We slept or took various naps throughout Saturday after chasing the sunrise on the previous night. I checked on the herd in the morning and there they were, gently lying on the ground. I tried to be quiet but they spotted me and came to see if I had anything for them. I didn’t, so instead I gave them scratches. One of them wasn’t having it so she took a bite out of my sleeve. As per usual, I sat with the herd for a while. Their leaning and gentle shoving brought a smile to my face.

Sheep treatment diary, Saturday June 25th. The morning was warm and sunny, temperature at around 21 degrees Celcius. Showers and a thunderstorm later.

Midsummer Day morning dawned borderline muggy yet filled with sunshine. The sheep keep following us where-ever we go. Later on the day we saw clouds gathering and at around 8 PM, thunder and lightning. It didn’t last long, though – after 9 we saw sunbeams peeking through the clouds. The herd is fine under the cote. No power outage and phones still work.

We had breakfast super late in the day but we did manage to get outside and clean up around the estate – we also took part in a nice game of cards and more herd-watching. The thunderstorm basically resetted the whole mosquito situation and they were back in vast numbers. The humidity and the rain brought the rest of them out of hiding, which came very apparent on my evening patrol in the enclosures. We’d leave on Sunday because even though we had eight lovely sheep to take care of, there were eight million nasty bugs flying arround and they were driving me insane. But I was grateful for the few days in between when the insects were taking a break.

 

The men in our group reported a gradually growing grey ball in the ceiling of the outhouse. A few hours after it was “taken care of”, a new one was forming in its place. Our stripey little friends were going to build their hive, whether we approved or not. So basically every small creature wanted us gone. Except the mosquitoes who just vanted to suck our bluud.

On top of that the whole family seemed to have runny noses, which resulted in a few days on the couch afterwards.

The main feeling after the experience was a mix of wistfulness and relief. It sure was different than what I imagined – the original idea was to take long hikes with the family. But after a week in the fells and a trip to Prague, putting on hiking boots again wasn’t a number one priority. Short day trips were just the thing, especially when accompanied with our friend and her two-year-old. She was very brisk about the whole endevour. Fast, too! But the sheep made our entire week. We’ll definitely apply again next year!

Cabin life can’t hold a candle to hiking but we kept busy and it was just what we needed.

I can’t think of a better place to celebrate Midsummer than at a sheep farm warming up the smoke sauna and playing cards underneath log roofs.

I’ll be writing about our day trip to Vesivaara and topping Koli separately. Everything related to this week can be found here.

Heikki’s video diary part 3 (in Finnish) is also available:

//Anne

 

We spent Midsummer’s week of 2016 as shepherds at the Seppälä Estate in Koli National Park. Everything related to our adventures there can be found under the Shepherd’s Week tag, which is to say here.

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