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Walking on the hills above Settle, North Yorkshire, the other week I heard the sound of many sheep from behind a drystone wall. Easing myself up so I could look over the top I saw a large flock of sheep enclosed in the corner of the field. Some were comfortably rotund, sporting fine fleeces and others were scrawny looking, having just had the ovine equivalent of a "short back and sides". Yes, it was sheep shearing time in the Dales.
Today's photograph shows the sheep milling about, the animals yet to be de-fleeced looking quite different from their shorn compatriots. There was a time, prior to the last foot and mouth disease outbreak, when such a scene would have consisted solely of the Swaledale breed. There are some of these present - quite a lot in fact - with their black faces and white muzzles. However, anyone walking over the Craven uplands today can't help but notice other breeds that have crept in since the last mass cull, and some of these "off cumd uns", to use the Yorkshire expression for interlopers, are also evident.
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 34mm (51mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On