It proved a slightly false ‘new beginning’ since another month – April – has passed; and still no new paintings, though words have poured forth – but they have been about things other than this web site.
‘My’ sheep have gone back to Orford Ness so I am left with just memories of what was for me a new and entirely enjoyable experience. The flock of 67 consisted entirely of rare breeds, which made it rather special, with a variety from Hebridean to White-faced Woodlands (a new breed on me).
Among them were several individuals who stood out because of their deviant behaviour e.g. the small group who were always last when I led the flock out to pasture and who stood aloof when the rest indulged in a feeding frenzy for the insufficient number of stock nuts in the lunch-box with which I exercised control. It was interesting to note how that control weakened as new grass began to shoot in later March: the lovely creatures didn’t love me for my own sake after all.
The photograph above shows part of the flock hungrily eating the fresh new growth on the ends of the broom bushes on Snape Warren on 6 March; and the one below, with the tower of St Botolph’s church, Iken, in the far distance across the Alde estuary, shows a Jacob cross delicately eating the small new bursts of fresh leaf on blackberry branches on 21 March, while two White-faced Woodlands savage the broom behind:
The departure, 31 March:
Standing room only on the upper deck as the real shepherds organise the first load of half the flock for its road and ferry journey back to Orford Ness.