Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

A Breath of Fresh Air


At last, here in the UK, we seem to be in with a chance of  little blue sky thinking.

play ball-2

I caught a dandy-lion when I scooped up Spuds ball, in the ball throwing device, that is known to this family as a ‘winger-dinger’, don’t ask why, for I’m not sure we would know the answer! It is a very useful  device,if you throw like a girl, and I do. Not that you have to use it much, throw the ball once and Spud runs up and down the field for about 20min before bringing the ball back. It is an easy way to exercise him.

Spud spring field-2

This form of fun will only last as long as the grass is fairly short, and I have to say it is very short for this time of year, we’ve had little rain and it has been cold. Normally, some of the farms would be taking a first cut of silage by now, but the grass is barely up to my boot laces, there’s nothing to cut.

In this area, wise dogs are staying a short lead and keeping a low profile

eating grass-2

when out on walks. As (understandably) farmers in the area are taking no prisoners, what, with the likes of this going on.

Sheep worrying 1-2


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

14 thoughts on “A Breath of Fresh Air

  1. That was dogs??? I suppose it must have been, but it’s hard to imagine. It doesn’t even seem as if the killers were after prey, so much as just acting out of pure meanness. I promise you that farmers here would take no prisoners either.

    I’m sure Spud is a very, very wise dog. Or at least that he has a very, very alert owner with a short lead.

    The first photo is inspiring, by the way.

  2. The photograph of the dandelion and ball is wonderful! We’ve been very lucky here in Northern Ireland, as the sun has been shining and the skies blue for quite a few days. This plus rain means that the gardens are looking quite lush.

    I guess that instinct must take over if a dog gets in amongst sheep, although perhaps it depends on the breed. I’m a cat person so don’t fully understand dogs and their ways. Your dog is very cute, btw.

  3. Spud would never do a thing like that!

    • No, but he would run off with anyone who happened to pass by, I’ve already retrieved him from the other side of the village (and he’d navigated crossing the main road) we think he followed a jogger. We are keeping close tabs on him. He can jump all the walls and gates.

  4. OK, I take it back about the Wisdom of Spud. He’s a goof.

    I think you may be onto something with the cat. A lynx could do that. A bobcat, too. Of course a puma could do it, but I gather no one believes there are any about. Interesting.

  5. Dandy lion photo is a masterpiece!!! I would get that printed pronto and put up on the wall – just fab.

    I can’t believe the average pet dog could be so vicious to a sheep – really that is a shock. Though I never underestimate any dog and even Maggie (little softy fluff ball that she is) could possibly turn – I tell every parent they are letting their kids play with her at their own risk. (Even though I’m there and she’s on a lead).

  6. I don’t find it hard to believe that dogs, particularly in the plural when pack mentality takes over, will attack sheep.

    My parents always had whippets who would usually only chase (and kill) rabbits, hares and squirrels. Nevertheless, they’ve certainly sometimes chased foxes and deer, and fought with the former and snapped at the latter. As a result my father was always most careful to keep them on a lead anywhere near sheep…..I expect they’re just big furry bunnies to something with hunting deeply embedded in its genes!

  7. Yes, even putting the dog on a long lead isn’t enough to reassure nervous sheep. We scattered half a flock whilst out on a walk this morning, before I wound her in. I have no doubt that Rani would be very worrying to sheep. She likes to chase anything that moves, the bigger the better. So, big labradors, sheep, horses, all great fun. She herself is as small as ever though!

  8. I cant believe a dog did that. Id say thats a bit of scaremongering.
    But dogs should be on a lead at lambing time. Even Badger who wont look at them I keep on a lead when the lambs are about.
    I tried one of those Ball Lobbers and although I dont use one they certainly are popular. A good device for people who struggle throwing balls.
    You can throw them for miles with a ball lobber.

    Although you can get mis throws were the ball flies into the nearest hedge and you look round to see if anyone has noticed your rubbish shot.
    Some dog walkers use golf clubs

  9. Especially love the image of the dandelion and the chuck-it. Looks like a gorgeous day!!

  10. Pingback: Spud on Sunday Part XXIX | Uphilldowndale

  11. I doubt that the sheep in the photo was killed by a dog. More likely coyote or wolf.

    Not that dogs won’t chase sheep, because they will. The average dog will chase anything that runs away, and sheep are the perfect prey animal. They can’t run all that far, they are easily startled and they are dumber than Lake Erie carp.

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