WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Fences and sheep

 I don't always go to the bottom of my land..  Its a nice walk but I prefer to take my walks in the early morning or late afternoon . After the heat of the summer day.
You can see the date that i took these photos.. on the 20th of last month.

 I was pottering around the cottage on that morning, when i heard the sound of sheep bells in the distance.  I thought that rather odd.  Our sheep only come over during the spring months, from Mr.H to me. Lots of lush grass then.
   Taking a look at where the bell noices were coming from.  I quickly grabbed my camera and off I went, hurridly  walking to see what all the noise was about, as the dogs were going crazy.

   There in the bottom field were about 50 sheep.
 I wondered how in heaven, they could have possibly gotten into the property.   As I walked towards the fences.  There to my dismay the fence wires were cut  and the fence had been pushed down.  
My neighbours shepherd had pushed the fence down, thinking I wouldn't worry about it.  He just let the sheep jump over to eat what's left in the fields.    I was a little annoyed at this. I would have prefered it if he had asked me.    Up to now, they haven't come back again.  I had to speak to the farmer  Snr. B and hopefully he tells me he will restore the fences.!  I will have to see.  I will give him this next week to see how he fairs.
 He rents the little piece of land next to mine.
Here you can see how dry the land is. I dont know what they were eating.
Another part of the fence ..here you can see where its been deliberately cut.  Its been far too hot to walk down to the bottom fields. 
                                     Here are some of the sheep, poor things huddled together to keep cool

                                 Here is where the dogs and me had to start to shoo them back over the fence. I was laughing at myself running and stopping to take photos at the same time.  The joys of living in the country.
                                Once the sheep were back over the fence.  I then took a stroll. This is the back lane down at the bottom of the property.  You can see the long cane grass growing over the lane.

                                    I was surprised to see the blackberry bushes full this year.
                                         The walnut tree has lots of nuts growing on it.
                                               the thick blackberry hedge
                                         I would have picked loads, but i am not partial to them. The birds will have a great time and the little night creatures.   My neighbour on the right of my property asked if she could pick some this year.  I think there is enough for the whole village.!

                                                   My fig trees  full of figs.

                                              The walnut tree is so tall, i couldnt take a picture of the whole tree

    Living in the country and having fences.  Its another year is coming for checking and renewing them.
It will soon be cooler, and I can walk the little lanes again.

Happy Saturday to you all


  1. Hello Val

    Their seems little food for the poor sheep and one sees what the lack of rain has done. The temperature looks scorchingly hot. I can understand your early morning, late evening choice for walks.

    Hope your weekend is special

    Helen xx

    1. Thank you dear Helen,
      Its really scorching here. Dry dry dry.. we have had no rain since May...thats the case many a year.
      yes, poor sheep..they haven't been back again.
      happy weekend to you too Helen.

  2. Dear Val, Yes, the joys of living in the country. But I know that you wouldn't have it any other way. We've had a few hundred sheep on our property but never was a fence cut. That is unacceptable.
    Wish I could come over and pick a few figs. They are never better than when picked from a tree.
    Happy weekend to you. ox, Gina

    1. Hello Gina, Yes, most unacceptable. I know the shepherd very well, total alcaholic .. wouldn't hurt a fly. However he sure is a smart one.
      You are right , i wouldn't have it any other way. It was nice really to have the sheep. But they had to go back home.
      Can you believe it Gina. I dont like figs, or blackberries or olives.
      I might just eat some blackberries in a good home made apple pie, as Rosemary suggested.

  3. What a mischievous and very naughty shepherd taking advantage of your kindness and good humour. Hope that the farmer does as he has promised and makes the fence good again. I can see how dry and parched the land is, but the blackberries, do you not like them in blackberry and apple-pie?
    Now then, Val these pictures would have made a very nice collage!!!

    1. Yes Rosemary, That is exactly what Michelle has done. He is a total alcoholic and i feel a little sad for him, but never the less, he is a smart one.
      The land is very parched and we need rain real bad. I will eat blackberries in apple pie..but dont like to eat them from the bush.
      I agree.. the photos would look great. I have some more i would like to do.. will get to you about it. its confusing me a little.
      Thank you Rosemary.

  4. Oh, Val, it is SOOOOO beautiful there and I wish I could venture down those lanes and herd sheep (even if they don't belong!)...what a beautiful life!!!...:)JP

    1. Thank you JP. it is beautiful .. maybe you should come over sometime.. herding the sheep can be good fun..very easy, they follow one another.
      happy weekend ,thank you for your kind comments

  5. that would make me very angry! animals who get through fences on their own are trouble enough, but to have a person cut the fence in order to allow them access to your pasture is criminal! i hope they don't do that again!

    1. Yes, I was pretty angry. I still have to adress the problem this next week.
      i will also probably put an electric fence there too.
      Thank you Tex Wis girl..

  6. Dear Val,
    It did make me smile thinking of you chasing the sheep but stopping to take photos! Why did the shepherd think you wouldn't mind? He just took a chance that you wouldn't notice. Hope the farmer repairs the fence.

    1. Dear June,
      I was huffing and puffing.. i couldnt see the shepherd anywhere..so i did it myself, haven't done that in a long time.. the dogs helped. I was laughing.. the camera swinging on my arm. By the time I got back to the cottage I was pooped. Indeed he pretended i wouldn't notice. it will all be fixed.
      thank you june.. nice to hear from you

  7. Dear Val,
    I've been trying to email you but I was unsuccessful. they keep coming back to me. I guess the e-mail address shown on your profile might have some issues. will you please email me with your email address?
    thank you and have agreat sunday

    1. Dear Rita - I have just seen this, Val has her name spelt wrongly on her blog email. It should be tilsten not tilston to get to her. Good luck.

