My photo
I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Winter Wednesday # 9

Did you know that Winter in Australia means lambs?

Once, when traveling through the English Countryside
in winter, a sister, a friend and I were
assailed by the most horrendous stench.

It took us a while to realise that the farmers 
were spreading animal manure in their fields 
by spraying it from the back of tractors.

When we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast 
in a most wonderful 800 year old farmhouse in Stoke 
we realised that the farm animals in England 
were kept indoors in the winter in huge barns.  

Now I know this isn't new to our northern hemisphere
friends...but to me it was a revelation.
Cleaning out the barn and spreading the manure 
is not a job Aussie farmers have to do during winter.

Our cattle and sheep live outdoors all year round and dine on grass.  

Not only that...lambs and calves are born in winter.
Shearing is also often done in the cooler months.

The farm over the creek has mostly sheep 
and it is a noisy place this time of year as the ewes
and lambs keep in contact.  
I love being outside and hearing them chat to each other.

They are destined to be 'Spring Lamb',
of which Australians are very fond.
Roast leg of lamb being almost a national dish.

When their babies are taken away to market,
the ewes will call mournfully for 
a couple of days before moving on with their 
sheepish lives.

I don't enjoy that sound so much.

Check out these links to other bloggers
Winter Wednesdays.
They warm the cockles of my heart.

Here is another post from someone who isn't joining in Winter Wednesdays officially....but it was such a good winter post, I couldn't resist linking.

Now, don't ewe be sheepish!
Come and join in with
Winter Wednesdays.
Write a post on your blog about the joys of Winter.
Leave a comment on this post to let me know
and I will put a link here to your post.


  1. How very interesting! I am a northerner so I had never considered that down where you are the animals COULD stay outside all winter! They would just freeze to death here, stuck in giant snow drifts! What a world we live in! It never ceases to amaze me with its wonders and diversity!

  2. I didn't know. It would break my heart sending off the babies and having to listen to that sound. I understand the reasoning behind it, but it would be difficult for me. Beautiful black and white pic.

  3. Is this a good time to mention "Silage"? You know what that is, I'm sure [semi-fermented grass, I think, like an under-ripe compost-heap]. Not nice to look at or to smell, but it keeps the livestock alive over the winter.

  4. Morning Hazel,I love watching the lambs race about for their first couple of joyfull months...another winter wonder!!
    Love to join in today.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. My winter contribution is here!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Oh dear, I messed up the Web address, hence the deletion.

    Mum and I went to England in Spring (cough cough) in 2005. We were totally amazed by how clean the sheep were!

    Here's my contribution:

  9. I have about 8 ewes and I am waiting to see if they drop their first lambs. I have a winter wed too so come on over for a peak.

  10. Those poor wee lambs. Such a mournful sound - a cow who has lost a calf nearly as bad.

    We have some sheep just lambed near us too - so cute to see the little twinnies!

    Here is my Winter Wednesday -

    cheers Wendy

  11. Oh cute fluffy lambs! I can imagine how nice it would be to hear their little calls to their mummas!

    Here is my winder wednesday morning:

  12. I lived on a farm as a child i just loved lambs, thats why i coudnt eat lamb roast for years lol.
    Join me for my winter Wednesday:

  13. I'm keeping our chicks indoors for now too, anxious that the frost will get tehm if teh foxes don't!

    I've joined in on your winter wednesday!

  14. Hi Hazel,

    I've just discovered yr blog and had a lovely peruse with my coffee!

    We have lambs over our way too and I was only thinking this morning while driving home from the shop that I can't remember seeing so many black lambs around.

    Gorgeous pics, have a lovely day :)

  15. I always feel sorry for the lambs in winter, especially on those nights when it falls below zero!
    Makes sense, though: Fewer flies! And we all know what nasty business they do to sheep...
    I'm so glad I'm vegetarian.

    Taking part in Winter Wednesday again today: I've stopped to smell the flowers!


  16. Mmmmmmm spring lamb, now there's something I'm looking forward to. And they are pretty cute roaming around the paddocks at this time of year too.

    Here's my winter wednesday post contribution

  17. This is a lovely post Hazel.

    I have noticed lots of lambs around here too. I am glad they have woolly jumpers on cos the nights have been freezing.

    My Winter Wednesday is here

  18. In Yorkshire we call it "Muck Spreading" and as kids we were encouraged to fill our lungs because it was "good for yer" and may well "put hairs on yer chest" ;) Mo

  19. Hi Hazel - I love your blog, as do so many other people - congratulations! My Winter Wednesday is all about plans and the incredible feeling that I get knowing that my dream of an urban food forest is beginning to come true!
    Here's my Winter Wednesday post!

  20. Hazel, I will always remember that pooey smell in the English countryside
    Love your header photo - I think I will now poach the perfumed violet seeing that someone else nicked the toilet door! HDW

  21. Your weekly list is growing, Hazel!

    Here's my contribution :)

  22. Ooo who was the "friend"??

    Whenever I think of lambs my mind goes back to James Herriot stories, where he is lying on bare cobblestones in the middle of the night, stripped to the waist, trying to help a ewe birth her baby.

    No way would I make it as an English farmer.

  23. Hey Hazel, thanks for linking to me, nice to hear from you.

    Talking about the Byres in the UK, I can conjure up the smell of the slurry as the farmers spray it across the fileds, pheeeeweeee. I remember when I visited some years ago, you could smell a farm before you saw it..........The animals must be happy when Spring arrives and they can once again get outside and enjoy the fresh air, green grass and blue skies.

    Off to have visit some of the other links,

    Claire :}

  24. Very educational post Hazel. I did not realised how different lambs were raised in Australia and Northern Hemisphere in winter. I wasn't sure that my sweetcorn in winter is appropriate for Winter Wednesday because I myself feel weird about sweet corn harvest in winter. As it is a summer crop.

  25. Hi Hazel, Violets in my post today and on your header I see. Our parallel garden experience continues :)


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