The sheep that graze in the Orchards here at Swan Barn Farm have been having a bit of a miserable time of it recently, the weather had been horrible for about 6 weeks, and they were starting to look like slightly soggy sponges. Getting them shorn is a priority at this time of year, as if you don’t the fleece can attract flies that will lay eggs that hatch out and cause all sorts of horrible medievel type nasty problems for the animals.

The problem is you can’t really shear them when they are wet, so I have been hoping for the weather to turn (admittedly as much for my own sanity as for the sheep!). On saturday the sheep finally dried out and the weather looked set fair, so it was time for an appointment with Rob the shearer.

Willow the collie is making a very enthusiastic looking face int he picture above, those of you who know her will know she was next to no help in rounding up the sheep…

My shearing is awfull I’m afraid, they tend to look like they have been through the mincer when I do them (and it takes ages), so a bit of help was the order of the day.

They look like completely different animals after they are done, half the size and with a bit of a dazed look.

Since they were done the sun hasn’t stopped shining here, I reckon it was just in time.

The fleeces will be going to my freind Polly, who in her spare time is a very accomplished knitter and spinner. She will be here at the Green Woodworking day this saturday demonstrating her skills, so if you are interested in that sort of thing I would recommend coming along and having a chat to her, as well as seeing all of the other countryside skills and crafts we will have on display. If the weather holds it should be a fantasctic day. Hope to see you there.