|Sketch 54 of 75 (still going!!)|
Since moving up to the north of Scotland, our TV viewing has dropped considerably. The thing is, we've discovered the best reality show of all - our windows are our new flat screen TVs and the stars of the show that keep us fascinated for many hours are the many,varied animals that we share our garden and surrounding fields with.
We now spend so much time just staring out the window watching the lambs as they group together into little gangs, racing, skipping and jumping round the field before running up to the nearest sheep for a suckle. The sheep then sniff the lamb's behinds to ensure its her lamb she's giving her precious milk to and if it isn't, she unceremoniously head butts them out of the way.
|Flopsy relaxing in the evening sun|
Last Monday, the weather was really bad here, gale force winds and torrential rain and the poor little lambs were taking a right battering out in the elements. I'd been watching them through the rain spattered windows on and off throughout the day, wishing I could bring them all inside to the warmth, later in the evening I noticed that two little lambs who were curled up together had been in the same position for quite a while and even when other sheep came over to them, they didn't seem to be moving. S and I were there with binoculars trying to see through the windows which were still being hammered with rain.
|'Maaaa - where are you?'|
I was so worried about them that I ended up phoning the farmer. He arrived shortly after and straight away he said he had a sheep who was a really negligent mother and he bet it was her just leaving her lambs out in the cold. He walked over to the lambs, saw the mother who was mooching around nearby and said 'yep, that's her - she's a terrible mother' (how he knew one sheep from another when they weren't even marked we do not know!). He lifted the two wee lambs up. They were floppy and limp, still alive but only just. He said they had hypothermia and took them off to put them in an incubator saying that they would be grand.
We felt so relieved we'd been nosy neighbours and called the farmer when we did or those little lambs would've been goners. Of course, it's kind of bitter-sweet as in another 9 or 10 weeks they'll be send to slaughter anyway but hopefully, they'll at least get to enjoy another few weeks of innocently skipping around the fields before then.
We also have lots of pheasants pootling about in the fields by us. The males seems to have a whole harem of females and will chase other males away if they dare to come too close. They often go tearing across the fields like road runner!
|Phillip the Pheasant|
About two weeks ago, a male pheasant was in the field by our garden while I was out there so I threw him a handful of bird seed to see what he would do. He came over and ate it while I stood there. He then started turning up at the same time every evening in the hope of another bite to eat and yesterday every time I took the dogs out to the garden he came waking up to the fence expectantly! He now turns up about 3 or 4 times a day with his harem of lady pheasants waiting for another meal! He comes right up to the fence and even when our two dogs are there he's obviously bright enough to realise he's safe on the other side of and he just tucks into the bird seed, all the while making a wonderful soft, clucking cooing noise which we swear sounds like 'thank you'! He's now the subject of my next painting!
|Phillip strutting his stuff|
Some days I feel like I'm in a Disney film as I look out and there are lambs skipping, rabbits hopping, birds flitting from feeder to feeder, the tiny field mice sneaking a nut or two while the birds aren't looking and pheasants pecking for morsels. All that's missing are the birds coming to tie a ribbon in my hair while we sing together a la Snow White!!
I'm linking up to Sunday Sketches hosted by Alexandra. Thanks for stopping by and all credit for these great photos goes to my lovely husband, S!