Monday, April 30, 2012

Basque sheep

These seem to be of two different kinds, the all white all over ones in the photos, with little or no horns (though maybe they de-horn them?), and the ones with black faces and speckling, and really impressive long twirly horns.  There were some like that a bit further down the road, but it wasn't an easy place to stop, and also, they had been shorn - or is it sheared? - so they didn't look as beautiful in the fleece department.  (I don't know as much about sheep as I do about cows.)

Those below were the kind that lived directly around the house where we went for a walk up the hill in the first day or two we were there, my three nieces, my sister, Molly and I.  They had lovely long fleeces, as you can see, and they delighted and amused us when they first saw us by running skittishly away from us with stiff legs, their woolly locks flowing and bouncing as they went (they soon settled down and turned back and regarded us with curiosity, so we weren't guilty of sheep worrying or anything).  A few farmers' vans went up and down, one of them driven by a very dour-faced character, who barely nodded and certainly didn't essay a smile when we moved to one side of the lane for him.

'He looks very unmoved by such a collection of beautiful women,' said Niece-Who-Makes-Me-Laugh. 

We went on to conjecture that perhaps women weren't his thing; perhaps he preferred his sheep.

'Ah like ma sheep' said Niece-Who-Makes-Me-Laugh, in her best cod French leery accent 'zey 'ave the beautiful long 'air, and zey shake when zey run...'

Well, they certainly were very pretty sheep anyway (not a bit like maggots, thank you Plutarch),








some of them had bells on, which it was easier to hear than see,




and they seemed very loving and affectionate, at least with each other.






And the cheese made from their milk is delicious, especially with black cherry jam.  I've still got some I brought back in the fridge, I think I might have some now.

13 comments:

marja-leena said...

They really are beautiful, with intelligent faces. Shame that they have those blue paint marks on their backs, I suppose better than the painful branding of cattle.

the polish chick said...

they are lovely. i wish i could ride one instead of a car, they look so very comfortable.

jo(e) said...

What I love about watching sheep is the way they all follow each other. One will turn and start running, and suddenly they all will.

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

Slightly behind the times, too. In the twenties some men parted their hair in the centre (Bertie Wooster is occasionally rendered this way) and it seems these sheep favour that style.

Another feature: they have slenderish, slightly goatlike faces. Aristocratic, if you like, and not meaning it as a compliment.

Chloe said...

Aw, what splendid sheep!

Crafty Green Poet said...

what pretty, gentle looking sheep!

Rouchswalwe said...

1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ...

Zhoen said...

Rather insouciant expressions, to me.

Bruce Taylor, a.k.a. Catalyst said...

Oh, what beautiful creatures!

J Cosmo Newbery said...

I don't mind eating sheep's brains. After all, they're unused.

zephyr said...

i love sheep. A lot. and i love these Basque characters. Sweet faces and beautiful fleece. Do they make lovely wool? Seems like it would be silky...?

HKatz said...

It's been a delight to catch up with the posts I missed here.

I love these sheep nuzzling each other on the grass.

Clare Law said...

Oh, oh, we had that cheese recently, for Nick's birthday. I got it from Waitrose and when I looked it up in the cheese book it suggested cherry jam. We happened to have a jar, so tried it, and it was like magic.