Thursday 27 June 2013

Lost Sheep in Yellow Jerseys

On the 5th July next year, the biggest cycle race in the world is passing through The Yorkshire Dales and to get the ball rolling (or the pedals turning) Susan Briggs has come up with a great promotion / competition called
Lost Sheep in Yellow Jerseys.
For two months from 5th July 2013  there will be hundreds of Lost Sheep in Yellow Jerseys hidden in and around the Yorkshire Dales, Ripon, Knaresborough and Harrogate. 
All you have to do is spot 3 different sheep and report your sightings on and you could win a prize.  There are well over 50 great prizes to be won.  Help find more Lost Sheep in Yellow Jerseys and enter again and again.  Entries accepted between 5th July and 5th September. 

Happy shepherding!

Sunday 16 June 2013

The Year of the Buttercup

2013 should be named The Year of the Buttercup. 
Everywhere you go the fields are a profusion of golden flowers and its not just here in Yorkshire Dales but in Teesdale and Weardale too. After the long, hard winter suddenly all the meadows have been magically turned into acres of gold.  Mother Nature at her best. 
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Monday 10 June 2013

Meadows & Moorland Farm Walk

The Keld Countryside & Heritage Centre holds a series of events each year, one being a farm walk.  On Sunday a group of people joined Chris on a walk through our meadows, pastures and onto the open fell.  All who took part were regular visitors to the dales but none were familiar with the high fells at the head of Swaledale.  They were astounded by the beauty of the landscape, the vastness of the moors and the variety of birds and abundance of wild flowers.  One lady commented that the walk was made particularly special because it was guided by a local farmer who explained about the livestock, farming practises both past and present and the history of the area. 
Setting off from West Briggs
West Briggs with Far Briggs behind and the road along Keldside in the distance.

Walking through Harker's meadow, an area designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest because of the species of wildflower found there.


Tuesday 4 June 2013

Last Round-up of Lambing Photos for 2013

Mandy feeding two pet lambs.  Both these lambs were successfully 'mothered on' and are now on the fell with their adopted mothers.

Earlier this spring sheep would look anywhere for some new grass.  These two thought they would try in my garden.  They weren't there for long!

Introducing Goliath. 
He is enormous!  When he was born he was massive and unusually, already had quite prominent white markings around his nose (this usually comes as they get older).  He was a bit dozey and wobbley when he was first born and Chris kept a close eye on him for the first few days but he's fine now.  

A late lamb, born on June 1st

Staying close to mum.

Curious but cautious. 
Swaledale ewes are very good mums and always protective of their lambs.
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Monday 3 June 2013

Tractor Fun for All

...whilst her younger sister just pretends!
Two little girls have a great time on
Clive the 35.
Hetty has a real ride ....

Sunday 2nd June.  A fun fundraising tractor run to raise money for Swaledale & Arkengarthdale Fell Rescue.  This is the first event Chris has taken part in since his epic Coast to Coast drive on his grey Fergie in 2011.

The journey began in Wensleydale, came over Grinton Moor into Swaledale and then after a lunch stop in Muker wound its way up over Satron Moor along a little known gated road high up onto the fell and then onto Askrigg.

Chris had originally planned to do this run on his red Massey 35 (above) but at the eleventh hour it developed an electrical fault so Fergus the Fergie came to the rescue.  He started first turn of the key and after a quick wash & brush up was ready to go.  I couldn't resist taping this recent birthday card to the back of the seat, 'The old 'uns are always best!' 

We all had a great day out.
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Lapwing Chicks & Curlew Fledglings

Two days ago the four smooth, mottled-brown lapwing eggs hatched into a nest full of fluffy feathers.  Lapwing chicks take between 28 - 30 days to incubate because the chicks hatch out fully feathered and ready to leave the nest.  Lest than 24 hours later the nest was empty.  I caught a quick glimpse of the chicks in the grass but couldn't get a photograph of them.  They have gone now; Mrs Lapwing having taken them out of the field, away from predators and people with cameras!

We also had a group of Curlew fledglings on the home field quite close to the house.  It was a horrible cold, wet & windy day and they just huddled together, some crouching some standing.  They did look funny, almost prehistoric, still quite small but with long beaks and black beady eyes.  No photograph, I'm afraid.  Another reason why I need a decent camera.