I have been here at the Reindeer Centre (on and off) for eight years now, the last three has been the longest stint I have done with the Reindeer Centre. Now admittedly this is mostly due to Covid, but if it wasn’t for the Reindeer Centre’s generosity in keeping me around as the world went in to lockdown the week that I was meant to be leaving, I probably would never have stuck around and got more involved with the surrounding area.
I’m not one for talking a lot, so here are some of my favourite photos from the past three years with some words.
I usually work with the reindeer through the winter, as this is the time of the year they are really in their element, pun intended. The moment this photo was taken it was wind chill of -7 with wind gusts of 60mph. It is something I truly wish everyone who visits the reindeer could witness, to see their greatness, as the reindeer are behaving as though it was a mild autumn day.
This was an incredible moment, during the calving season of 2020, I was lucky enough to watch the birth of Legume (mother Scully) and see him take his first steps. Not something you can see every day, reindeer being a secretive animal especially when it comes to calving.
This is a photo I took of Roman silhouetted on the skyline, I thought it was a good.
I think this photo of Tiree, a Reindeer House dog, does a good job summing up of a feeling I, and I feel a few other herders, get at times through the Christmas season.
This photo of Spartan and Roman looks very impressive and in the heat of a fight. Far from it, in truth, this was just a half-hearted tussle, preparation before the rut. But looks cool.
Something that I take a lot of joy from seeing is a reindeer yawning, I manage to catch one in action, though you are really missing the full affect without the noise.
The reindeer being semi-domesticated are relatively easy to work with (especially the castrates) but then there are times you remember that they are still an animal, and not ones for negotiation. On this day the rut was in full swing, and Morse (a breeding bull) hopped the fence, as he found the cows on the other side of the fence too enticing. Joe and I did manage to return him back to his group, though all the herding was done a good 20ft away from him. I took this photo when we were in the shed, I find it fascinating to see such a difference in the reindeer when in rut, not only physical, but behaviour.
Throughout the past three years, I have worked on many maintenance projects, one of the on-going jobs is the boardwalk up in our hill enclosure (which every slat, post, and nail has been carried up – no helicopters) this summer I, along with the help of others, reinstated the top platform, which I was very pleased to finish with some flair! And pride in every step. I hope you get to see it someday.