Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Bunny Who Herds Sheep

Have you heard of Champis? He is a sheep-herding bunny! I heard about Champis through the BBC World Service but I didn't believe the story until I saw the amazing YouTube video. Champis lives on a farm in Sweden, he likes hanging out with chickens and chasing sheep. 

If you watch closely, you can see some face to face confrontations between the rabbit and the sheep. The sheep do at times stand and face the rabbit. I have seen a ewe see off a labrador by stamping her forefeet and threatening to head butt the dog. I have also seen a ewe behave in the same way toward a toddler. Once on a shearing job, the piglets got out while the sheep which had been shorn were loose in the yard and a ewe head butted a fair sized piglet. Sheep can be feisty but so can bunnies. 

In this video you will see the sheep stand and face the rabbit, one sheep lowers her head and threatens to butt bunny. Far from being intimidated, Champis lays back his ears and lunges at the sheep. This is too much for the sheep. Bunny wins the round, every time. 

A lunging rabbit can be a scary experience. What we can't get from the video is the sound rabbits make, rabbits have quite a range of vocalisations and when they lunge they often growl. I've seen members of my family jump back when my old rabbit, sadly no longer with us, lunged at their ankles growling when we were trying to catch him for some necessary treatment. Champis may well be growling at the sheep when he lunges and sounding like a dog, of course bunnies aren't as loud as dogs but sheep have very good hearing!

I think Champis should be offered a job as an assertiveness trainer. He certainly shows what self belief and guts can achieve. Enjoy the video and do let me know what you think!
You can find out more about Champis from his owners' blog Gardsbackens Blogg.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Southdowns in the Snow

It's Friday again, where did the week go? I promised lamb pictures and I have got some rather sooner than expected (there will be more as spring arrives). I can't do better for today's Favourite Thing on a Friday link up than to share my pictures with you. I encountered these adorable Southdowns the other day. Southdowns have the cutest faces. Look at the sheep in the background in the picture above, she knows I'm a stranger and she is curious about me. At the same time she's too nervous to approach so she's hiding behind her more confident friend.

I love the way sheep put their heads on one side when they look at you. It so clearly says, 'Hello, who are you? Have you brought me any food?'

Outside in the snow I found these Southdown lambs and their mums. The lamb on the left of the picture below has just got up and is having a big stretch, that's why he looks to be in an odd position.
Apologies for the angle with this photo: the lamb is busy at the milk bar with no thought for modesty!
I will have some better lamb pictures a bit later in the year. Now do go and see what everyone else has chosen as their Favourite Thing on a Friday!

Friday, 3 February 2012

ICHF Creative Stitches and Hobby Crafts Shows

Today I went to the ICHF Creative Stitches and HobbyCrafts Show at Bluewater. I did wonder if I was actually going to get there when things started going wrong this morning. I realised I needed petrol and my car tyres were soft. By the time I had filled up with petrol there was a long queue for air. Muttering unbloggables under my breath, I drove home and pumped up my tyres. By the time I’d finished, my hands were black.  

When I finally got to Bluewater my day improved immensely. I’ve never been to an ICHF show before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The Hobby Crafts Show on the lower level was very much about paper crafts and card making. I spent most of my time browsing the Creative Stitches Show upstairs. 

One highlight of the Creative Stitches Show was a display of costumes worn in the BBC drama series Downton Abbey. They had a lovely burgundy dress worn by Lady Mary Crawley and a stately gown which Maggie Smith wore as the Dowager Countess of Grantham:
The Downton Abbey costumes

Detail from Lady Mary Crawley's dress

There were a variety of stands catering for crafts such as quilting, embroidery, sewing, beading, painting and knitting. Ruth and Belinda of The Big Knit Show were there flying the flag for wool. I made a beeline for The Black Sheep. They were selling knitting yarns and drawing quite a crowd. I’m afraid I gave in to temptation and came away with a ball of Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn and a skein of Noro Yuzen. I have no idea what I will make with them. 

One of my favourite stands was that of The Guild of Silk Painters. They had some amazing work on display including this robe:
Hand painted silk robe


In the afternoon I went to a talk by Helen Deighan on dyeing. I thought the talk was very interesting as Helen focussed mainly on dyeing cotton fabric, something I have never tried. She has a fuss free approach and makes dyeing sound easy. I was fascinated to learn how to rainbow dye a strip of fabric. Maybe, just maybe, I will try it.

I’m linking up with Mimi and Tilly’s Favourite Thing on a Friday so do go and see what other people have been up to!