More Sheep – Actual and in Paintings

Today was a “rest” day. Well, not exactly but we did get to start a little later as it was Sunday.

We headed to a national farm to see a flock of Merino d’Arles sheep, one of four breeds of Merinos in France. We got to meet the author of a book on this breed (which just might found its way into my luggage – the book, not the sheep!)

As usual, we were met by people who know these animals and got a short talk about the breed and how they are managed, both there and as they head to higher pastures (more about that in the next post).

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They showed us how they irrigate in the area.

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Here are some of the sheep.

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See the one that is taller than the others and has a reddish head? He is actually not a Merino but a Mauray Rousse from N. Africa. It seems that on many of the farms we visit, they mostly have one breed but a few of other breeds are often there as well.

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This farm has 1500 ewes. Sheep will be leaving soon to pasture the summer in the alps. They will be back to lamb in the fall.

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We were impressed by how they are able to move the sheep around just by knowing where to be around them, without using dogs.

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At every stop we get to see things relevant to our visit.

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Today it was a sheep bell

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A carved shepherd’s stick

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And some of their wool.

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We left yet another flock to continue our journey to Provence. Here we visited a castle with a very impressive collection of paintings.

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The artist’s name is Theodore Jourdan and he must have lived with sheep to create these paintings!

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See the two “poufs” on the back of the sheep? We will talk about those in the next post when we saw them on actual sheep!

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Published in: on May 26, 2014 at 10:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

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