Have you ever fallen asleep while counting sheep? If that’s the case, a recent viral video showcasing a fascinating aerial time-lapse of over 1,000 sheep grazing in green meadows would likely be quite calming to you.
While guiding farm animals from the ground is remarkable the coordinated motions from above are even more intriguing. Lior Patel, a drone photographer based in Haifa, Israel, spent the previous seven months photographing a herd of 1,000–1,700 sheep in Yokneam’s Peace Valley. The aerial timelapse film shot from above with a hovering drone reveals how the creatures move across the rural terrain in fluid synchronization similar to a school of fish or a murmuration of starlings.
Since 1985, vegetable farmer Michael Morgan and herder Keith Markov who was born in South Africa have been in charge of the herd. The flock migrates up to 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) from its winter grazing in the valley to its summer pasture on the outskirts of Ramot Menashe every year. Shepherds Mustafa Tabash, Mahmoud Kaabiyah, Eyal Morgan, and Dan Goldfinger, as well as a small squad of border collies, are needed for the difficult event.
“The shepherd dogs are an adventure in and of themselves and everything is directed by Mustafa and his family who have greeted me with open arms every time I visit,” Patel says. “A morning coffee with Mustafa and Keith will provide you with enough energy to last the entire day.”
Patel photographed the sheep from a fixed vantage point allowing the observer to concentrate on the hypnotic flow of movement. Each sped-up photo reflects roughly four to seven minutes of actual time from navigating fields to crossing highways. The sheep look to be a mass organism that ebbs and flows in response to the landscape’s form. Patel says, “The first issue is to understand the herd’s flexibility during movement dispersal while grazing and how it converges into one tight pack approaching exit/return from pasture and crossing highways and paths.”
Patel’s sheep in slow motion video is below and you can see more of his work on his website. Patel captures other agricultural activities in Israel when he isn’t photographing sheep.
Patel’s sheep in slow motion video is shown below and you can see more of his work on his website. Patel films other agricultural activities in Israel when he isn’t photographing sheep.
Aerial time-lapse footage shot by drone photographer Lior Patel shows a flock of 1,000–1,700 sheep being herded over the rural terrain of Yokneam, Israel.
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