I overheard a conversation between an Australian who grew up on a sheep station and an Irish man who also raised sheep.
Australian man: So how many acres do you have back home?
Irish man: Eight
Australian man: 800 or 8,000 acres?
Irish man: Ummm just eight!
I had a silent giggle….in Australia we are accustomed to think in big numbers with either travelling or our sheep numbers – due to the vastness of our land. In Ireland, the farms are small and lush all year round with the almost constant rain – unlike most parts of Australia.
The sheep happily graze alongside of some of the world’s most spectacular views of rugged cliffs and lochs. The sheep are more like people and part of the countryside. They roam the roads as a natural part of life – and they don’t budge too quickly when a car comes along.
Yet getting up close on foot to take pics of them – they will turn and run away. Yet I did manage to get some shots around Ireland.
Ireland hosts a wide variety of sheep – including the Scottish Highland which are sure footed and suit the steep coastlines and their long wool protects them from the wild Atlantic Ocean winds and rain. Irish wool is much coarser than the Australian Merino – in the small wool shops I found that I actually prefer it in ways as it still retains many natural qualities and the smell of wool. Too many wool companies sanitise and mix their wools omitting the rawness I love. See Kilcar Wool Studio and Donegal Carpets posts.
Ballygally – Northern Ireland
Ti Linn – Donegal
Connemara – ‘Connemara is a savage beauty’, as Oscar Wilde put it.
Marlin Beg – Silver Strand – Donegal
Glencolmcille – Donegal