Posted by: 347bennetrd | February 1, 2010

Day One – Goodbye City Hands, Hello Crows Feet

Today was hot.  Very hot.  Much squinting out over the paddocks took place – actually squinting was probably secondplace to saying in the firmest voice I could muster (ie trying desperately not to shout myself hoarse) “Wallago Blue”  “Wallago Bronc”.  This is dogspeak for please, please come back and let me tell you there’s more to using sheepdogs than meets the eye.

First Marty got me to run the heifers up the hill which, after an inital effort at arrangement and rearrangement whereby both Blue and Bronc sit on the back of the four-wheeler and lean on me (while I’m holding Bronc’s rope so he doesn’t run off barking in the the sunset), went well.

Then I had to round up the cull ewes.  These old girls are past their use-by-date and spend their last remaining days idly nibbling grass until the large truck comes and takes them away…  This didn’t go so well.  I became overconfident and thought Bronc could be left off his rope.  Madness ensued with Bronc doing his best impression of an eight-dog barkfest and Blue heading them round in circles while I called out commands that meant nothing to either of them.  Sometime later they did end up in the shed, though that was in no way thanks to me.

We did some drafting ( I did better at this) and then took the small mobs of sheep out to paddocks (less well at this).  My bike ran out of petrol and I walked back in the blazing sun with Blue and Bronc gambolling at my side.    The last mob went much better – mostly because I made the dogs stay on the back of the bike and the sheep ran nicely down the lane straight through the open gate.

To finish off the day, Marty and I managed to remove one of our bulls from amongst Uncle Eoin’s cows, and then dug a ditch and cleared out a culvert cos it wasn’t yet 5pm and we couldn’t knock off yet.

Now I’m tired and am going to toddle off to bed once I’ve uploaded one photo which on this connection could take 20 minutes…  This is me and Bronc sitting waiting for Marty to come and help me shift the lambs.  Blue is behind us.  Note the black string around my neck.  This is my dogwhistle.  I actually left my new one behind accidentally, but luckily when I was 12 my cousin had made a me a cool metal one, so I dug that out instead.



  1. Kia Ora e te tau o taku ate!!

    Ka mau kē tō wehi! AWESOME to read that your first day went well, even though it was a wee bit of an eye opener getting back into the swing of things of being a southern farmer girl again..Quick pātai, is your kuri sniffing your ear?!! LOL… and also my darling, are you super RED or is that just the photo LOL!!

    Em’s is thinking of coming down for a weekend by you on the farm in July sometime, she’s super excited about visiting the farm and getting out there with you woohoo!!

    Po marie e tōku mapihi pounamu, po marie!


  2. Nope, not the photo, yep super red! Redness caused by sun and general increased nervosity.
    Po marie ki a koe e toku whetu piataata 🙂

  3. Hilarious (in a great way), and I’m only at day one so far. Love it, I’m looking forward to this year of blogs! Was that cousin you mentioned Ross? I remember him making dog whistles and I still have mine…somewhere!!
    Nicky and Bump :o)

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