In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sheep on the point today

The sheep are out on the point today, forty or fifty of them, in three distinct groups. A dedicated sheep voyeur, I can watch them quite clearly from here with the binoculars. Many are lying down, close to one another, nestled on eel grass or cobblestone. Others are standing around eating the seaweed which is plentiful along that shore. They are on the leeward side and protected from the rising wind.  

In their thick fleecy coats, they seem not to mind the flurrying snow, and today's just-below-freezing temperature may seem balmy compared to the often bitter cold of winter. If the wind gets too strong they will head inland, with a minimum of fuss, to seek the protection of the forest. But for now they appear tranquil, as they usually do. Very little in life seems to bother the sheep. 

Yesterday the local flock of about nineteen was back around the house, nibbling away. They spent the night behind the vegetable garden. Then this morning they headed down past the fish house, returning to the point via their cove shore route. 

The black faced ram is still with our local flock. Greg has named him The Major because he is the very model of a modern major general. Today he is lying down near the sea's edge, a little removed from his group, looking quite dignified. He is always dignified, and imposing. We think the girls actually run the show, but allow him to assume that he is in charge.  

The ewes are almost half way through their pregnancies, which commenced soon after Leroy and Arnold released The Major and his brother rams on December 21st. "Five months minus five days," Arnold reminded us then. So we will see the new lambs around mid-May.   
The ordinary behaviour of wild sheep on one of Nova Scotia's sheep islands is not observed or reported very often anymore, I think. Now their presence is so much a part of our lives here that we sometimes forget how fortunate we are to be able to watch them, and what an unusual experience it is to have these calm and woolly neighbours who manage quite well for themselves.  

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