Oh, if only I'd been there and had a camera with me! All I can do is relate the story and fill in the missing details with what I know of rams. Graeme simply said, "The rams developed a strange disease today." Of course I asked what happened and he replied, "They had pink nose disease. They tried to eat the foam marker blobs." Graeme's attempt at a joke.
A little further questioning gave me the full story...
We had some very welcome rain last week - nearly 2 inches in the old measure 48mm in the new. Of course, while the dams, house tanks and garden all rejoiced, so did the weeds in the paddocks. So Graeme is now spraying weeds. To do this he pulls a spray cart along behind the tractor. On top of the tank that holds the spray is a smaller tank that holds super soapy foam marker. Graeme uses fluro pink. The foam maker has long arms the width of the spray boom and drops blobs of this bright pink foam at regular intervals to mark where the tractor has been so that Graeme can line up the tractor's next pass with the blobs so doesn't miss any of the paddock or respray parts that have been done.
Yesterday Graeme sprayed the paddock the rams are in cleaning up the lupin stubble. As he sprayed the bright pink foam dropped behind him. The rams, who have been fed lupins out of a drum on the back of a tractor from time to time, must have decided that Graeme had changed their diet to include some pretty pink, fluffy food - fairy floss perhaps? A dessert maybe? While they'd never tried it before, they were sure it had to be better than the weeds, lupins and lupin stubble they were eating now because sheep always think something else is better than what they have. One by one they followed behind the tractor, dipping their noses into the foam, ready to experience a new taste sensation and one by one the rams emerged with bright pink fluff on their noses. Sheep are not known for their intelligence. Well, to be truthful, sheep are known for their dumbness and White Suffolk rams hold up the tradition well. Each ram dipped his nose into the foam, was disappointed to find it tasted soapy, emerged with a vague, confused look and a pink fluffy nose and moved on to the next bright pink blob in the hopes that this one was the better tasting one. Meanwhile, the rams behind him decided that he'd most likely dipped his nose into a bad spot and inspected the blob for a tastier area. They too were disappointed, emerged with a nose decorated with the bright pink foam and moved onto the next blob already rejected by the first ram. With each visit to a new blob the rams came up for air with a slightly larger blob on their nose.
Now I need to mention here that these foamy blobs have more staying power than your average soap foam. In the cold weather these blobs in the paddocks can last up to two days. Each ram was decorated for quite some time with the blob and the wool around their nose was dyed a pretty shade of pink for quite a while to come. Of course our sale rams were among those inspecting the foam blobs. This story is going to have to be told over and over again to clients to explain the mysterious pink marks on their noses.
I wish I'd been there with a camera to record Graeme and the tractor being followed by a stately procession of rams all with pink fluffy mountains on their noses. After all who is going to believe me if I don't have pictorial evidence?