This morning was cold but dry and somewhat overcast. I had in mind to get out into the country and photograph young lambs which are usually in abundance at this time of year. However, the conditions out of the city proved something of a surprise. It was evident I was suddenly in a different micro-climate with the fields still covered in a thick layer of snow and the sheep reliant on hay and other feeds to keep them going. This winter must have proved a big drain on the farmers’ cash flow.

Winter sheep

I failed to find any lambs. This is not surprising considering the harsh weather conditions. Assume the youngsters are kept safe and warm in barns or similar.

This is actually a black sheep. Just one member of a small flock a few miles from my home. Image not brilliant because of distance. If I tried to get any closer the animal would run off.

Not many people realise that sheep were the catalyst behind huge migrations (deportations) from Scotland to North America, Australasia and elsewhere in the 18th and 19th century when landowners ruthlessly moved their tenants off the land resulting in many communities being shipped overseas or to U.K. industrial cities in a movement known as the Highland Clearances. Sheep proved more profitable than traditional tenant farming at that time.

Today, sheep are mainly reared for lamb meat with wool just a barely profitable sideline.

Elsewhere, I have been able to firm up a couple more tours and try to help a US couple with a Scotland tour on a fixed price budget, including air fair. A nice little challenge.

On the ancestry research side, posted another tranche of names to my GlasgowAncestry blog from the World War 1 memorial at Barrhead, near Glasgow.

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