What do you picture when you think of Spring? Budding branches, daffodils, easter eggs, new lambs? I am watching our ewes* getting wider and heavier, wondering when our first lamb will appear. We have a flock* of 31 Hebridean sheep of whom 18 are ewes of breeding age*. I know some of you have sheep at home too, or look over a farm where they have sheep. How many lambs have you seen this year?
Hebridean sheep are black/dark brown sheep, all with horns. Their fleeces go gradually grey as they age, just like humans. They are an ancient breed of sheep that probably came to Britain with the Vikings. On a map, can you find the Hebrides? They are islands off the north coast of Scotland. Hebrideans are best adapted for rough grazing which, in Dorset, means thistles, blackthorn, hedges, and tough dry grass. Ours prefer to eat the hedges and trees in the paddock first, leaving the grass until last.
“Sheep may safely graze” by J.S. Bach* is for two recorders, choirs and orchestra. When Charlotte Ferguson was a Chorister at Knighton she & her teacher played the recorder part to accompany the Chapel Choir.
*ewe: female sheep
*flock: group of sheep
*breeding age: when a female sheep is old enough to have lambs
*JS Bach: famous German composer of the Baroque (1600-1750) era