Friday, 19 February 2010

Snow-time again, Work experience student, Welsh Mountain Sheep.

We have woken once more to a white world. While the Farmer was milking we had a heavy fall of snow after what had been a very noisy hailstorm at about 5.30 am. so everything looks as it did a month ago and I think more snow is forecast over the next few days.

The Farmer has had an assistant this week. Our visitors in the holiday cottage, who have been here twice before, have a 15 year old daughter who wants to become a vet. She wrote to us at Christmas time to ask whether she could do a weeks work experience here at half-term, so she has been up (most!) mornings to help with the milking and has been out in the lambing shed learning about the intricacies of helping ewes with their new lambs. She could not have timed her visit better in terms of being here at a busy time and when there are interesting things going on.
The Farmer is always happy to explain what we do here and when someone shows a real interest in the nitty-gritty of farming & animal husbandry he is more than pleased to involve them in what ever is going on.

The latest news from our travellers is that they should be in Sydney having flown from Aukland last night I think. They will have week in Austalia and then the long flight home to possibly a snowy Wales. Such a contrast to the searing heat of Oz.

Having had to go to Lampeter today we came home over the top of the hills through the most spectacular scenery. All the roads were clear of snow but the moorland was white and the views up the Teifi Valley were superb. Whilst driving through this marvellous landscape we saw a number the Welsh mountain sheep looking very picturesque with their creamy wool and white faces against the brilliance of the snow. Their adaptability to the harsh environment is impressive; they have to survive on such poor grazing and yet they all looked remarkably healthy. They lamb a lot later than sheep kept down in the 'soft' valley bottoms and usually don't have more than one lamb, whereas those of us farming at lower levels have many twins and even triplets from our ewes.

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