Thursday, 24 March 2011

Family likeness

I’ll be honest, I know very little about sheep.

I know even less about lambs. I always assumed all lambs looked alike: disproportionately long legs and knobbly knees, and out-sized feet that resemble neat little platform shoes. Oh, and pretty faces, obviously.

But I was stunned yesterday when walking in Weardale to come across a Blue Faced Leicester ewe and her two new lambs. Now, I may know very little about sheep, but I can recognise a Blue Faced Leicester when I see one – its distinctive Roman nose, bluish face and elegant, upright ears make it unmistakeable.

The noble profile of a Blue Faced Leicester!

What struck me was how well-developed the character of the lambs, which can only have been a few days old, already was. They had the distinctive face shape of their mother, although soft and sweet in a baby animal way, and the ears already had their attractive curve.*

I eventually had to be physically removed from this scene by my long-suffering husband. This was, after all, a work day for him – he needed to do some photography – and I suspect he was worried he might lose the light altogether if we didn’t get a move on.

Never mind. That image will stay with me and remind me that, after a long and difficult winter, spring must finally be here.

* In a moment of mental abberation while I was watching the lambs, I temporarily forgot my husband was a photographer. If I'd asked him politely, I might now have been able to post a nice photograph of the lambs themselves. Ahem.

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