Ford is getting to be one of the old guys around here. He turned 12 this past spring. That's old for a commercial type sheep, but Jacobs tend to be a little longer lived, maybe due to their smaller size.
It might look like these are all almost the exact same picture...and they are, sort of. But if you watch the backgrounds, you can see that they were taken over the span of several minutes, not just one right after the next. That's because it's not uncommon to see Hershey and Chocula side by side :-).
They are good friends...and Hershey's a good shield from that dastardly dog ;-).
Just to be clear, Daniel is completely down with back scratches (and eye rubs, hugs and kisses :-). In fact, he's probably my chummiest sheep. So much so that he will push other sheep away from me, especially Burrnie. "She is talking to ME right now, Burrnie/Hershey/Maisie/Annabelly..."
When Daniel first got here, he was terribly afraid of people. For the first couple of weeks I actually thought he might never settle in and that was such a surprise because his brother, Marcel, was the most laid back love bug ever. Marcel loved everybody, especially me and super especially Hank.
Side note - I'm so glad I have a blog. I'd forgotten the story of Marcel banging on the gate and Hank stopping him. I re-read it when I was picking a post to link for "super especially Hank". It's nice to have good memories :-).
Back to the story at hand, what Daniel's never gotten over is his fear of Hank. Hank has never done anything bad to Daniel. Or Chocula, who is also very scared of Hank. Nothing bad happened to them before they came here. Hershey? Hank can't get away from him. I have no answers.
I did notice the other day though when I was out there with everyone that Daniel was actually grazing calmly no more than 20 feet away from Hank. That's a Big Deal. I quietly snapped a few pictures.
While I doubt they Daniel has called a truce, it sure looks like Hank is happy and hopeful. He loves his sheeps, even the silly ones :-).
This was a very agreeable medium size praying mantis, one of my very favorite bugs. The sun was setting so the light was difficult and I kept asking it to move from flower to flower, hoping to squeeze out a little direct sun. I'd take the blossom it was on and touch it to the one I wanted it to move to. No border collie needed :-).
This big guy was who originally caught my eye as I walked past the dye garden last night. Biggest grasshopper I've ever seen! And, and this just seems so weird that I didn't know this, I could see him breathing and it struck me as really odd...as I guess I didn't realize bugs breathed. You know, like in and out where you could see it. Had to look it up and sure enough...
He was pretty agreeable too. I didn't ask him to move around, but he let me work and work to get the focus right on this so his face was sharp and clear. He's hanging on to a fennel branch and I love how the foliage looks completely foreign.
Or Baba as we now call her. I have no idea when that started or why, but Baba she is. And, truth be told, it's usually Baba Baba.
Still cute as a button :-).
ISO 400 f/2.8 1/500 sec and focal length 175mm
This may be a calendar shot. I love the depth of field. Just the right amount of sharp focus. I got lucky, but that's how you learn sometimes. When you see something you like, remember how you got it so you can repeat it.
I couldn't decide between these two. Which one do you like best?
I've started trying to knit for an hour or so before the sun comes up and I get caught up doing farm work and other chores. It shouldn't be so difficult to find time to do all the things you love! It's working (so far) and this morning the sun rose with a beautiful, well, rose, color. I stepped outside to watch.
Maisie came around the end of the barn heading my way, with Hank not far behind. A couple more started straggling out and I knew the rest would soon follow. I love watching our sheep go about their day and early mornings are especially nice. I ducked back inside and grabbed my camera.
It's a little shaky and too quick in spots. As usual. I also forgot to turn off the vibration reduction, so you won't get to hear all the morning sounds very clearly over the hum. And, it was actually much darker than this. I forgot I could set my exposure manually, so you'll just have to imagine the dark, rosy sunrise ;-).
I think sometimes it's better to capture a fleeting moment poorly than miss it fiddling around to make it "perfect". If I'm tired or distracted, I always default to one of the automatic settings and let the camera do the thinking. This works great most of the time and the pictures following the video do look much better with the extra light the camera was able to pull in. They're not great, but at least I can see everyone ;-)**.
Besides, I can always give it all a re-try tomorrow morning...after a second cup of coffee ;-)
So who's the big mouth yelling in the background?
That's Woody's big honking maaaaaaah :-).
Murphy says "Feed me first, not Woody!"
And where's Baaxter?
A boy and his trailer... Tim's probably not going to like it when I tell him he needs to cut a gap in one of those sides when Little B gets too big to jump through ;-).
"I can climb pretty tall on the gate, too!"
"I think she's just going to stand there taking stupid pictures instead of feeding us."
"Really?" or should I say "Honnnnk!"
Murphy refused to give up, so I put down the camera and picked up a grain scoop. I guess you boys would like some breakfast ;-).
* * * * *
**It's these same "high standards" that I'm looking forward to sharing in a couple weeks at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival. Come on out. It will be fun!
As I was taking pictures of Elizabeth the other afternoon, I kept waiting for Jester to move away from the gate corner so I could take some of him as well. He looked so sad staring out at the other sheep.
"Everyone else gets to go out and play and I'm stuck in this little paddock with a crazy old lady who yells at me all the time."
I get these mournful looks every now and then. Sometimes he does actually want to get out of "prison" and sometimes I open the gate for him and he just keeps staring at me. "I really just wanted a cookie." I opened the gate.
And out he went.
Usually when he goes out for a walk he just wants to go in the sheep stalls and see what's new. He thought about it this time.
But headed out to pasture.
But then he stopped.
And decided to come back.
"I sure wish I was back in my paddock (that I just left 3 minutes ago)."
Would you maybe like a cookie?
"Yeah, a cookie would be nice."
"Or maybe a bunch of cookies."
This is where he was politely munching on graham crackers (instead of JUMPING on me, Baaxter and Murphy!).
And then he happily checked back in to Del Boca Vista :-).