A woman and her sheep....

As I drove into the yard on a sunny Saturday morning, a tousled head appeared from a roof-top skylight. We both kind of squeeled with delight, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY!

We met on twitter. Both shy and anonymous, I originally thought she was a man.........I mean a sheep farmer? But here she is, a well travelled woman who also happens to be a brilliant photographer! Just check out the daily photos of her flock on Facebook

Today I was to be the photographer, and she the model for an article to appear in the Irish Farmers Journal. So we got down to work.

O there were so many challenges for this novice; black faces balanced against white faces, strong sun and dappled shade, sheep nibbling at my cables, dogs rollicking around and barking at every unusual noise. And and above all, I wanted her to shine......

So at home here in her orchard. Gazing wistfully at the webs in the morning light, pointing out the plum tree with its leaves of yellowish gold. Nuzzling her much loved animals. After the "shoot" we both relaxed and that's when I captured my favourite snaps of her..........the sunlight in her hair, the happy smiles......

At last a few photographs of a human being..........

You can learn more about  Zwartbles here on the blog or follow her on twitter @zwartbles


  1. I think your photos captured the moment beautifully, as well as the woman.

  2. They are beautiful looking sheep - so unusual - you have captured the moments perfectly

  3. Oh I think I spotted this lady in the Farmers Journal, I too am following her on twitter. It's a very small world isn't it. Love your photographs :) Hope your christmas preparations are coming on well. I am on my holidays so I'm enjoying myself..

    All things nice...

  4. Your photos are phenomenal - the composition, colours and texture make me feel I am with you both.
    I am particularly impressed by the detail in her knitted coat. The day co-operated and I do believe Ireland, when she smiles her sunshine smile is one of the most spectacular places to photo.
    Thanks for this glimpse of home

    Helen xx

  5. Thank you for the beautiful photos. I follow her on Twitter and Facebook and seeing the Zwartbles sheep and other animals always makes me smile here in Canada. I look forward to visiting her farm in Ireland someday, especially after seeing this.

  6. Thank you for the beautiful shots and lovely to put a face to my Twitter world. I am a fellow sheep farmer but in Tasmania.

  7. A lovely, gentle piece of photo-journalism. Great to see you shooting people and I really like your use of back-lighting.

  8. Your have captured so well the affinity between the woman and her sheep, beautiful pictures.
    Sarah x

  9. Beautiful images of this modern day shepherdess and her flock. Love the back-lighting and how you've captured her affection for the sheep.

  10. Oh what a lady. We had the pleasure of meeting her and the sheep.
    As always Catherine - your images are just gorgeous and filled with love.
    Merry Christmas xx

  11. Wow, I don't know what to say, this is a post about a lady and her sheep and sheepdogs. A subject I always love reading about and your photographs are again phenomenal. And now I go to twitter.
    Thank you very much and I wish you a Merry Christmas!

  12. All those very happy sheep and that very happy lady! I would have been in heaven watching you photograph her/them, Catherine!

  13. Great shots! You captured the relationship not just the individuals

  14. not sure how i ended up here, bloghopping!! but wanted to say what beautiful photos! theres real empathy here between woman and animals, its lovely, shines out of the photos!

    Leanne x

  15. You are excellent in capturing beauty in anything my dear...she is indeed a beautiful woman who loves life and her animals...it is a blessing you met and I long for meeting those people in my life...when they cross our paths it is bliss! Much like meeting you here Catherine :)

  16. These pictures are brilliant, and i know this because, this lady who is a friend and neighbour, really has a mad love affair with her animals, i've told her she's "as mad as a box of frogs".
    She agrees with me of coarse!!
    It's a wonderful place to visit, and springtime is very special, to see all the bouncing baby lambs, and helping to bottle feed,( if the need should arise) is great fun.

  17. So lovely! I just want to reach out and pet those beautiful sheep! Such a precious scene of the woman loving and caring for her animals!

  18. As always your photos brightened up my day :D Happy Christmas xx

  19. Very beautiful photographs - of beautiful sheep and beautiful woman.

    Sheep always surprise me by sniffing out instead of in.

    Have a very happy Christmas


  20. These are so beautiful..and so inspiring to see a woman-sheep-farmer. What a gift to have been able to photograph her at work!

  21. A "Silver Siren" and her patient sheep - wonderful fotos.

  22. Catherine,I absolutely love your work,your talent and the way you bring it to life. It's so inspirational! And beautiful. A feast for the eyes and soul. Thank You!

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