The lamb saga on the farm continues…

 This photo op sent me swooning with delight.  Too cute for words.

Fascinating Fact of the Day about Witheridge: 
From this site:

The village of Witheridge is set in a gloriously scenic area dominated by the waters of the Rivers, Little Dart, Dalch, Taw, and the lovely River Mole. It is a charmingly un-spoilt village that has clung steadfast to its rural way of life, with farming mostly at the economy’s center. The village is perhaps best known for its beautiful village church. This has a sturdy clock-face tower crowned with pinnacles and is surrounded by an attractive churchyard. There is a village store, a post office, and a newsagent. Two village inns provide good food and lively conversation – the pub is the place to be if you want to meet the locals! Witheridge is on the Two Moors Way. Thus it offers easy access to the delights of both Dartmoor and Exmoor. The townships of Crediton and South Moulton are both just a short drive away.
We’re still reeling over the entertaining experience we both had on Tuesday while assisting John and Renate in herding the 6-month old lambs from a paddock located across the road to the fenced area where the barns and outbuildings are located.
At one point, the lamb herd wandered over to the pond next door to our house, Pond Cottage. We couldn’t help but laugh.

I can’t help but tease Tom over his participation in this process as a competent shepherd. Moving this many sheep at one time always requires a third person to assist, most often a neighbor or friend.

The lambs wandered off to wherever they liked with little regard to the mission at hand.
Knowing we wanted to take photos, they asked Tom if he’d take the role of the third person while I would do what I could with both of my hands on the camera poised to take photos, and videos are shown in yesterday’s post here.
They checked out the pond.
Although we’ve always appreciated the work of farmers, we had no idea how challenging a process such as this can be, along with all the other endless chores facing a farming family.  
They stopped to graze on some fresh grass, far from where they were headed.
Living on this farm in Witheridge gave us an entirely new perspective. Not only do John and Renate handle 350 sheep (they have professionals do the steering), but they harvest tons of apples from their orchards and make their cider and apple cider vinegar. (Tomorrow, we will post photos and details for this fascinating process).
Finally, they acquiesced and entered the area to which they’d be nudged along. 
In addition, they have a good-sized garden, greenhouse, and apple orchard to maintain and harvest, wood to gather, chop, and sort for the wood-burning stoves, chickens, ducks, and geese to feed, the day-to-day management of the sheep, and the maintenance and management of their substantial 500-year-old house and of course, this separate house we’re renting. 
The chickens were curious as they watched the lambs herded into the barn.
John is on his tractor many hours each day. Renate works right along with him. The most fantastic aspect of this well-managed farm they handle without permanent staff is that they are both in their 70’s. John is 79! We can’t imagine working so hard at this point in life, but they seem to enjoy it thoroughly.  
With all of them in the fenced area, John nudged them along further.
John and Tom have spent hours chatting. They have similar views on many topics and can’t seem to get enough.  Unfortunately, they are leaving on holiday late tonight and won’t return until after we’re gone. We’ll be alone at the farm, but they have a friend coming to feed the chickens, ducks, geese and check on the sheep.
Still, a little resistance from the young ones.
They encouraged us to wander about at our leisure while they are away, and when there’s a sunny day (if there’s a sunny day), we may do just that. The grass, the rocky paths, and the walkways are slippery and muddy from the constant rain.
With all of them inside the fenced area, John and Renate locked the gate.  John is a retired doctor (no retiring for them working so hard on this 150-acre farm) and handles most sheep’s health issues with expertise and ease.
Today, when it stops raining, we’ll head out to the garden to pick a few tomatoes for dinner and see if we can roust up a few more tender morsels this late in the season.

May you have a fine day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 3, 2018:

A giraffe visiting our garden was quite a thrill. We’d seen this large male at other locations in the park.  For more photos, please click here.

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