Thursday, February 09, 2006

Woolly Visitors

Because we are still in the process of building our extension, we haven't fixed the broken gates along the road. Barney our escape artist Bassett Hound died last year, so there isn't anything we need to keep shut in the garden.

This is a photo of dear old Barney.

The fact that the garden is not secure means that any loose livestock can just wander in at any time. It seems that we had woolly visitors a few nights ago. It was still very dark in the morning when we all left for our jobs and school. We didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. . . . I was the first one home later that day. Checking on the rabbit and chickens, I noticed quite a few small cloven hoof prints in the soft lawn. The grass had been made short and there were wisps of wool on the corner of the rabbit hutch. "Hmmm, I think we've had visitors " I said to myself. From the number of hoof prints and little deposits, the sheep had been there for some considerable time. The visiting sheep only ate some grass and left a few droppings. Sheep in the garden, especially at this time of year when most things are dormant, don't cause too much damage. Having twenty plus Aberdeen Angus in the garden, as happened a few years ago, will cause a bit more damage. The droppings are bigger too.

We live in an area that could only be described as rural. In fact, if you looked up the word "rural" in the dictionary, you'd probably see a picture of our place.

In the very first post on the blog I have about the extension, you will see the a nice photo of our place. The northern and eastern boundaries of Whitelees Cottage face pasture where North Country Cheviot sheep, Aberdeen Angus and Galloway cattle live. This bit of land has never been plowed. The fact that it has never been plowed allows another feature to be visible. There is a Roman Road that goes right through the field. When we've had a frost, it is much more prominent. The old Roman road runs from the hill fort that was located on the hill about two miles from here all the way to Carlisle. Carlisle was the terminus for Hadrian's Wall.

The southern side of the place is yet another field. This field, belonging to a different farm to the other field, is sometimes winter wheat and sometimes silage. From time to time, there will be sheep in there too. The western boundary faces onto the road.

Across the road is a pine woods. In the evening we can hear at least three different kinds of owls. Apart from many many birds, there are red squirrels (becoming quite rare now) foxes, deer and badgers. Its a great place to go for a walk.

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