Harvest; first signs of winter; farewell to Spot & Opie

After a cold summer, September was quite warm.
Naturalist Larry Weber (a friend and neighbor) reported that the average temperature for the month was an unusually high 62 degrees (the norm being 55).
But with a hard frost predicted at the end of the month, the Farmers brought in what was ripe from the gardens.
Most of the larger tomatoes were still green, of course, but many of the cherry and paste tomatoes were ready.
Barb spent the next several days saucing, drying and freezing the little buggers.
This year's haul of potatoes was huge -- well over 100 pounds.
The farmers are now eating potatoes at most meals and getting weary of them already, wondering why they didn't plant a few rows of cheese burgers instead of all those spuds.
The old apple tree was as productive as ever.
Someone dug a burrow beside it
to help with the apple harvest.
Many other burrows popped up around the farm as critters got ready for winter.
The first hard freeze came on Sept 30
zapping what was left in the gardens.
The sunrise through the frozen fog was spectacular.
The few grapes that Dodger didn't get also got zappedbut were soon turned into a lovely jam.
The first snow of the season -- about 2 inches -- fell on Oct 10
briefly hiding the remnants of the gardens.
With such an early snow, we enjoyed an unusual combination

of fall colors and white ground.
Going from an average 62 degrees in Sept to 39 in the first half of Oct (the norm being 45), Bubba and Julius huddled together for warmth.
The gentlemen, however, were invigorated by the frosty air.
It's breeding season, and Majority is paying a lot of attention to the ladies.
Hey, Cutie, do you come here often? I'm a Capricorn; what's your sign? Your legs must be tired, 'cuz you've been running through my dreams.
Are you Jamaican? Because Jamaican me crazy!
If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
Hubba, hubba, hubba!
The farmer who was going to take Spot and Opie for his petting zoo was unfortunately not able to do so.
At any other farm they would have been turned into goat burger
but Barb finally found another home for them.
They spent their last hours with us romping all over Mount Haystack
and then climbed into the Goatmobile for the ride to Aitkin County, alternately looking out the window
and munching on hay.
Off they go to a new farm, where they will enjoy (we hope)
being companions to a young woman's horses.The goat barn is certainly a lot quieter without them, and we miss their endearing obnoxiousness. We're looking forward to the next kidding season.