Monday, January 10, 2011

Sheep Fields We Have Known...

We used to keep sheep on a field that was really great; it was large enough for fairly long outruns, yet it had a smaller separate arena-size field on one side. There was a big barn-like structure where you could store a ton of hay or more, and it had a holding pen on each end to sort and separate sheep. There were big oak trees for shade and it was easily accessible off the freeway. On two sides there was a beautiful vineyard. Located near the airport, you often were treated to scenes of hot air balloons traveling by while you worked dogs, on nice days.

Jewel and Duffy

During the rainy season, there was plenty of water for the dogs to play in. A ditch ran across one end of the field, and low spots created little ponds for splashing.





What could make us leave such a sheepdog paradise? The answer is, that the predators drove us out. We had too many sheep killed and maimed by both dogs and coyotes, and we finally bugged out in May 2007. The coyotes would grab some grapes in the vineyard, then hop neatly over the fence and grab a bit of sheep. Keeping sheep at a site where you do not live is an ongoing challenge. This location was hard to leave behind but at one point we had to. Now we keep our sheep in locations that are much more supervised. Those were the good old days though! (Yes I am still going through old files and photos!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks,Billy for the words and photos of the field where we used to have so many good times together with our dogs. I miss it was near perfect, except for the coyotes. TT