Monday, 18 July 2011

Sheep naughty, bees dance.

Out in the Home Field yesterday patching up the electric fencing, which isn't 'electric fencing' anymore, because no electricity runs through its wires after Hubs inadvertently left the producer of the electrical current for those wires on the ground overnight. Then it rained. Electrical box found itself in a puddle. Melted some of its constituent parts. Gave up its life.

Anyway, 'dead' electrical fence still in use. Divides the Home Field into two. Keeps the sheep in the part of the field which has fencing wire. Or is supposed to. Because despite running the electric wire through all of the four positions on the poles two sheep, last winter's lambs, insist on going on an adventure through the wire. None of the others do.

And we don't know why this is, but when we put the flock out onto the Side Field, which has hardly any shelter and grass which is minimal, we do not hear a peep out of them all the day long. Yet when we put them in the Home Field, in which there are loads of different types of grazing habitats, a hedge to eat and go for forays into, plus they can go to and fro their barn, they are absolute nightmares. To and fro they go betwixt barn and field they go, getting into any mischief they can, shouting at each other and at us if they see us.

I might manage to make one or two more baby hay bales (as in last blog). The farmer has now cut and baled the Home Field, managing only eight grown-up bales this year from our land because of the way the weather was in the Spring. So sheep over in the Side Field during the two days this was being done. All was quiet. So we hatched a plan. Keep them in the Home Field all day and don't allow them access to the barn until nightfall. Hence the need to patch up the line of 'electric fencing' as well.

And it was when I was doing this task that I noticed the furious activity around the bee hive, where a bundle of bees seemed to be attacking each other. Gosh but they seemed to be in a jumble of little bodies, going round and round, over and under, each other.
"They're doing the bee dance" Hubs said from behind me. Oh so that is what the 'bee dance' is! A bee's way of telling its fellow mates where to find the flowers which I had read about and seen videos of, but there is nothing like seeing it happen in real life. Enchanting!

And I have noticed that the bees are flying with a lot more energy of late. Although not many of them, they are most definitely more active. I think it must be the sugar water inside the hive, (the last but one blog about the recycling of the empty pot of Sainsbury's Mincemeat). The weather has been unsettled since they arrived, often being patches of non-flying weather. Since they have no larder to fall back on, not having had the time to make a honey-store, they go hungry and eventually weaken. Should have got the Sainsbury pot into the hive sooner really. Not to worry. It's in now. The bees are obviously appreciating it as can be seen by the way they are now zooming about. It's good to see. At least they are living their lives, even we think that they are too small a colony to survive the winter.

I also noticed that the farmer had not managed to bale all of the hay he had cut. There were several swathes of cut grass lying here and there. Shame to waste them. Hence my thoughts about perhaps making some more baby bales.

So, temporary fencing put on the fencing poles across the ditch, over which the sheep do a leap to then go up the Side Path to their paddock and barn. Morning time. Sheep out. Supposed to go down the Side Path to the Home Field. Didn't. Did a sharp left turn. Went in the opposite direction. Down the drive. Out onto the lane. Hubs followed behind. Tried to turn them back. Nope. Weren't going to go thataways. Turned to go down the lane. Then turned again to go up the lane. Turned again and jammed their noses up against the gate leading into the Side Field. Nope. Were not going to move. At all. Hubs losing patience. Me standing ineffectively in my dressing gown and slippers. Bools and Gus thinking it all a good game and bouncing about round the sheep which didn't help at all.

Nothing for it. Patience now all expired, Hubs opened the gate and into the field they went. That's where they wanted to go, so that's where they went. And we don't know why they prefer that field when it is such a non-environment for them when compared to the Home Field. But we didn't hear one single moan from them all day. There was no naughtiness. No bother.

Animals are not stupid. Just because they have a different understanding of the world to that which we do does not mean that they are less than us, rather that they are our equals, just different. That is what we are currently learning as we continue to let go our years of UK lifestyle living and try to move towards a gentler, more balanced, way of life.

Nineteen sheep, two piglets, one pig, eleven chickens, two dogs. All of them 'talk' to us in various ways. Trying to understand their language, as well as dealing with the French language, sometimes, just sometimes, fogs my head up! HeyHo. At least I am not sitting soporifically infront of the telly, and can spend time chatting to you. Hope you have a good day............bye for now.


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am sure that I would have more luck in talking to the animals than I do talking in French!!! I don't think I will ever get there :-( Diane

Vera said...

Nor me, Diane!!!

Duta said...

Never a dull moment on your farm! So, you watch bee dancing and sheep stand-up comedy. Good for you!

You need to know the basic, everyday French, and that doesn't seem so unattainable.
More important is the status issue. Do you have the additional french citizenship, or are you going to get it soon?

Vera said...

Hi Duta, we are in Europe so we don't need French citizenship. As for speaking the language, well, I never fight shy of taking the opportunity to speak French and am gradually becoming more confident. Takes time though.

Duta said...

Right. I've just remembered. I have romanian citizenship (in addition to my israeli one) which enables me to live and work in Europe wherever I wish, only I'm not so sure about buying land, except of course in Romania. I did't go into the matter.