On a Dutch Island, Sunsets, Bike Rides and the Great Lamb Chase


On a Dutch Island, Sunsets, Bike Rides and the Great Lamb Chase

Sebastian ModakBy Sebastian ModakJune 11, 2019
ImageFlat topography and a long western coast dotted with wide open beaches mean every sunset on Texel is a show to behold.CreditSebastian Modak/The New York Times
Our columnist, Sebastian Modak, is visiting each destination on our 52 Places to Go in 2019 list. He arrived in the Frisian Islands after being overwhelmed by the scenery in Vestlandet, Norway.Something’s amiss with one of Jan-Willem Bakker’s lambs. He can tell from 30 feet away as we approach the flock on a quad bike.“Look at its ears,” he says, turning to me with an expression of concern on his sunburned face.The sun is shining in a wide-open blue sky, making the flat green horizon appear infinite. Mr. Bakker climbs off the bike and approaches the lamb, which, now that he mentions it, does look forlorn, with folded down ears, silent while the flock of sheep around it bleats away. Gently pushing the others aside, Mr. Bakker picks the lamb up and carries it over a fence. There, he takes out a thermometer, checks its temperature (a little higher than it should be) and begins administering a series of injections, all natural painkillers and fever reducers.“I only use antibiotics if things get very bad,” the eighth-generation sheep farmer says. “And then, I still treat the sheep individually. On this island, the nature is connected and we can’t break the system.”

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