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Saturday, August 08, 2015

Irish sheep ... so many to count they kept me awake!

I've just finished painting a whole fleecing flock of Irish sheep ... enough to send me to sleep for the next decade! 

"Caitroina" which means Chaste and Pure in Irish

For thirteen years we lived with the hardy, black-faced, long-fleeced sheep which Connemara in the West of Ireland is so famous for.

They're hilarious to drive behind on narrow Irish boreens (little farm track roads) and you can't help but giggle at their wobbly behinds and woolly tails as they run ahead of you, bumping into each others behinds as you herd them along, looking for a friendly and convenient farm gate or siding to huddle into. If all traffic jams were this humorous road rage would be a total unknown.

"Fiona and Colleen" which means Fair Woman and Little Girl in Irish

Come February, in the area we lived in, lambing season arrives and mornings become filled with murderous sounds as the farmer trudges into the field with buckets of feed. The noise can be quite incredible with no two sheep or lambs having the same pitch, tone, warble, gurgle or bleat - but all of them have a high degree of drama. Peaceful mornings erupt in a cacophony of sounds and you'd swear they were all being murdered in cold blood. A quick look out the window is reassuring that they're only hurtling down the mountainside or across the field in noisy hunger.

"Conall" which means Powerful Wolf in Irish

There's not much that can match the attitude of these woolly wonders with their large burnt-orange eyes that glow in your headlights at night. But ... more about these characterful creatures another time when more sheep need to be painted!

The rest of the flock can be found on my Facebook page.


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