My Visual Diary 2020: A morning in the shearing shed

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It's not usual for me to go along for shearing at my partner's farm, but after having enjoyed shooting at the ram sale earlier this month, and knowing it would be a quiet shed with only one shearer, I took the GX9, O45/1.8 and P20/1.7 for an outing. It was an overcast day; even though it's a modern shearing shed, it's not very well-lit, and I struggled to get the clarity I wanted in even a slowly-paced fast-paced environment (I hope you read that right! The pace was not frantic, as it would be on a full day with two or three shearers.) These have been edited with a slight film simulation in Snapseed.
 
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Behind the raised-board 'stage' lie the catching pens (or as I prefer to think of them, 'dressing rooms'), where the players wait anxiously for their moment in the spotlight. Here we have some Merino rams, and in the next photo are Merino-Border Leicester first cross ewes:
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The shearer walks into the dressing room via a swinging door and calmly catches a sheep, and moves it onto the board to commence shearing.
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The farmer had time to inspect the shearing closely, and discuss the qualities of the shear:
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Then the shorn sheep is released into a chute under the gratings to the let-out pens:
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The fleece is gathered up and thrown onto the circular, rotating wool table for skirting: there's an art to this, and ideally it lands spread out flat. The lesser quality wool (e.g. from the outer edge of the piece) is pinched off and separated from the main fleece (i.e. 'skirting'), and the short locks fall through to the floor.
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The board is swept clear, ready for the next sheep:
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My partner's family have been farmers for five generations since arriving in Australia and settling in the area.
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The End. Thank you for your interest :)
 
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Melanie another great documentation. You show these off very well and one feels one is there with the action.
A fascinating part of Aussie life on the land.

Good to see the stencils.

Merino Border Leicester crosses were dads pick when we farmed.
 
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Melanie another great documentation. You show these off very well and one feels one is there with the action.
A fascinating part of Aussie life on the land.

Good to see the stencils.

Merino Border Leicester crosses were dads pick when we farmed.
Thanks Richard, I always appreciate your kind comments!
 

Bob in Pittsburgh

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Beautiful images, and this city boy enjoyed the commentary. Is the shearing process something the sheep take in stride, or is it traumatic for them?
 
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Beautiful images, and this city boy enjoyed the commentary. Is the shearing process something the sheep take in stride, or is it traumatic for them?
Thanks Bob, I appreciate your interest! Having shearers who are calm and sympathetic to the sheep goes a long way towards the well-being of all concerned. How the stock are handled prior to shearing also helps - on this farm, they aim to bring the mob in from their paddock the day before, so they have time to settle down, and not be highly aroused by the change of environment.
 

Alberta Dave

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Thanks for posting these pictures, they give another city boy an insight to farm life. We have mainly cows in Alberta so sheep are really a minority in this part of the world and these give a wonderful view of another aspect of country life. Very nicely shot and processed, well done :thumbup:.
 
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Thanks for posting these pictures, they give another city boy an insight to farm life. We have mainly cows in Alberta so sheep are really a minority in this part of the world and these give a wonderful view of another aspect of country life. Very nicely shot and processed, well done :thumbup:.
Thanks for your comment, Dave. It's interesting to learn how things are done in other parts of the world.
 
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