Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Nature is all around us. So is farming. Of both I'm quite ignorant. The farmer explains why he washes the sheep's white faces and dyes their fleeces golden: it's to make them look bigger and more handsome when they go on sale.

I'm confused therefore several weeks later when sheep in another field are smudged rusty red. It takes a visit from our London friends to enlighten me. Look closely and one of the sheep has a rusty red tummy. The other sheep are either all white or have rusty red backs. As time goes on, more sheep are of the red-backed variety and fewer remain all white. All clear?

You've probably figured it out way before me. Just in case you haven't, here's the missing clue: the red-tummied sheep is the only male.

Apparently it's called tupping. Not one for the kids and I'm glad I didn't ask the farmer.

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