I went to check the Minions on our way to work (packing veg for Transition Turriefield) and I saw something I have never seen before – a white Devil’s Bit Scabious flower in their field.

We have tons of purple ones, they are everywhere, but never white and there is more than one plant about, from what I could quickly see.  I will have a closer look tomorrow when I have more time.

We did briefly wonder if the white colour was from all the Sudocream we spread on Storm and Tiddles’ noses.

But we agreed it probably wasn’t as they are too busy wiping it on each other instead!

Interesting, though. I shall investigate further tomorrow when I drive over to do their daily check….

… and hug (Newt is now growing his winter coat and resembles a small baby hippopotamus!

More white flowers tomorrow, I think.


For a while we’ve been missing a duck. It’s hard to know which one as they all look rather samey.  Obviously we recognise Mr Duck, Mrs All-Black Duck and then there are “four others”…..

This morning, while I was on the phone to my mother (the daily call), Daisy shouted “we have twelve ducklings, got to go to work, bye!”

So I swiftly terminated my call with a swear word (Mum understood), and Floss and I went outside to see the new arrivals.

And, boy, are ducklings difficult to count – eleven in total. Daisy had made a random, if nearly accurate, guess.

So, what to do with Mum and eleven ducklings…..

Well, they couldn’t stay outside. That was very obvious. They would be picked off one at a time by the birds.

And then there was Monster, also now circling with intention.

We had words and I lugged him back to the house, closing the catflap.

Floss discovered a new skill – duck wrangling. I caught Mother Duck fairly easily with the lure of food, and then between us we had to catch and move all the ducklings.  They were not helpful and rather like very cute duck shaped soap!

We’ve given them Lambie’s first shed (the one with wifi, radio, etc) and we made it hopefully duckling stupidity-death-wish proof too.  And now I finally get to use my new bag of chick-crumbs that has sat in our porch unopened since last year!

Mr Duck has also been told of his parental responsibilities.

So that’s them safe for the time-being.  Mother Duck is a very good parent. All the little ones sit under her spread wings keeping warm.  However, I am not optimistic. In the past duck-raising has not been our strength but we will see how we go.