Sheep are probably more common in Australia than kangaroos, but on a recent visit there I never got close enough to hear so much as a bleat. I wanted to see a sheep shearing (as seen on “The Thorn Birds”). I wanted a picturesque mob of sheep to flood out onto the quaint road, you know, the usual tourist adventures. I should have just looked in my own neighborhood. (There’s a hilarious video about a movie starring sheep at the bottom of this post as a reward for traveling on my nostalgia trip.)
A friend, Evan J., told me about a sheep shearing he participated in recently at a farm not too far away from me. In six months, the sheep will need another hair cut. Only a tornado is going to keep me away.
Farmers are dedicated, determined and dazzling. I’m in awe of what they accomplish and remember the hard work of my grandparents’ farm. It’s easy to take farm fields and pastures for granted, until the raw timbers of subdivisions take their places. I live in a suburb on the edge of the Kansas City metropolitan area, near horses and soybean fields. I’m always afraid I’ll find a CVS pharmacy staked out in the horse pasture. (Our neighborhood has already fought a CVS.) One nearby farm was just sold off and leveled last year. Asphalt streets curve around empty lots where a barn surrounded by hay bales once stood. My own yard was once part of a forest that is now a golf course, so I can’t say I haven’t contributed to the sprawl.
People can satisfy a little of their farm curiosity in our county with a visit to Deanna Rose Farm, a city park with farm animals and historic rural buildings. Hopefully, small family farms don’t become novelty items that are remembered only in parks.
I’ve been following the blog of Paula, who raises sheep and cattle and does just about everything else on her organic farm in Devon, England. Here’s her post on lambing. Lambing — It’s Started. Her blog has great photos, too!
Closer to home, Natalya of Pinwheel Farm writes about the joys and sorrows of raising sheep. You can find “Girls at War” and “Memorable Shearing Day, two of her posts on sheep, at Pinwheel Farm.
I watched the movie “Black Sheep” on the plane trip from New Zealand. It’s so hilariously Kiwi. Sort of cheesy, but in a good way. The special effects reminded me of those in “Dr. Who,” the ones with Tom Baker, my favorite doctor. Here’s the imdb.com link, including videos, about the movie Black Sheep. Below is the video of the movie trailer. The video is over the top, but there’s a lot of wry Kiwi wit in the movie. For more Kiwi wit and news, check out Kiwibloke on my blogroll.