Tom, the shepherd...A truly exciting farm experience...Out sightseeing, late posting...

Part 1...Tom, the shepherd... 

Part 2...Tom, the shepherd...

Fascinating Fact of the Day about Devon: 
From this site:
"Devon is home to the last castle built in England:
Not everything in Devon is really, really old. Castle Drogo dates from 1930 - and is the last castle to have been built in England. In 1910 Julius Drewe bought about 450 acres south and west of the village of Drewsteignton and asked Edwin Lutyens to build him a castle. The First World War and the economic downturn caused many delays. Exeter City Council had nothing to do with this one. The castle's defensive characteristics are purely decorative and it had electricity and lifts from the outset, with power being supplied by two turbines on the river below."
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It's 5:30 pm (1750 hours) and we just returned from a day of sightseeing when this morning we awoke to much-appreciated sunshine.  Based on the weather reports we may be bombarded with more rain over the next several days making today our big chance to get out.

When we noticed the sun was shining first thing this morning with the sky mostly blue with few scattered clouds, we hoped it would last throughout the day and to our delight, it did.  
Suddenly, they'll stop and decide to go back the way they came.  It takes some coaxing to get them walking in the correct direction.  The sticks are never used to hurt them, only to guide them along the way.  It definitely is a minimum of a three-person job.  They often bring in outside help to assist when possible.  But, we were here and thrilled to assist.
Now, we see the grey clouds rolling in leaving us grateful we'd made this decision.  We took many photos, but first, over the next few days, we're thrilled to be sharing today's photos and the heartwarming experience we both had yesterday when John and Renate asked if Tom could help with herding the sheep.
Finally, they were headed in the right direction.
Of course, my job was to take photos and assist when and if the lambs took off in the wrong direction near where I was standing.  Each of the four of us had a specific spot as to where to stand.  I didn't have any sticks for guidance with my hands busy with the camera but Tom was well-equipped.
The lambs (150 of out a total herd size of 350), all born in March or April this year, began their journey down the road to be moved to the barn for worming and later returned to a different paddock.  Tom had two long sticks to help Renate and John with the shepherding while I took photos.  
He couldn't wipe the smile off his face, nor could I.  He's not necessarily a farm-type of guy.  His grandparents, mother, and father both grew up on farms. Renate said he was a "natural" sheepherder. Perhaps sheepherding is in his DNA!

Where we lived in Minnesota, we had some exposure to farms, by purchasing free-range eggs, chickens and organic produce from local farms.  We always appreciated the hard work of farmers and the commitment to the lifestyle.  
After considerable guidance, they were headed to the barn.
A few times over the years we attended gatherings at various farms owned by Tom's relatives or our friends.  We always treasured the experiences.  Since we began our travels seven years ago as of October 31st, we've had the blissful opportunity to live on a few farms. This beautiful farm is the second in the past 30 days.

It's always a treat to have an opportunity to interact with the farm animals and yesterday's example will remain in our hearts and minds as one of our favorite hands-on experiences in our travels.
At one point, they turned and made an incorrect turn (herd mentality) and again, Tom guided them back in the right direction. 
For us, the "experience" has so much more meaning than seeing one more historic stone building, one more church or one more museum. We've already done that. And, no doubt we'll continue to do that again for many years to come (God willing).

However, experiences such as yesterday's sheep herding is hard to top in our realm of things. We loved every moment and we look forward to sharing more farm photos in the next few days. Please check out our videos, albeit a little jittery when I had to pitch in and assist.
This adorable boy wanted some attention which Tom and I freely offered.  So sweet!

From there we'll share our sunny day photos of the Torquay, known as the English Riviera. Thanks for your patience in being able to see this late post.  Please check back for more each day!  
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Photo from one year ago today, October 2, 2018:
It's important to always stop and wait patiently when wildlife is crossing the road.  No honking necessary!  They'll move on.  For more photos, please click here.

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