9/27/14

Goat Shows Galore

 Louis Jenkins wrote a wonderful prose poem, "Time Marches On," that captures the speeding of the seasons by cataloging events in northern Minnesota that “all have passed”: 
 Wrong Days in Wright, Rutabaga Days, the Eelpout Festival, The Hardanger Fiddle Association of America Meeting, the Monster Truck Challenge.
 At MeadowWild Farm, the march of time is marked by goat shows.
On August 31st, Barb attended the Alpine goat show at the state fair, cheering on friends K√§rin and Brian  
 and visiting with other goat enthusiasts
 while Steve indulged in way too much state fair food
 and sampled more Minnesota craft beer than was prudent.  After all that fat and alcohol, he needed a nap
 and awoke to discover that he had been awarded a purple ribbon.
Harvest Fest took place the following week at Duluth's Bayfront Park
featuring various exhibitors and vendors 
 a farmers' market, and -- most importantly --
 
 the Goat Ladies of the North
  
 showing off their caprines and conducting demonstrations of milking and hoof trimming.
 Chandra seems less than impressed by the neighboring Nigerians. 
 The goats have been a very popular part of Harvest Fest for years now.
 Then two weeks later came the Bluff Country Classic Dairy Goat Show in Caledonia, MN.
(marvelous painting by Mary Thompson)
 Barb showed Cheeky
 while a helpful Donny conducted a less than cooperative Eclipse around the ring.
 Friend Brian's Electra and Ember did very well in the stiff competition.
(Photos courtesy of the Bluff Country Classic Dairy Goat Show Facebook page.)

It's late September 
 
 and Red Oak Lane is showing some color.
 The neighboring garden of friends Tom and Gretchen is spectacular, as always.
 
 
 Spider webs continue to proliferate
 
 
 as do the gargantuan spiders.
 
 
 The girls take advantage of the gorgeous fall weather to browse the meadows while they may
 
 or just practice goat meditation.
 Mojo surveys his domain from the topper
 and is occasionally joined by Amigo for a tap dance.
 
 The boys love their daily outings
 
 
 and the opportunity to munch outside their usual boundaries.
 
 Dustin monitors the world from his front window
 until it's time for another nap.
 MeadowWild farm is still in Aesop ant mode.
 Barb converted grapes from the front arbor to juice that will ultimately become jelly

 
 and apples are getting ready to harvest.
 To thwart the ground squirrel vandals, Barb constructed a new smoker system.
 She dug out the fire pit they had filled in
 and used a flexible drier duct to direct the apple wood smoke
 to the kettle cooker
 
 where it is then cool enough to flavor her famous mozzarella cheeses without melting them.
 While Barb is anting at home, Steve is grasshoppering by bike along the Munger Trail

  
 on forays between Duluth and Moose Lake 
 
 
 
 or by foot through Jay Cooke State Park
 
 
 
  
which is still being restored after the devastating flood of 2012.