Tuesday, June 15, 2010


As I said yesterday, not that it's a particularly telling statement, I can't possibly fit it all in. I barely touched upon the sheep — at SVF, that is — though it was certainly tempting to reach out and touch the pile of shorn fleece lying on the ground. There was also a sheep dog lying on the ground. He was no doubt a highly-valued and skilled professional simply taking a rest between stages, as more sheep waited patiently in pens for their turns. I saw his smiling face (dogs do smile) on the employee bulletin board ...

While wandering around this/that perfectly pastoral scene, I was thinking wistful thoughts. How could I not?? But then those would be interrupted by cold hard scientific facts, especially at the cryogenic "demostration" where straws of frozen sperm (80 or 90 million to a straw, and I'm not sure if they were from rare cows, rare sheep or what) were being brought back to life and squirming around under a microscope before our very eyes. The survival rate, if I recall correctly, was somewhere around 80%. Not bad!!

And there was a staggering statement on the wall that I kept pondering and pondering for its full significance: 'The SVF library is capable of recreating a breed — with its full genetic diversity — within one generation."

Wow. Just think about it ... can that really be??

But back to the sheep, by way of the winding path through that quintessential Swiss village (in Newport) where lies or flies one of the nicest weathered weathervanes I've seen ...