1 day ago
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The Photography Club's challenge this month is for a Harvest Picture. I may have pushed the envelope a little with the theme, but I decided to photograph sheep shearing.
Dave is a local sheep shearer (one of very few shearers around) and agreed to let me tag along with him yesterday to a farm. They had just over 100 sheep which should take him about 3.5 - 5 hours to complete (2-3 minutes a sheep).
It isn't the most graceful of jobs - for the shearer or the sheep, but it is fascinating to watch.
Dave was working non-stop, and there were about 5 people just standing around watching - me included. There is something about it that is a little mesmerizing.
His clippers are incredibly sharp and slice through the wool like a hot knife through butter.
He manages the sheep in such a way that they don't struggle and generally just sit there while he works. When he is done, they calmly stand up and walk away.
At one point in my life I actually considered becoming a sheep shearer and went with Dave to a few jobs. In the end I decided I wouldn't have the physical strength to wrestle the sheep and I also didn't feel I had the knowledge.
When Dave is shearing, he gets an up close and personal look at the sheep - it is probably one of the only times in the year they are touched - and he is often pointing out issues that the farmers may have yet to notice. I know with time that knowledge would come, but it would be a steep learning curve for a city girl like me.
Thanks to Dave and the farm owners for letting me come watch for the morning! I had a lot of fun.
at 12:32 PM