The barn swallows were the first to go.
Their nest was getting pretty darned crowded as they pigged out on the goodies that Mom and Dad brought
and Mom and Dad were getting tired out from dive-bombing the Farmers when they brought water to the Gentleman's Club.
One day there were only four babies in the nest;
the fifth had made its way to a beam across the room.
Soon the rest followed out of the Gentleman's Club and into the pole barn
where they practiced flying until they were confident enough to stay outdoors.
Now Niblet and Mr. T are suffering from empty nest syndrome
though the babies sometimes return to visit them in their back yard.
Desi was the next to go.
Her new family took her to her fabulous new home on the appropriately named Goat Hill
where she is enjoying lots of attention and the companionship of an older doe.
Then the hellions scampered away.
Artful and Tammy Waynette moved to their new home in Lakewood, where they are also receiving lots of love and attention, and are testing their new family's patience by refusing to return to their pen after romps outside.
The other goats remain, and are as feisty as ever. Dodger and Alba regularly duke it out on the Mound of Contention.
As do Opie and Spot, who don't really seem to miss their sister Desi much at all.
Dream stays cool on hot days by slurping Goatsicles -- chunks of ice in her water bucket.
The baby red squirrels remain very much with us, too,
eating out of the goats' grain dishes
and daring the goats
to do anything about it.
It's hay season;
150 bales arrived from our neighbor Mike's field
to be stacked away (with friend Chad's help) for the coming winter.
Barb was bold enough
to drive the tractor and trailer back to Mike's farm a couple miles away. (And now checks the ads in search of a tractor for her own.)
The rose bush is thriving (now that it's protected from nibbling goats)
as are the gardens.
Barb is experimenting with making new kinds of goat cheese,
including a nummy mozzarella.


Glorious Summer

Despite the dry spring and early summer
the meadow flowers have been spectacular.
Even the end of last year's potatoes that neighbors Tom & Gretchen left in our root cellar
are pretty colorful.
The goats take time to smell the flowers
and then nibble on them
and on unprotected trees
and the hammock (Dodger here)
(and Tammy Waynette -- like mother, like daughter).
Tammy is under the delusion that she's still a six-pound doeling,
as she hops up onto Barb's lap.
The goats have entertained a succession of visitors
including friends Barb has made through the MPR Radio Heartland blog
the Adams-Serunian clan
and Barb's cousin Claudia.
Dream's triplets are thriving apace and keeping her well milked.
Disbudding went well -- Barb is getting to be quite the artist with a dehorning iron.
On their daily outings, the triplets like to check out Dad
and tempt fate by badgering Alba.
Here the kids get a stern talking-to from Mom.
They spend much of their time cavorting like mad
occasionally hitting the dirt.
Opie takes an occasional rest
and checks his email via Elizabeth's phone.
A running joke around the Farm involves the query, "Where's Opie?"
because he's usually attached to Mom
even when she's busy fighting with Alba (photo courtesy of John Serunian).
Baby red squirrels continue to infest the pole barn and blatantly steal goat food.
Even the Gentleman's Club is not immune to invaders.
What's that above the hay feeder?
It's a barn swallow nest
with five hungry residents
not all of whom may be gentlemen.
Mom and dad are never far away.
When asked to comment on the intruders, Niblet opined