Friday, May 18, 2012

About Sheep And More

Yesterday, on my way to the Diabetes Support Group meeting, I came upon the flock of sheep that move from field to field here each spring, eating wild grasses and thereby reducing  fire hazards around town. In this picture you can also see some of the wind turbines in the hills.

The Franciscan Padres were the first to bring sheep to California in the late 1700s. And sheep have been a large part of farm and ranch life in this area. Large sheep drives of up to 10,000 sheep came through the Tehachapi valley in the late 1800s on their way from California to New Mexico. 

For many years, sheep ranchers in the San Joaquin Valley hired Basque shepherds to drive their sheep from the valley to the mountains, where they would spend the summer grazing in the mountain meadows.

They drove sheep through town until 1970 when modern life caught up with them. I think it's great that sheep are still useful, helping to reduce the risk of fires in this area. I often mention the winds here and if you look at the trees in the background, it's easy to see how they are affected by the more or less constant winds. The prevailing winds come from the west or north-west here and all trees get bent accordingly.

I want to share just a couple of things from the meeting: If you have diabetes, you know to stay away from sweets, but did you know how fatty food affect you? If you eat something fatty, like ice cream or pizza, your sugars will first rise from the carbohydrates, but then they will stay high for a long time due to the fat in the food. So fatty foods, in addition to all the other bad things about them, are a serious health hazard for people with diabetes. 

I guess most people know by now that 33% of the U. S. population and 17% of children are obese. But did you know that this causes 6,000 deaths per week!!! 
The most interesting new devices for making our lives with diabetes easier were: In Europe, a device that is implanted in the head has been approved. It can detect low blood sugars by measuring brain waves. And in the U.S., Ford Motor Company is working with Medtronic to develop a diabetes management system for cars. You would have to wear a sensor and take a reading, then the car's dashboard would monitor you for low blood sugars. This might seem strange to healthy people, but passing out from low sugars while driving is hazard to both diabetics and any healthy person who may get hit. Ford is also developing a car that can detect alcohol levels. So if the idea of big brother monitoring you is scary, how about your car doing it? 
Finally, the gorgeous bird above belongs to someone whose office I visited yesterday. He comes to the office with this guy and since he was so pretty, I asked if I could take his picture. To add a bit more color after all those sheep.


  1. I liked your last comment. A bit of colour for sure. I have a fondness for sheep, but for many, lamb is more digestible than beef. Not sure if it's better for you if you have diabetes or not. One of my friends has the milder form.

    They just need a few black sheep in that flock.

  2. Forgot to say, I like your new look of your blog.

  3. i enjoyed seeing the sheep! quite a herd! we only have one place in the area that keep a couple. don't see many in texas, for sure.

  4. Nice the sheep are there helping out as CA has such trouble with fires due to the fact they don't get much rain for so long. Lovely bird there such dramatic colors.

  5. Härliga bilder på fåren...vad äter de när det är torrt och inget gräs växer? Vi har en varg här i Småland, vid Lessebo som rivit får. Hoppas den river mer så får vi skyddsjakt på den. De fick skjuta en varg förra året vid Ljungby som rivit massa får. Vi vill inte ha varg här.
    Härlig rädd om dig!

  6. It's easy to convince ourselves that our favorite foods aren't good for us when our body is saying it wants it so much! I know I have trouble staying away from sweets sometimes.

    That's interesting about the trees. I thought from the picture that the wind was blowing them way, not that the wind had already formed them to lean.

  7. Hi Inger - those statistics are scary.

    I love sheep, I think they are pretty and restful. And the bird is gorgeous!

  8. I'd wondered if the trees were bent that way, we have some on the coast here that are the same way. And I wish that device for monitoring blood sugar had been out sooner, one of my family members got into a very bad wreck 'cuz his numbers got way too low...

    Cat (who thinks the sheep are cool, but now has an urge to go spin...)

  9. The bird is so beautiful, and the information about diabetes is very interesting.


  10. What a big herd!
    The diabetes epidemic is scary!

  11. With a flock of sheep like that, it's obvious that you're not in cattle country.

    Having had to fight grass fires and brush fires, I can say that's not an ideal way to make a living.

  12. Looking at the photos of the sheep was so calming & restful after my day of driving the LA freeways--& that bird is gorgeous!!

  13. Hi Inger! I love seeing the flocks of sheep! I also appreciate the reminder about carbs--I think that's another reason why I'm so worn out today--Too many of them because they are among my favorites, unfortunately! :-)

    I hope you've had a good evening, and that you enjoy your weekend!!

  14. Hej Inger,
    Härliga kort - jag har varit tvungen att öppna en ny blog :( istället för Eva Ason's ArtCorner.
    Mycket pga mitt ex.

    Ha en fin dag!


  15. The diabetes sensor in cars is a great idea.
    Think they also should have a monitor in cars that will disable any phone that is not hands free.
    Wonderfully useful idea with the sheep. Got tickled at the leaning trees.

  16. Hi Inger! Made a nice change from the flat land here in Florida where I now live. Interesting, the bending trees, and how sheep help out with fires. I use to watch sheep in the season with their young when I lived in North Wales, England.Some of them are still milking their young when they grow as big as the mothers. And when they remove the young, there is a terrible sound from the sheep. A little disturbing I thought.

    I like the parrot. I have one of those:)

    Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  17. The landscape there makes me feel parched! Such a contrast from ours where we all begin to grow a little mold here and there! lol
    Good info on diabetes..knowledge is power!
    Hope you are having a great weekend Inger! all the best.

  18. Beautiful pictures Inger, you know how I love the high desert!


  19. Hi Inger - did the Basques come over for the season, or were they here .. good to see the sheep though - must be a special kind for that sort of terrain.

    I'm so glad I don't have diabetes, and I'm not grossly overweight .. it's going to cost our economies rather more than I care to think about for health treatments for the obese.

    The parakeet (Mr Bird!) .. is brilliantly coloured isn't he ..

    Cheers Hilary


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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