Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Here, Girls! Come over!"

A video posted by Katherine Dunn / Apifera Farm (@katherinedunnapiferafarm) on

Many a time someone has said to me,

You need a herding dog.


I am not against herding dogs. Although I do get cranky when I see people with a few sheep who have herders, and simply use their sheep as props for the dog. I know of one person who kept her sheep in deplorable shape but had a business training sheep dogs so the sheep were just that-training targets.

If I had a larger flock, with more land, I can certainly see a need for a good herder. But for my needs, my voice has always done the trick. Occasionally, and The Dirt Farmer will shake his head in agreement, my flock does not listen. This usually occurs on a Sunday, most often in the summer when I want to get my barn chores done earlier than normal so I can rest and sip wine by six. Upon arriving here, we rarely sat down before eight pm. Now, we have learned it is best, and appropriate, to sit our bones down earlier. So on some summer days, nearby farms and properties might hear me losing my patience, to put it mildly, as I am calling,

"Here, Girls, here, Girls!"

The sheep have their own clock and dusk is usually when they return to the barn.

I spend a lot of time with my flock. They trust me and I can call them down from any hill on any part of the property. This morning I got up and wanted to catch a photo or two in the fog. Wild Otis is so striking against the white and faded Payne's Gray.

Seeing them run across the field when I call them over fills my well for the day. I really love working with sheep, and seeing them in the field. This morning when I got up from bed, I looked out the window and saw Otis looking down into the lavender field where the sheep should have been. He had a confused look on his face, ears erect and forward-I looked down into the filed to make sure there was no strange presence there. But I saw no sheep-it was that foggy. I had to really look to make sure they were all there. I think Otis was having the same problem,

Where have the sheep gone?!