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, November 13, 2009

Desperadoes apprehended!

Leroy had said he would come to get the two long-tailed lambs soon. Then, one day this week, here he was. And the lambs were here too. It was as if they all met here by prior arrangement.

Leroy sent the dogs around the flock, herding them down to the shore near the fish house.
He slowly and carefully pulled the long-tails out of the group without frightening the rest of the sheep. The flock was perched along the shore without any room to maneuver. If they panicked and bolted, they would go into the water and likely drown.
Leroy separated the long-tails by going down on all fours -- to make himself smaller from the flock's perspective, he said -- then slowly reaching out with one hand to firmly grasp the lamb by her leg and pulling her out.

He took a particularly undersized lamb, too, while he was at it.
He tied their feet together while admiring the good quality of their hoof pads. In the meantime, the flock stayed calm, under the watchful eyes of the dogs.

Leroy also brought along some protein blocks and a salt lick. The lambs have been smaller than they should be, and he thinks they may not be getting enough nutrition. The protein blocks and salt lick should help.
He thinks the current total here -- one hundred sheep -- may be more than the island can sustain. So he's going to reduce this flock to eighty. He'll put twenty McNutt's Island sheep on one of the other sheep islands where there is more room to graze. This will require another trip to McNutt's and another gather here, sometime soon.
Meanwhile, Greg will take protein blocks and a salt lick to the lighthouse where most of the sheep hang out. Again, he gets to be a shepherd! (Or an assistant shepherd.)
A dangerous character is booted off the island.
She had a wild time while it lasted.
Leroy brought along his daughter Anna and her friend Nathalie. It was Remembrance Day and they had no school. After they came by here, the group -- two border collies, two girls, one shepherd, and three tied-up lambs -- took the skiff down the cove to the sheep pen to drop off a protein block there. Then they went back across the harbour to Carleton Village and stopped by Bonnie and Skipper's for a visit, according to my sources, before heading home to Pubnico.
And the rest of the flock -- all proper short-tails -- went back to the business of eating.

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