  8. Gosh that is awful. I hate to hear that. Hope things get better for you and the animals.

    1. Thank you Sandie,
      Hope you are relaxing a little!
      All is well, these things happen when you live in farming areas.
      not so nice to cut my fence.. but i forgive them.
      its all sorted this week. They have had a good repremand from me.
      wishing you a blessed sunday.

  9. Happy Sunday Val - I would love to be there picking figs and walnuts from the tree, and even a few blackberries. Even when parched in summer it looks heavenly. Naughty shepherd cutting the fence to let in the sheep; that would be taken very seriously in Australia and the law would be enforced. I hope you make the apple/blackberry pie, and show and tell! xxx

    1. Thanks for dropping by again Patricia.. you are always so sweet.
      Its taken seriously here too. I however dont want any trouble. I know the farmer and the owner.. its the shepherd that did it and he has been repramanded... poor lad is an alcaholic. harmless really. all will be put to rights this next week.
      I am also putting an electric fence there
      How great it would be for you to pick the blackberries with me the figs and the walnuts.
      ..must get down to baking.
      happy weekend Patricia..

  10. What a cheeky chappy that shepherd is - I do hope the fences get fixed. I love where you live, all that open land and lots of lanes to wander along. Sounds wonderful.
    Patricia x

    1. You got it right Patricia. cheeky little chap. We all know him around here..but i never thought he was capable of cutting my fence.!
      Thank you for your comments on where i live. You can find out much more about the area on google. Its a beautiful area of Portugal. Calm , open and really we live in a bubble mixed with old and new.
      Wishing you a happy sunday.

  11. My Dear Val . . . well I love blackberries, they are my favorite, but people that cut my fences and help themselves to whatever they want (feeding land for their sheep?) Give me a break! I think that you are way nicer than I would be.
    Good luck with this, Connie :)

    1. Hello there Connie,
      I like blackberries , but not eaten off the bush. I find them sour. Alas, i will try them in a pie as dear Rosemary suggests.
      I have repremanded the people about the fence and the sheep. They have got the message.
      but we are all neighbourly here and i dont want trouble ..that leads to discontent.
      Some people are just not honest, thats the sad part of things.
      Its all being sorted this next week. electric fences too.
      thanks connie for passing by
      hope you have a happy sunday

  12. Amazing farm...lovely trees...and i do understand you...walking early in the morning or late in the afternoon...

    Vim por indicação da Sandie.
    Já cá tinha estado antes...

    Eu sou de Mangualde Distrito de Viseu. Andámos aflitos com os fogos...agora amainou...

    tenho uma pequena quinta a 10 km de Mangualde, onde trabalho e moro mas só lá voude vez em quando. Tomara quee me pudesse mudar para lá. Estou saturada apesar de Mangualde ser uma cidade pequena. Estou a precisar da Paz co campo do cheiro da terra, do canto do grilos, dos pirilampos. Estou a precisar de sair de casa e pisar terra e não alcatrão, entendes?

    Voltarei, se assim me permitires
    Isabel, aka, BluEshell

  13. Ola e bom dia Isabel. Blue Shell,
    Deve ser muitos anos que eu ja nao foi ou Mangualde. Eu ja vi todos dias a fogos para aquela zona.
    e criminal.
    Aqui no Alentejo , e muito lindo.. eu estou muito feliz aqui, apasar de ser muito calor durante o verao..
    Obrigada pela sua visita.. espera que encontamo- nos mais vezes.

  14. Hello Val:
    We should have been exceedingly annoyed, if not a little angry, had this happened to us. Sheep are, of course, notorious for getting out and so we find it completely irresponsible that the farmer, or his shepherd in this case, should deliberately cut the boundary fences.

    Everywhere looks so very parched and dry. Is this normal for this time of year?

    1. How you can imagine I was annoyed. It will be resolved and I am sure will not happen again. i am putting an electric fence there too.
      The farmer's often dont know what their shepherd's get up too.. i think it must have been going on over a period of time.
      Unless you grow grain or sunflowers and have a good watering system. Yes, its very very parched during the 3 months of summer. I have to water my inner garden twice a day sometimes..Alentejo is vast open planes.. the largest province in portugal.. and it gets very dry. The olive trees stay green all year around along with some others. Mostly those growing near river beds with underground springs.
      Thank you Jane and Lance for your comments.

  15. Dear Val! Not very nice to see such things! Some people make themselves life easy... to the dismay of the others... however, I hope that fence gets fixed! Love those photos of your trees and the blackberries are wonderful! I wish I could pick some and push them right in my mouth! I am sure they would still be warm from the sun and therefore sweet and a joy! Have a nice Sunday! Christa

    1. No..it was a shock Christa.. but i am over it now. will get the fences mended this week.
      I spoke to a few people in the village.. its like jungle drums in small villages.. the village will soon know. The farmer said he would fix them. I havent been down there..but will on Tuesday..thats enough time.
      I will pick some blackberries too.
      Thank you Christa.

  16. I love when you take us on a stroll on your lovely property, Val! How lucky you are to have such a beautiful landscape surrounding you. And all those delicious figs, walnuts and berries! But what a shame the farmer cut your fence! I hope he does the right thing and takes care of it for you. Poor little sheept in the shade... how sweet they are.

    1. Hellow Haworth,
      thanks for dropping by.
      I hope that i can harvest some of the walnuts this year before anyone gets to them.


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