Shearing is limping along, we only had two days last week due to the weather but worked all five days this week, despite a few showers on Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Wednesday was an exhausting day for the dogs and I. We had to move shorn ewes from one paddock to another, a job for Driftz and Angel, then I had to yard a mob of sheep, with Lara, Rio and Dolly.
I then had to muster the hoggets from a large hilly bushy paddock, with Angel, Drift and Rio, which took nearly two hours. These three work well together. Angel is a natural driving dog happy to trot along behind the mob while Rio and Driftz work the sides or hold up the front if neccessary.
After that we had to draft out a mob of ewes and lambs, with Caleb helping, then drive a mob shorn ewes back into their paddock, with Drift and Angel again. Then we had to yard and draft the last mob of ewes and lambs, so it was Caleb again, who was pretty knocked up as it started to rain so we had to get them all under cover quickly. The last job was to put the lambs on the dam with Dolly and Driftz.
So we had some tired dogs at the end of Wednesday.
And with perfect timing our solar pump stopped working. It has worked happily all year, but has to stop in the middle of shearing. This pumps from the dam and supplies the toilet, the garden and the chooks. So I have had to bucket water to the chooks, keep a bucket full near the toilet and try to water my tomatoes and pumpkins etc. Murray managed to get it going on Fri but due to lack of sunshine we still have no water. Oh well!
On Thursday I tried mango out in the shearing shed with the hoggets and she went very well. Angel was there to give her confidence and I was happy with the way she got in and moved the sheep as it was her first time. I must get her sides on though, she really needs more work and training. Like her mother she did not want to quit.
Tonka has moved to my friends place for training, so I just have Balto and Zinc who have both been a bit neglected, as time is limited. Balto is growing taller and leggier and getting a lot more obedient, so I now can walk him anywhere and he will come when I call.
He tried to round up the little chickens and did a lovely wide arc to cover them all, but was easy to call off. I usually discourage my dogs from chicken chasing as it can lead to problems, and they get too excited as chooks tend to flap a lot. He shows no interest in sheep as yet.
Zinc is a great little guy who loves to be with me, and gazes at me with such adoration, totally undeserved. How can anyone not love those huge ears? He is quite soft though, but is gaining in confidence as he gets older. He is looking interested in the sheep but not working yet.
I found a Peahen nest, in a place I would never have looked. By chance I spotted her and followed her. She flew onto the roof of the old house and disappeared. After wandering around looking for a while I noticed the old rainwater tank and sure enough she was in it. I didn’t even realise it had the top missing. A grapevine had grown inside giving her a lovely hiding place completely safe from foxes. Clever girl. And now one of the others has gone so another nest hunt coming up. When I get a moment.
At least the weather has been kind. Usually at this time of the year we are sizzling, so it has been much more comfortable.
Another six days of shearing or so left, barring the rain, then I might get to catch up with some friends and train some young dogs, and somehow fit in my christmas shopping. I hate crowds and shopping, but must make an effort I suppose. And then there is the messy house, and the weedy garden. Sigh!