Sheep Hugging Therapy

Daisy had gone to work this morning. Later, we had a phone call asking if the vet could come earlier than booked (when Daisy would’ve been back) to give Efstur his booster injection (equine flu) and would we be around for this? I said yes and Floss, who wanted a break from her work, came out to help me get Efstur, and his friends, into the closest field ready for the vet.

After some not-very-strenuous gate opening and closing, a headcollar on Efstur, the rope put somewhere close at hand, and water buckets filled (note small black lamb “helping”), we waited.

As the sun was out, and it was a nice day all round, we decided to wait with our woolly friends.

They do love it when we sit down with them.

They were all especially huggy.

Edna sat down next to me.  She just wanted to have her nose kissed and to be stroked.  She is a very affectionate lady.

Even Madge was almost part of the family.  She does try so hard but…… run away!

And little Harry pitched up too.

Maggie was not sure about this sort of thing and called him away.

But he ignored his Mum and quickly returned.

Apart from being with horses, I honestly think sheep are the best therapy.

You know where you are with a sheep – very loved and surrounded by a faint smell of pee!

 

Minions before the rain

I took Fivla her daily turmeric supplement (TurmerAid) – 25 this year and she still looks exactly the same but these days she has slowed up a little.

Fivla quickly scoffed her turmeric supplement down (I have yet to meet an animal who refuses it) and once finished, walked away, leaving the non-existent clearing up to the Shetland vultures who had been hanging purposefully around.

I think Storm won this battle.

While they argued about nothing being left in the bowl, I went around everyone else with their carrot ration and took a few snaps as well.

Silver becoming whiter and whiter

Tiddles

The Incorrigible Newt (possibly a small gastro-pub in the heart of Englandshire, where they go in for that sort of thing).

Storm, Newt and Tiddles

For once not bickering!

And dear old Vitamin, who is 26 this year.  She is 2 years older than Fivla. I always forget this.

The Minions are very pleased to be in their “Summer” field.  All we need now is for some warmer temperatures and the grass will start growing and we will all be happy.

Home, and I found Harry had taken up residence in an old fishbox.

I asked him what he was doing there and he said he had “gone to bed”.  Fair enough.

A little drive around

This afternoon was all mine, so I left these two lovebirds to go for a drive.

I wanted to see (and photograph) the newly arrived hill lambs.

This little cutie patootie made me smile.

I love everyone’s different colouring.

I was being thoroughly investigated too!

This is the Shetland hill, which is common grazing for crofters.  It is also known as the scattald.

Foula in the distance – about 20 miles west. Somewhere in that sea is the remains of R.M.S. Oceanic, a transatlantic ocean liner built for the White Star Line (same as the Titanic) in 1899.  She ran aground in 1914 on the Shaalds (3 miles east of Foula) when patrolling the waters from the North Scottish mainland to the Faroes on behalf of the Royal Navy (WW1). Wrecked in flat calm and clear weather but, one month later, she vanished altogether in a huge storm.  The Oceanic’s history is fascinating.

Apart from little lambs appearing, this is also the time of year when folk are casting their peats.

Peat is cut, or cast, with a special Shetland spade called a tushkar and laid on the heather to dry.  Once hardened a little, it is “raised” into small pyramids or walls (depending on the cutter) so that the wind can dry them better.

Then the peats are bagged up and taken home to burn to keep the house warm or for cooking on.  It has a lovely and very special smell when it is burning.

In the far distance, I saw this enormous bird on a rock. I think it is a cormorant.  It was too far away to get a clear photo.

 

Spring in Shetland is lovely – so much going on after the harsh winter, and the days are getting lighter and longer too.

When I arrived home, I popped in for a quick chat with Harry. He ate my camera!  The wee fatty eats everything these days.

Bed!

Just shout and Maggie….

…. and little Harry come running!

A friend visited this afternoon – Shetland is in Level 1 – and I introduced her to our latest arrivals.

The team.

Maggie is very keen on food and of course these genes have been passed on to her sprog.

They both jostle and push to get the food.  It’s not pretty.

But then Maggie remembers she is a mother and if Harry is eating proper food, she can wean him faster!

Harry is looking very rotund these days.

He is very sweet but not really into people much. I demand a daily hug and kiss (the top of his head).  He quite likes that.  We are all wondering whether horns will sprout.

Maggie is a good Mum though she hates nursing and only lets Harry nurse when she says so and not if he demands.

They followed me back to the house and Harry decided he wanted to go to bed.

And so off he took himself.

However, Harry loves his bedroom.  The warmth of the straw and the protection from the weather.

He looked wistfully at his little bed.  Just perfect for a snuggling in.

And then Maggie told him to come with her.  Not asked, told and he reluctantly went back to her.  He wanted to go to bed so much but it was only 5 o’clock and a bit early.

If he ignores her and takes up residence, Maggie goes storming in and pushes him back out into the field to be a sheep. I think I am with Harry on this. There is nothing nicer than a snuggly warm bed.

Love is in the Air

I took these photos yesterday after Daisy said “Mum, quick, look in the paddock – Haakon and Lilja are grooming each other”.  We had brought them all in for the farrier, even though it has been tense these past few days so this was a major breakthrough.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Sóley was trying to attract Iacs’ attention.

“Good luck with that” we all said.

Iacs was shocked at the mere suggestion of anything “sexual” (please say this in a creepy voice!)

But I must admit, Sóley was fairly insistent.  Full marks for pushiness.

She had fallen in lerve…. again, good luck with that!

But Iacs was having none of it.

He tried his hardest to ignore Sóley’s “come hither” looks.

He ignored her, preferring grass to anything else.  Poor Sóley, she was very disappointed.  Walking backwards into Iacs achieved nothing.

Meanwhile, Haakon and Lilja were busy booking a room!

At least this lot are settled and happy.