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Monday, October 31, 2016


It is a fact that goats are hard to keep in.  I've often thought it would be far easier to fence them out of the yard and garden than to fence them into the pasture and paddock, but I suspect they'd decide that the other side of the fence was still worth investigating.
The usual suspects

Back to the barn to confer
This time of year, after all growing things have either been eaten by one of the goats' forays or simply harvested in the normal rhythm of farm life, I don't get too upset when they escape from the pasture.  In fact, I expect it, because I stop trimming the fence line and the temporary electric fence gets put away, and the goats wander over to the brush and forage and then around to the road and finally into the yard.

The grass really is greener just outside the house

A quick look in the dog yard.  Zoë was looking back at him.

but Fiore is watching me in the doorway and is heading up the stairs to check out the camera.
What I don't understand, and will probably never understand, is why, since they know exactly how to get out, they can't figure out how to get back in.  Or is it just that they consider me their goat slave?
I think I'm being paged.

I've opened the gate...

...and in they all go

After a few minutes, it's time to do it all over again.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Taking a walk

Now that I'm down to three goats, I have a lot of extra time.  I've never just taken my goats for a walk, though I know people who do it all the time. 

Friday was a perfect autumn day in Maine, warm, mild, with a light breeze and no insects.  True Indian Summer.  I watched the goats hanging around the barn and thought, "I need to get them out of there, but they don't have the safety in numbers they used to have."  I put Zoë on the retractable leash and set out across the field.  Not surprisingly, the goats quickly followed.

Through the orchard we went, passed through the open gate to the far field, and into the meadow;




then across to the alders that grow thickly, threatening to take over if we don't keep them back.  A goat paradise. 

I've often thought I should bring in a hundred goats and just turn them loose.  In a short time they'd tame the brush and eat it all back.  Now I have only the three, but they delighted in the edges and copses.

Zoë was intrigued by some of the deer paths wending through the brush,

but kept a careful eye out for goat danger.  She was a bit leery at first.  She was, after all, on a lead, and not at all sure that she wasn't going to be goat fodder.

I sat on the ground, watching Zoë, watching Leah, watching Hal, watching Fiore, soaking up the sun and abandoning myself to the moment.

It was lovely, but after a while I headed back to the barn.  By now the goats had disappeared and gave me a start, as I couldn't find them.  What would happen if I left without them and coyotes showed up?  Back I came, and carefully listened.  A rustle here, a snap of twigs there.  More rustling.  Calling evenually brought them out and we all headed back.

I'm going to do this again before they go to their new homes.  This kind of pleasure should be indulged.