Another good day. As soon as it's light, me and The Boss head over the back to check the ewes and lambs. Its been a couple of weeks now since the ewes started lambing and already most of them have one or two lambs, a couple of them have three.
We keep our distance, but The Boss isn’t happy ‘til he’s seen every ewe in the paddock is OK. If he sees any down, he makes me stay in the next paddock while he has a closer look. I know he doesn’t want the sheep disturbed so I’m a Good Boy when there are young lambs about.
All is well so we go home for breakfast. It’s the second day today, so instead of heading over to the vineyard to start pruning, we load up The Bike and trailer with wheat and hay because the sheep get fed every second day in winter.
This is one of my most favourite jobs. So long as I stay on The Bike, I get to go into the paddock and get a close look and smell of the ewes and their new lambs. The ewes know the routine and they wait where they think The Boss is going to feed out. He puts a line of hay out for them to eat (or just lie around on…) and then runs a trail of wheat out of one of the bins. The ewes line up each side of the trail eating. Most of them have forgotten about their lambs.
Some of the older lambs come up to The Bike for a look. One of them jumps on the trailer! One of them puts his front feet up on The Bike! I’m not sure if I should give him a reassuring lick or a nip for being so cheeky! I know I’m not allowed to nip lambs, but before I have time to do anything he jumps back down and goes tearing off to find his mother with four or five other lambs chasing him.
The Boss is looking at a ewe that is lying down and didn’t get up to feed with the others. He doesn’t go too close, so I reckon everything is alright. He gets back on The Bike and we drive around the paddock and have a look at any other ewes that stayed away with their lambs and at any spots where lambs might have got stuck or left behind. The Bike doesn’t seem to disturb the ewes and we can drive quite close to them and make sure all is well.
Next we go and feed the ewe lamb mob, last years lambs who are quite noisy and silly now. I like moving them, they are always doing unexpected things, breaking away from the mob, charging around in different directions, sometimes running straight at fences and looking surprised when they bounce back off them, or sometimes go straight through them! The Boss doesn’t like moving the ewe lambs.
They don’t need to be moved to a fresh paddock today, so I just sit on the back of The Bike and watch as The Boss feeds them their hay and wheat. One comes up to look at me but is more insolent than friendly. I’ll keep an eye on that one.
We take The Bike back to the shed and then head over to the vineyard. The rows are long and The Boss doesn’t like having a break until he has finished a row. He’s using The Electrics this morning to cut back the vines and pull last year’s growth out and drop it on the ground.
I inspect the vineyard to see which wombats and wallaby have come in last night, wrestle with some cuttings, chase some little birds that fly over, have a nap, dig a hole (just out of sight of The Boss) and keep an eye on his progress. When he gets to the third panel from the end of the row I go down and let him know its lunchtime. “I know”, he says. It’s a game we play. He is going to finish the row but I stay there and keep telling him its lunchtime.
When he’s cut the last vine in the row he holds The Electrics closed until they go “beep” and puts them back in their holster. He starts walking up the row and I grab one of the long arms he’s just cut off and carry it back up to the top of the row. It’s a game we play. He hangs The Electrics on the end post and we head back home for lunch.
We go by the ewes and lambs. The ewe that was lying down is up and licking a new lamb. The Boss is in a good mood. After lunch he will be tying down the row he’s just cut. It’s a sunny day. I’ll have a snooze in the sun, chase some birds, wrestle with some cuttings and let him know when he’s down to the last three panels.