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Friday, November 21, 2008

Herdwick

The Herdwick is a particularly hardy breed of native sheep that is found almost exclusively in the Lake District of Cumbria, and forms an integral part of the cultural identity of the county. They were probably introduced by the Vikings when they invaded this part of England in the 10th and 11th centuries.

Lamb and wool productivity is lower than other varieties of sheep, but Herdwicks can survive harsh conditions by foraging on scant winter vegetation high in the the Cumbrian fells.

Herdwick lambs are born black and as they mature they become brown and eventually light grey. The loose straggling flocks of "grey sheep" are one of the iconic sights to fell-walkers out hiking.


Herdwick sheep high in the Cumbrian fells in summer

I encountered these Herdwicks sheltering from the cold northerly wind
behind a stone wall today while I was out "
tedradding"...

... and this little flock grazing among some rank grassland
(You may click on the picture for a treat!)

Read more about Herdwick Sheep here.

22 Comments:

Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Great walking pictures! (They reminded me of walking in the Pyrenees with all the animals we saw up there for summer....)
I am impressed by your ability to 'hide' little treats behind your photos- a little techno trick I haven't quite worked out yet!!!

6:44 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

I think you definitely spend more time outdoors than indoors unlike me. Lucky you. Have a great weekend.

6:54 pm  
Anonymous May said...

Bucolic.

7:41 pm  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Who says sheep are ugly? These sheep are the prettiest sheep ever. Badger would love to meet them.



ounter

9:39 pm  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

These sheep might be gorgeous looking but they are probably as thick as two short planks. Goats are much more clever. I side with the goats.

1:42 am  
Blogger simon said...

very cool, especially the link.. I have seen those sheep last Christmas!

2:03 am  
Blogger Merisi said...

Pretty sheep,
wished I had their warm coat! ;-)

On the same page than your selection of "So Sheep May Safely Graze", I found another favorite Bach piece, "Air", from the Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, played by the Vienna Philharmonic Women's Orchestra.

12:31 pm  
Blogger Merisi said...

Lorenzothellama,
indeed, who in the world said sheep are ugly? ;-)

missess :-)

12:32 pm  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

I must agree with Kiwi that sheep haven't been blessed with much between the ears. Goats are really clever and are funny too, but nothing beats the sly and cunningtude of a Border Collie!

Merisi, most people seem to think that sheep are ugly brutes, but aren't lambs gorgeous? (Maalie would say yes they are, especially with mint sauce, roast potatoes and gravy!)

1:13 pm  
Blogger Merisi said...

Lorenzo,
we had sheep, back home, and contrary to goats, sheep don't stink! ;-)
Maalie's such a heathen. He should be put on a tofu diet, that would teach him. :-)

3:17 pm  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Beautiful pics and interesting. I take it there in the wild here. But wonder if farmers herd them as well.

Am enjoying the treat. Beautiful as well. That composer is perhaps my personal favorite. My wife Deb walked down the aisle at our wedding to that tune.

6:18 am  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

haha Lorenzo, maybe that's why the Bible likens people to sheep. We don't always have much sense either, or our senses lead us the wrong way.

6:19 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Merisi: You have given me a lovely idea. Maalie is coming here for his birthday so I think I will make him a lentil and tofu casserole!

8:58 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Ted: Why do you think the Bible is so hard on goats? I love them. There is one that lives near Jack in Japan and I used to take Allan there to see her. And she didn't smell much either. It's the men goats who stink!

8:59 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

My last two comments will probably be deleted, along with this one, as Maalie will pompously declare them to be 'off topic'.


(retackee)

9:00 am  
Blogger Jenny Holden said...

I have to sell my three Herdwicks this week as they have become simply too good at escaping! They are such good rock climbers that they go over the stone walls of their field with no trouble at all. My neighbouring farmers are getting a bit fed up of posting them home to me! It's a shame because they're lovely, but I'll stick to my Shetland Sheep for now :o)

10:12 am  
Blogger Maalie said...

Please keep your comments secular!

11:32 am  
Blogger Merisi said...

Maalie,
per umnia secula seculorum? ;-)

3:11 pm  
Blogger Catharina said...

I love these sheep! I have never seen any like this, thanks for sharing!

5:57 pm  
Blogger Elaine Dale said...

Sweet sheep and a lovely hidden treat!

1:15 am  
Blogger Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Oh maalie, you live in one of the most beautiful spots in the UK. Hubby is particularly fond of this area, it brings back his glory days at Durham University. I really must take another trip with him there, thanks for reminding me of what is on our doorstep.

12:58 pm  
Blogger Arija said...

Yesterday we saw a clip on TV about Hardwick sheep going back to the hills after shearing. Nice to see yours with their coloured fleeces. Their faces remind me a little of our Leicesters.

1:37 am  

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