I know, I know.  Three posts in three days.  Don’t you know me by now?  When faced with free time to study, I post.

This latest slideshow takes us back to September 2011 when Steve was doing research for a screenplay he was kicking around.  He needed to get the feel of a small, lifestyle sheep farm that could be run by one person.  Lucky for him, I’m forced by Massey University to offer my inexperienced self to a sheep farmer for class credit.  I was overjoyed when he asked if he could tag along with me for a few days of farming.  Finally, he’d get to experience the most humbling experience of finding out how completely soft and useless we are on a farm.

This little lifestyle farm?  Yeah, 3000 head of sheep plus a few dozen grazing beef cattle.  3000 of anything is a hobby gone seriously out of control.

The drive leading up to the farm was gorgeous, but the further we went into the hills, the louder the wind and the thicker the fog.  We quickly realized we were poorly equipped for weather up in the ranges.  The wind is so strong, all cars or trucks must be pointed a certain direction or the doors when left open will be torn backwards.  In the cold morning fog, it is freezing but as soon as the afternoon sun comes out, you’re quickly peeling off layer after layer of waterproof clothing.  But keep those layers close because those clouds are not your friend up there in the ranges.

Usually out there alone tending to the sheep, the farmer took Steve and I along with his two dogs up to the paddocks.  We weren’t much help.  In fact, I think we kept scattering the sheep instead of herding them.  There is nothing more humbling than hearing someone yell sheepdog commands at you.  The dog knew what to do.  I did not.

Probably my fondest memory of this adventure was having all of us pile onto the back of the farmer’s 4-wheeler.  He flew up and down steep ravines with Steve and me hanging on the back for dear life.  At one point the dog hoped on and could not have been more overjoyed at having company on the back of the 4-wheeler.  Unfortunately for Steve, Meg the dog had her paw planted firmly on his crotch.  And with every sharp turn and deep rut, she steadied herself by digging that paw harder onto Steve’s sensitive bits.  I wasn’t much help as I was laughing too hard to even breathe.