Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Shave and a Haircut

Life on the farm is quite a blessing for a photographer. I would equate it with being a sports photographer and living next to the spring training camp for your favorite team or being a military aviation photographer and living on a military base (with permission to shoot no less)!

Not long ago I was able to photograph the time-honored task of sheep shearing. A couple of observations I made during the event:

  • You should be of short stature in order to minimize your need to bend over,
  • You should be strong as an ox in order to wrestle a full-grown ewe or ram into an unnatural position,
  • You should love what you do.
I've seen shearers on TV do sheep in less than a minute, but not sure how long they could actually keep up the pace. The guys I watched would do one every 2-3 minutes and kept that pace up for nearly 12 hours. And as silly as I thought sheep looked with a full fleece, they look ridiculous with a "high and tight".

By month's end the livestock will be moved to summer pastures, my twice-daily walks through the farm will be but to collect eggs. I'm glad to think of them in a large grassy field, but then again the kids and I enjoy greatly the chance to go to the barn and walk among the, to talk and pet Ben and Dave and Daisy in the cow pens. To look for Puppy, Spot, Patch, Dominic and Mr. Texal in the sheep pens and chase the wayward lambs back home to their mums. But they'll be back in the fall and we'll welcome them.



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