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 12, 2010

boundaries, ghosts, witches

It was a beautiful day. In the afternoon I walked south along the shore of the cove. I wanted to visit the boundary rock again.It marks the boundary of the original Lot 1. I wonder whether there are other boundary rocks on the island.
The boundary rock is in the foreground. North of it is the shore line that was a part of Lot 1. The first grantee, Moses Pitcher, sold this lot to Shelburne merchant George Ross in 1787. Ross owned it for about thirty years. A few days before he died, in 1816, he sold it to Dorcas Thomson, who was the wife of his business partner. There was a landing here called, not surprisingly, Ross's Landing.
I was gawking over the rock when I glimpsed the tiniest movement in the nearby woods. The sheep stand very still like statues and hope you don't see them.
They become ghost sheep.
Then when they think you are not looking they melt away and come out in another place entirely, looking remarkably like the stones along the shore. The magical properties of sheep are not widely recognized.
Since I began by walking along the shore, I took the more civilized path homeward, along the lower road. Still, you never know who you'll meet. I heard some deer warning each other to fly away. A raven sailed through the forest with an urgent message but it wasn't for me.
Witch's Butter. Mmmm. Looks delicious.


Piecefulafternoon said...

An enchanting post!!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

What a splendid post, Anne. I love the ghost sheep, especially. Very fun!

Sarah L. said...

I just started to read your post. I heard of your island through Sheep News. We have a larger sheep farm near Perth, ON (about 1000 ewes) and spend much time dealing with sheep... although I can't say we have such picturesque surroundings as you have! I gather that you have shepherds that work the sheep on the island. I wondered if they (the sheep and the shepherds) live there full time or they leave at the end of the grazing season. We also wondered if you have many predators as that is a big problem where we live. Thanks for sharing your world!

Anne Yarbrough said...

To answer your questions, Sarah: the shepherds, Leroy d'Entremont and Mary Morse, have a yearly routine and I post about that whenever they are working here.The sheep are year-round. There are no predators except the occasional pooch off a leash. (Fortunately, there are no coyotes on the island though they are on the mainland.) If you like you can go to the label wild sheep and read earlier posts about them. The earliest wild sheep posts probably have the most background information. Thanks for asking! And 1000 ewes sounds like a lot of ewes!

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

i love the idea of the sheep being magical and like ghosts and the witches butter does look tasty! the rocks and shoreline are beautiful which looked to provide you with a gorgeous walk!

Sus said...

Would it be safe to call these "free range" sheep? On second thought, nowadays that term suggests much more human control. I prefer simply calling them "the sheep on McNutts".