Just Call Me Little Bo Peep

There are tens of millions of sheep in Australia and New Zealand, but this is as close as I got to any of them.

There are tens of millions of sheep in Australia and New Zealand, but this is as close as I got to any of them. These sheep are grazing at Port Arthur Historic Site, the location of a 19th century penal colony in Tasmania, Australia.

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.)

Horses on the ranch down the street from me.

Horses on the ranch down the street from me.

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.

This old barn and soybean field won't be here long.  It's prime real estate, surrounded by upscale subdivisions and shopping centers.  Only the economic downturn is keeping development at bay.

This old barn and soybean field won't be here long. It's prime real estate, surrounded by upscale subdivisions and shopping centers. Only the economic downturn is keeping development at bay.

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.

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4 Comments

Filed under Animals, Australia, Environment, Kansas, Kansas City, Life, Movies, Nature, New Zealand, Personal, Random, Travel

4 responses to “Just Call Me Little Bo Peep

  1. I feel a bit sheepish making comments after watching the trailer of Black Sheep.

    People say sheep are cute and harmless but they are pulling the wool over your eyes. Beware…

    ps: if you want the sheep experience, the Agridome in Rotorua.

    Let me just get this wool out of my eyes so I can thank you, Kiwibloke, for the baabaa-eautiful comment! I have to return to NZ because there’s so much I missed, including the Agridome. You need to come here, too, because we are breadbasket of the world! Cathy

  2. Thanks for the link Cathy. At the moment I’m waiting for cows to get a move on and calve…three, then nothing, three, then nothing, three, then…you get the picture!

  3. I think sheep are some of the dearest creatures on the planet.

    Yes, the little lambs are so sweet.

  4. I’m sorry I didn’t watch Black Sheep on the plane. It was playing, and I passed it over to watch Marley & Me, which made me cry buckets. I’m sure the sheep would have just made me laugh.

    I couldn’t sleep so I watched five movies on the way home. I thought counting sheep on “Black Sheep” would put me to sleep, but I was laughing too hard! We had some mechanical trouble on our first attempt to leave New Zealand and had to return and try again the next day, so I was hyper-alert! I needed a laugh. Cathy

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