Ice Out, Augean Stables, Green Up, Visits

Northern Minnesota features only two seasons.  We’ve just moved from our Blizzards period to our other season:
Tick Invasion Time.
Weather continues on a roller coaster.  May here is supposed to average a low of 41 and high of 66, but we’ve been careening from well below to well above that, with several mornings below freezing
(down to 29 on May 12, zapping fuscias that were waiting to be planted)
and now record breaking heat (into the 90s according to our thermometer) on a succession of afternoons.
Ice out was late for local lakes and streams
but once started it came very quickly.
With the Munger Trail finally free of snow
it was time for the first bike rides of the year.
Seasonal streams and ponds near the trail were buzzing with frogs.
After long months of white and brown
all the fresh greenery is a treat.
The back woods are beginning to leaf out.
Momma Kitty sits in the grass, waiting for breakfast to stroll by.
The goats commence the serious business of browsing
and discover where it’s always greener:
Flowers and trees are blossoming
and orioles are back.
The last born goat baby, Tikka Masala, has reached Maximum Cuteness.
Her noggin bled a bit after disbudding
but Barb improvised a bandage out of a sock that solved the problem
Tikka doesn't hesitate to go head to head with her barn mates
and claim her place as queen of the skywalk.
the older kids are now healthy teenagers
eating us out of house and home.
Tzugamushie and IceIce Baby were the first of their class to graduate.
They are now enjoying their wonderful new home at Echolight Farm.
(photos courtesy of Kirsten)
Then Alice hopped aboard the Goatmobile for the trip to her new home in Jordan, MN
where she warmed from the start to the 4-H Cloverbud who will be helping to care for and show her.
According to myth, the stables of Augeus, housing 3,000 cattle, had not been cleaned in over 30 years. 
The MeadowWild goat barn wasn’t quite that bad, but after a long winter it was time for the spring ritual of barn cleaning.
Hercules cleaned up by channeling two rivers through the Augean stables.
Not blessed with comparable water resources, we had to lock the goats outside,
disassemble all the fencing, and remove all the feeding totes.
Just as we finished, Laveau Excavating arrived and made short work of the accumulated poopy-pee-y hay

heaping it up away from the barn into a mound that is now the tallest peak in northern Minnesota:  Mount Caprineycaca.  

We’re tempted to build a chalet next to it and make it available for skiing this winter.
Then it was time to rake in lots of barn lime
reassemble the pens
and let the eager goats back in
to enjoy their clean new quarters.
MeadowWild welcomes lots of family and friends in May
(photo courtesy of John)
(where are these folks in mid-February?)
who spoil the goats rotten with attention and head scratches.
Mojo wants Hilary to camp out in the Gentlemen's Club as his full time personal masseur.
What are the kids staring at so intensely?
It's a visitor of another kind -- Lila's Emma Lou.
Kuiper isn't so sure she wants that strange looking head intruding into her space.
Dustin has adjusted his busy schedule to the new season.  He starts out in his sun-flooded favorite window
and bakes until he reaches an internal temperature of 165°F
and then moves to an open front window
where he can keep track of the wildlife outside
until he gets bored again
then it's back to the study to park directly in front of the computer monitor
or upstairs to watch nature programs on PBS (those hummingbirds are snack-sized!)
and then it's time for another nap.