Saturday, July 19, 2008

Off To Greener Pastures

A herd of sheep migrating to higher areas to pasture in (taken in the Quercy region)

Transhumance is the movement of livestock from lower altitudes to higher ones during summer and vice-versa during winter. If you’ll visit mountainous regions in France like the Alps, the Pyrénées and the Massif Central during late Spring until early Autumn, you’ll witness herds of livestock hitting the road as they make their way to the mountains to pasture (although it s declining in the latter two areas). It is such a wonderful sight, seeing cows, sheep, goats and the likes “parading” on the road, with their bells tinkling, a shout here and there by the herdsman, and the occasional yelping of patous (Pyrenean mountain dogs) as they try to keep the troop in line. Even if they create traffic, I don’t mind it for it is such a pleasant sight to see. I’m very tempted to touch a sheep or goat, but I’m afraid the dogs might not like it --- the patous are very protective of their “family”. So I just content myself with watching them as they bleat and moo to the rhythm of their hooves as they march to greener pastures... literally :).


indrani said...

I have held a lamb once, they feel so warm.

lareine said...

lucky you indrani!!! i would have loved to touch one and feel their woolly fleece :)

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