seasons, Sheep farming

Morning Gold

The sun creeps over the hill and sends its rays under the clouds to emblazon the trees on the far side of the valley.

In the last few days the sky has been clear and the air crisp and clear.

We’ve walked through the woods of oak and beech, silent now except for the occasional call of a golfer over the crest of the hill and the hollow single knock of iron on ball.

The sheep are back on our land, difficult to count after dawn, camouflaged against the heavy frost.

For sheep farmers in Wales this is the New Year — the start of the farming year when the tup goes out with the ewes and the whole process starts again — I don’t know this one and certainly won’t be turning my back on him, even without his horns!

Hill Farming, Uncategorized


Pale morning sunlight casts long shadows and the gateposts steam in the horizontal rays.  The grass fluoresces greedily gathering what energy it can, drawing in moisture from the wet fields which creek and seep.

?????????????????????????????The oak trees on the hill, always last to shed their leaves, are just beginning to turn russet while the scatty larch trees are aflame and the phlegmatic hazel has already loosed its leaves to drift aimlessly and lie on paths with the last of the rowan berries.


Autumn is the beginning of our year, the sheep-farming year.  Our ewes are in the peak of their condition, replenished by summer grass of which, this year, there is plenty left to flush them as they go  to the tup.  They are impatient, occasionally butting each other as the younger ones readjust the pecking order in anticipation of something…  The neighbour’s ram will arrive tomorrow.

?????????????????????????????Look into their eyes and tell me they are not intelligent and excited!