Friday, June 4, 2010

Maisemalampaat - landscape sheep

Every summer the city of Jyväskylä hires a diligent team of summer laborers. These sheep not only add to the landscape by looking good - when they graze they help maintain a landscape that is part of Finland's cultural heritage.

When the grasses and shrubs are cropped close to the ground and the surface of the soil is disturbed by their grazing, the seeds from wildflowers and other plants are allowed to take root and develop. Quite often, plants that haven't been seen in an area for years will return after the sheep are allowed to graze for a while.

The sheep can be found in the Kuokkala area of Jyväskylä. The sheep in these photos are fine examples of the Finnsheep, a variety known for multiple births.

If you go to check them out, please do not feed them, harrass them, or enter their pasture. If you are walking your dog in the area, please keep it on the leash.

The sheep were taking a break when I visited them.

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