Waiting for Sheep

Last month I was invited to watch and photograph a friend’s sheep get their annual shearing.  It was very interesting to watch.  The whole process involved four people.  Three sets of hands were used to move the un-sheared sheep from their main pen, into the holding pen, then to the sheep-shearer, while the sheep that was just clipped was moved from the sheep-shearing area, through the holding pen and out into the field with the rest of those who were finished.  The sheep’s wool was collected, tagged and placed on a large collection tarp.  The most difficult job was that of the sheep-shearer.  It required a great deal of strength and stamina to grab the sheep by the horns and flip them into a position where the sheep would not move while being sheared.  This was done over and over, sheep after sheep.  I took many photos of the process, but my favorite was one I captured of the sheep-shearer (below) as he momentarily stood back against the stone wall of the barn waiting for the next set of sheep to be brought in to him.