Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Raining, Dogs and Sheep

Gotsa cold in my node, but that's about the only drawback to report so far in our visit to Ireland.  We have had rain, but it's a warm rain.  It did not get in the way of our fun yesterday, which was highlighted by a visit to the Kissane Sheep Farm near Killarney National Park. 


When those folks do their herding demonstrations with the family Border Collies, they start on time or maybe even a wee bit early. The demonstration had already begun when we pulled in at a time we thought was about ten minutes early. 

It's a family-run operation on a large, well established sheep ranch, and I'm pretty sure the two gentleman running the show are brothers.  One announces while the other named John directs the Border Collies in their respective tasks. 

Each dog has its specific job, and yesterday's demonstration illustrated the precision and the focus of trained Border Collies.  Those dogs keep those sheep in line, a bit like strict school marms. 

Once the demonstration ended, we moved indoors where the baby sheep are living and where shearing, vaccinations and daubing gets done, along with some lively commerce where sheep-related products and souvenirs are sold.

We learned yesterday that on days when the herding demonstrations occur, the language changes with each group, including English, German and Hebrew. On some days three or four sessions are held, while other days are open.

It's obvious that ranch work gets done when the groups are there, as we watched John do all the essentials with one sheep.  After shearing was completed, she received her vaccination and her paint job, signifying through color and design that she's a Kissane sheep.

Throughout the experience, the true star of the show was a 12-week-old BUSY and friendly pup who's learning the ropes of his future in herdings.  He also charmed the guests, did some obligatory digging and even tore apart a plastic bag.  He truly seemed like the happiest pup on earth virtually every minute.

Before leaving, I filled a bag of souvenirs along with a container of Lanolia, which is touted to be excellent for cracked skin problems.  The announcer explained that ranch workers never deal with cracked skin because they come in contact with the lanolin which is a part of sheep's wool.

We also learned that all wool from around the world is sent to England to be washed AND that wearing wool sweaters can protect one from being shot.  Soldiers' uniforms were made with wool for just that protection. 

It was  a fascinating experience, especially for a family of Border Collie lovers. 

After leaving the ranch we did some geocaching and walking in Killarney National Park. By the time we left, the predicted rain had gotten a good start. We stopped at a few gift shops, did some more grocery shopping and came back to our beautiful temporary home to enjoy home cooking and relaxing. 

Later, Bill and I walked to town in the rain.  To and from town is about 1.5 miles, so it makes for a nice bit of exercise.  The restaurants in downtown Kenmare were once again busy with diners and various forms of Irish music.  

Kenmare reminds us a bit of Sandpoint with its tourism and recreational opportunities. It's a lovely town. 

Most of the bottom photos were taken in our neighborhood.  And, the roses---they are something else over here, as are the hydrangeas.  Because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, this area has a look reminiscent to Seattle.  Humidity helps the flowers and even the bamboo. 

We haven't made a plan yet for today, but I do know that Bill has checked out some fishing possiblities.  Whatever the case, we'll be enjoying our day, even with the head colds. 

Hope you enjoy the photos.  Happy Tuesday, and those of you who posted photos of the spectacular storm last in Sandpoint and surrounding areas, those are truly amazing.  Hope all is well. 

A very busy young pup.

I don't know if her name is Mary, but she does have a little lamb---the youngest at Kissane Sheep Farm.

Across the street from our house

This lodge is just down the street.

Bridge across the Kenmare River into Kenmare.

Not a bad window view.

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