I was so heartened to read your lovely comments on my last post about the project on which I’ve been working on with Muriel! Later in the week we’ll be talking more about the yarn with which we have been working. Stay tuned!
Before we get into that, though, I have unrelated Joy I want to share with you.
It’s a sheep! Or rather some sheep I met on Birthday Adventures last week.
Through 2020 and the early part of 2021, like many of us, I barely left the house. We’d do one short local walk around the park per day; I’d pop to the near shop in my mask for essentials; or I’d drive to my storage unit to fulfil KNITSONIK orders to keep the KNITSONIK shop going. There were very few outings. I am incredibly lucky that I was already working from home; am quite hermity in nature anyway; and had ways to keep my business going from home throughout the pandemic. But last week, when they surrounded our car with their inquisitive faces and rough, just-shorn woolly bodies, I realised one thing I’ve really missed while sheltering in place has been the underrated company of sheep.
In normal years there would be at least three or four annual occasions, not to mention visits-with-friends, which would entail some quality time spent with ovine friends. I can’t put my finger on why, but hanging out with sheep is just the best.
This was a new-to-me type of sheep; likely – after a little research and asking on IG – to be Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep, Torddu type. They surrounded our car on one of many winding roads through The New Forest, like a little cloud. Meandering, unbothered, curious, stopping to scratch a scritch, or look on at us with mild interest, (did we have any treats?) they slowed us and all other traffic to a near halt until suddenly, with the most delicate patter of hooves, they had evaporated into the surrounding lands. We parked up on a verge, intent on finding them again so I could take some pictures to try and identify these winsome, stripy creatures.
They had covered a great deal of ground in a short amount of time, and had quietly relocated to a deeply wooded area.
Here the sheep found wondrous plants on which to munch…
…lovely rough trees against which to rub a bothersome itch…
…and buddies with whom to rag and scrap amidst the ferns.
We watched them for a while.
Until slowly they began to again disperse.
And just as quickly as they had materialised around our car, with their curious little faces and quiet, peacable presence, they seemed to be absorbed again into the winding roads and treelined pockets of The New Forest.
We were left, then, with their close associates, the wild ponies.
I have missed these animals so much; their lives beyond and totally outside of our human nonsense; their social behaviours; their quiet, unfathomable presence.
It was a gift to meet them in the forest.
Yours in sheep and horses –