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Utility and Futility — 8 Comments

  1. Like stepping across the world and having a peek into another’s life. The place is beautiful; and exotic to someone such as myself. It’s also nice to know we’re not the only ones to have animals smarter than ourselves.

  2. Quite a challenge to do all the fencing but it’ll keep you fit, no doubt! 😉 The wool of your sheep looks great – do you use it as well? Liked the pic with the heathaze. Is it really hot there at the moment? Good luck with the sheep training 🙂 We used to have lots of sheep in Ireland and I remember the training was funny and challenging at times!

    • [J] Fit, yes, Annette. Tired too! The wool is in itself not valuable (though we breed the sheep selectively to improve the wool), but it’s the key material in lots of woolly things we make for sale – see Hebridean Woolshed. The heathaze picture was – to be truthful – taken about three weeks ago near the end of two months of endless sunny days and scorched grass: since then the weather has become more typically Hebridean, ie changeable. We’re wondering where in Ireland you lived: perhaps the west coast?

  3. You might be interested in reading the blog (sometime – when you have time on your hands, wry face emoji) of Australian shepherdess, Nan Bray who blogs at – she keeps merino sheep on poor Australian land, and spends most of her time old-fashioned shepherding: moving the sheep round so that they eat at those pastures they don’t want to! She writes beautifully – and poignantly – she has had to radically reduce her flock because of Australia’s recent droughts. So when you’ve finished all the hard work of fencing in your croft, you can shepherd the sheep around! Just an idea 🙂

  4. I would agree with that! I can’t believe how far down it looked to Carrick from that gate. I may be re-thinking walking up there with you next year – or start my fitness plan now!

    So who is the white (Scottish Blackface?) sheep in the photo? Do the sheep mix on common grazing land? Any rams around? This could get complicated!

    • Job done – new Page with hand-drawn (okay, not very pretty) map of croft! We hope to add a map of the walled garden, the maps having hot-spots linked to photos. For the future! It’s quite a steep climb up the hill, but it you take your time you’ll find it worthwhile, as the views are great, and the natural vegetation – though not exactly ostentatious – is a delight, and worth paying attention to. The white lamb is probably a Lleyn/Cheviot cross, and I think belongs to Angus ‘Rena’ MacKinnon, who has sheep, a boat for fishing and like us is always busy working. The sheep can mix, but in practice each flock tends to establish its ‘home range’, and we expect that our flock will establish a range radiating from the new hill gate, and that will tend to push other sheep away. Rams are kept out of the common grazings, in ‘home parks’ down below. Baghasdal and the other boys – including Rhubarb, are still down in Home Park.

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