Friday, June 13, 2014

Sheep Shearing and Such in Dutchland

Let's take a commercial break from our England trip and throw in some fun...for my Friday the 13th, full-moon birthday!  (Supposedly there won't be another full-moon Friday the 13th until 2049, when I assume I'll be dead and buried.)

This past Monday was Pentecost Monday here in the Netherlands, a federally-recognized holiday.  And what did we do?  Well, just watch!

We drove back to Ottoland to the sheepfold to see the sheep being sheared.
(or is that shorn? either or?)
You may recall we were there in March to see the new-born lambs!

How is it possible that the sheepfold could have been emptied of all those sheep
in order to set up a fair-like venue for a special day!
We even bought some multi-grain flour for our bread machine, ground by a nearby windmill.

We got there in plenty of time, before it was too busy, and watched vendors set up shop.

Have you ever seen a spinning wheel like that?

There was a potter...

 ...a face-art painter...

...and even live entertainment.

But when we got to the fleece corner, we were reminded what we had come for. see the sheep being shorn!
Clearly many had already had their haircuts...their 3kg bundles for sale at €8 each.

From the outside, a wee pen was already loaded with the lucky few for the day.

And because we were early enough, I had a front-row show for the first sheep of the day.

Father and son brought in one sheep at a time from the make-shift pen.
Ready, set, go!

Now THAT is an education!  Five minutes from beginning to end.
(The record for sheep shearing is 45 seconds.  Can you imagine?)

BTW, Astrid says it's cruel NOT to shear sheep, especially for the summer months.
Did you notice how much this one seemed to enjoy the whole thing, kinda like a massage?!
In fact, even the sheep waiting seemed all comfy and cozy, as though knowing what was in store.

And after the shearer was done, he rolled it all up for the fleece stock,
while explaining the properties of the fleece, with its lanolin, and such.

He got such a kick out of my excitement, he came over to show me the shears.
Just like farmers everywhere, he knows his stuff.

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

As if that weren't enough, as we left for the car, we heard a ruckus across the street.

What to our wondering eyes should appear but...TRACTORS.

A tractor parade of way over 100 tractors of every type and kind and brand!

I suddenly remembered my video option and caught the last 20 at the end.
How cool is that for a holiday ho-hum thing to do!

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And since three is a charm, you know... we arrived at the sheepfold...

...and as we left, we saw several groups of Roparun runners.
These were running from Hamburg, Germany, to Rotterdam, and just happened to pass by
right outside the sheepfold on the same road where the tractors also were.
Is this crazy or what!  Running 560 km in 3 days to raise money for cancer.
In 22 runs over the years, €57 million has been raised thus far.

How's THAT for a day outside on a holiday weekend, shooting the breeze!


  1. That was a fun day. There happened so much in a short time period.
    The second Pentecost day is known for these kind activities. Over the weekend more than 800.000 people are on the move.
    I am glad that this is all in our own perimeter and we don't have any problem with the traffic.
    The people from the Roparun have my respect, I know what it takes to do this.
    Absolute fabulous video's, a fun reminder of the day.
    Dank je wel, MLS.

    1. It's amazing what all is at our fingertips right here where we live. I love it, MLMA. These are the events that make my heart soar with joy and happiness. Thank you!

  2. the sheep goes through shearing once a year? then it grows back right? how fascinating to watch the shearing process.

    happy birthday. they say the moon is not only full moon it's also full honey moon this year. the next full honey moon that will coincide with friday the 13th is in 2098!!!!

    1. I see it is also called a strawberry moon, Maria...neither of which I've heard called that. GREAT for my birthday, right?! I love that added tidbit of info. Thank you.

      And YES, just once a year the sheep get shorn. I have a feeling they look forward to it. HA!

  3. Happy, happy, happy full-moon birthday! Now what do you keep in the back of that little green truck? Very cute, and I’ll bet it’s great at kilometers per liter, if those are the units you do. I’m busy catching up on mail from a weekend in NYC at my 50th high school reunion followed by a week of house guest and book editing w/my North Carolina cousin. It’s been a busy week on which I’m only now catching up.

    Happy birthday once again. May there be many more.

    1. It's a very cute truck, Ted, isn't it. I'd love to take a ride in it once. HA! Gotta love the color. My high school 50th was last year, which I missed it, but I can imagine how it must have been for you. And with your book editing, you'll be busy for a long time. I know...after our England visit. I'm barely halfway through it!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  4. More great pictures Ginnie. I really enjoy them