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Live! Sheep! Art!

July 6, 2009

On July 4, as I was standing in a friend's back garden in San Francisco stuffing my face with hotdogs and burgers and watching trails of sparkly lights fizzle their way across the sky, I heard about an unusual experiment in fake firework art.

A group of creative Welsh sheep farmers who call themselves the "Baaa-Studs", practice a form of "extreme sheepherding". Earlier this year, the shepherds took to the hills armed with several flocks of unsuspecting sheep, a truck-load of LEDs and a camera and proceeded to create a gobsmacking light display using all the resources at their command.

A short and hilarious video on YouTube demonstrates how the farmers attached LEDs to the sheeps' backs. After nightfall, they sent their dogs in to herd the sheep into amazing formations and videotaped their efforts. Against the black hills, the sheep's movements create the effect of a fireworks display. There are rockets and Catherine Wheels. The sheep even come together at the end to spell "FIN".

This knocks the usual July 4 fare out of the baaa-park.


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