Thursday, March 9
Reg and I are on Midland Road, returning to camp from the laundromat in Blythe, when we come upon a refuse truck stopped in the road and . . . what’s that up ahead? . . .
I ease the Perfect Tow Vehicle forward, not wanting to startle the flock.
I pull over and park on the shoulder. I bring down the window and begin taking photos .
A border collie dashes in front of the truck on his way to gather up stragglers (right edge of photo).
Three sheepherders and the border collie move the flock off the main road onto a side road to the left. A truck pulling a livestock trailer arrives and helps push the flock forward.
Everything happens very quickly.
No time to frame a photo perfectly. I just snap away in hopes of catching all the action.
A splash of white catches my eye . . . Two Great Pyrenees have been cooling off in the irrigation canal. It’s late morning and the word is that temperatures will reach close to 90 degrees today..
Herding sheep is hot work!
By the time they both make their way up out of the ditch, I realize they are mature dogs.
They both hesitate, letting the border collie do the herding.
(Note: A reader tells me the Great Pyrenees’ job is to guard the sheep. They have an important job, Coyotes howl every night around here and I did see some casualties a few weeks ago, before I saw any Great Pyrenees. I haven’t seen any casualties recently.)
I take the opportunity to capture one of them in a noble pose.
In the next photo (bad composition, but there was no time to move the PTV), the border collie darts into the ditch to cool off. He appears to be jumping onto the Great Pyrenees’ head — photo bomb!
The sheepherder carries a lasso and a bright blue, plastic bag.
Not sure what the bag is for. He waves it to keep the sheep moving. Maybe that’s its purpose.
A second dog — another border collie? — walks beside the man.
This one must have been working the flock from the other side where I didn’t see him.
A sheepherder shouts a command and the border collie, the one doing most of the work, rushes up out of a ditch, having chased another straggler. He’s muddy from the irrigation canal.
He wastes no time going to the other side of the herd.
The sheep are moving along nicely now, both on the side road and on the raised, dirt berm running parallel to it.
A job well done!
Friday, March 10
Reg and I are on our way into town again. I have an empty propane cylinder to have filled, plus we’ll stop at the vending machine to fill empty jugs with water.
I take a different route than yesterday.
“Oh, look, Reggie! The sheep are in their new pasture!”
DID YOU KNOW?
“A group of sheep is called a drove, flock or herd. A very large group of sheep is referred to as a band or mob. To be termed “sheep,” the animal must be a year old and have produced offspring. A lamb is under a year old and has not produced offspring. A yearling is an animal that’s between one and two years old and has not produced offspring. A female sheep is called an ewe, and a male sheep is referred to as a ram. There are over a thousand sheep breeds worldwide . . . .” — reference.com
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!