Musings

Transhumance and more

First, we were headlight-flashed by a semi. Then, we saw a large, propped up, plywood sign with crookedy letters, “Sheep on road.” Okay, we’re wide awake; we saw this in Scotland, and usually the signs are not Fake News™. Next, we saw sheep evidence (like the black smears in the left lane), then we popped over a hill, and voila! sheep, all on the left side of the road, and extending for a LOOOOONG ways up the highway. We carefully crept along, alert to Stupid Sheep Behavior—that is, stupid from the vehicular point of view. Sure enough, we were most of the way past the flock, and a few decided to cross in front of us, and instantly were head-down browsing. Like…um…sheep, soon dozens more followed. We inched along on the far right as a semi was in our lane, heading toward us and trying to make headway against the flock drifting into his lane. Surely there’s room for all, no? Just so the sheep part.

The size of the flock suggests it was being relocated for summer forage at higher elevations. With all the fenced land, the only possible passage was via the highway right of way. In Europe, it is possible to find the networks of drove-ways that have been used for thousands of years for seasonal movement of domesticated herbovores.

Scenery.

Snake River, where the banks are not cliffs.

Snake River making Shoshone Falls, and the Falls making rainbows. The River has cut through a lava bed from long ago that blankets the area. If you’re back from the rim perhaps a quarter mile on that flattish lava bed, you can’t see the cut the river has made, making it rather like a giant ha-ha. This falls is so high that the progress of spawning fish is halted, and this is an excellent hunting spot.