Middleton Place has a flock of sheep that roam the main grounds keeping them manicured. Weighted gates that close automatically behind the tourists allow foot traffic into the central green of the plantation and keep the sheep from escaping.
The sheep are looking scraggly as we head into winter; they will be shorn in the spring after lambs are born.
Belgian Horses are another heritage breed raised at Middleton Place. They provide carriage rides for visitors around the plantation grounds and are ignored by the sheep as they graze.
“A National Historic Landmark, home to the oldest landscaped gardens in America and an enduring, vibrant, and essential part of the Charleston and American experience.”
Cashmere Goats are one of the heritage breeds that Middleton Place houses in its barnyard, devoted to animals that were known to be on the farm at some point during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Over numerous trips here this is the closest I’ve come to an “action” shot of one of the goats.
This is closer to what I usually see:
From the Middleton Place website:
In the 1850s, Williams Middleton imported and raised cashmere goats, sending their treasured hair to France where it was processed into cloth. The goats need minimal shelter due to their dual coats. Each year, starting in March, the goats’ hair can be harvested by combing out their winter coat.
Several Peacocks have the run of Middleton Place, a historic SC Plantation and Museum. They mostly stay in the barnyard area and on my last visit I spotted just this one sleeping on top of a rabbit hutch.
He opened his eyes to watch me watch him but he showed no sign of getting up.
New lambs have arrived at the Middleton Place barnyard. Cute is the only word for them. Ranging from one day to one week old, these lambs were in a pen with their mothers, all trying to figure out how the world works.
The whole group was in constant motion and regrettably I should have taken these shots at a faster shutter speed.
In the photo below the youngest lamb, in the back, is less than 24 hours old. The three in the middle, perhaps triplets, mostly stuck together and practiced their “bahhing” for awhile.
A pair of farm workers were making some repairs to the pen, probably to prevent escapes under the fence by the new tiny occupants. The little guy below was most interested in what they were up to.
This mother sheep had plenty to say, too.
The farm’s adult sheep are looking a little bedraggled and will be shorn this weekend.
In late afternoon at Middleton Place’s barnyard most of the animals are rounded up and secured for the night. This is for their safety and for some, to keep them from causing mischief. I think this sheep had mischief on his mind as he pointed the way further from his pen.
While the sheep and some Guinea Hens were being corralled these Mallards were zooming back and forth through the horse enclosure. They stayed in a straight line, flashing their orange feet and iridescent heads, anxious not to miss any feeding opportunities.