6/5/10

Endless Spring

We've enjoyed this year the warmest spring on record.
The Duluth News Tribune reports that "meteorological spring — March, April, May — averaged 45.6 degrees, besting the old record of 44.4 degrees set in 1977.   
 All three months had well-above-average temperatures, with March a whopping 11.6 degrees above normal."
Apple blossoms lasted forever
and mushroom pagodas popped up in the compost piles.
The goats shelter from the sun under the topper that friends Tom & Gretchen donated.


The farmers fenced in a large chunk of the south meadow for an expanded grazing area, pounding in 120 posts and installing 60 cattle panels.
The goats enjoy the extra areas for browsing
but the grass on the other side of the fence always tastes better.
Barb's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is flourishing.  Her 11 shareholders receive weekly or biweekly supplies of milk, cheese, goats' milk tapioca pudding or cajeta.
Alba has been especially productive, giving over a gallon of milk each day -- in addition to feeding her three girls  Here she poses in the milking stand that Barb constructed out of scrap wood 
and then goes back to eating while Barb finishes up.  She's perfectly well behaved during milking, unlike a perverse doe whose name shall remain Dodger.
May 21 was a big day for Dodger's kids, Dancer and Loki.
They boarded the Goatmobile
and took in the sights on the way to their new home outside of Bayfield, Wisconsin.
They were a bit apprehensive at first
but met their new farm-mates Violet (Mr. T's daughter with Kristin & Chad's doe Pan)
and scads of the cutest Great Pyrenees puppies imaginable.
New owners Christal & Richard want the goats primarily for training dogs to get along with the farm animals they will be guarding.  Violet has clearly mastered her duties already
hanging out like one of the canines
and trotting along after Christal like a puppy herself
with occasional stops for browsing along the way.
Her foray into the garlic field, however, was discouraged.
The farm is a veritable Peaceable Kingdom with all kinds of fowl
including a magnificent tom turkey
along with cows, pigs and dogs.
We're delighted that Dancer and Loki get to stay together in such a gorgeous setting.
On the way back from Bayfield, the farmers stopped at The Village Inn (Cornucopia, WI) for whitefish sliders.
Meanwhile, Dodger's other buck Chief (Mischief)
is flourishing on friend Kathy's farm in Kettle River (photos courtesy of Kathy).
Checking up on other goaty offspring, the farmers visited Kirsten & Chad's gorgeous estate
to see Violet's brother and sister (also kids of Mr. T)
and Gerta, the first baby from Dreamy's daughter Desiree.
Gerta (aka Speedy) follows Desi around the goat enclosure
under the watchful eyes of her cousins.
She's got a cute pair of wattles
and is already into death-defying calisthenics.
We were afraid that Luna's dare-deviltry had earned her a broken leg when she suddenly went lame.
Like her sisters, she has to climb on everything and we feared that she might have caught her left leg in a hay feeder or come down too hard on it from jumping
but x-rays of her legs and shoulder proved negative (that's her lead fastener showing up at the left)
and in a few days was back to normal.  She and her sisters will be with us until they go to their new home on June 18.
The goslings grow bigger every day
though they can still conceal themselves in the grass
and make a welcome sight on the pond.
Swallows have taken up serious housekeeping
orioles still visit the front yard
and a painted turtle laid her eggs in the driveway next to the goat barn.
Not all the visitors are so welcome.  It's been a bumper spring for ticks; this one was hanging eagerly to a shirt just out of the washer.
The farmers got a treat on Memorial weekend: a tour of friends Larry & Frannie's magnificent Webwood.
One highlight was a tree sporting sulphur shelf or "chicken of the woods."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Barb I just love these photos!

I could look at the goats all day. Would you ever be open to a field trip of Dale's Trailers or whatever we are? I just think it would be so great to have a day trip up your way and see the goats and the rest of the creatures.

Hope you're having a good day. Your posts on Trail Baboon are some of my favorites.

Cynthia from Minneapolis
cynthia_hendricks@mcad.edu

Laura said...

Barb & Steve-
I enjoyed your photos, especially the ones of the goats! I am glad to see Luna's x-rays showed no broken bones.
I am looking forward to June 18th! See you soon.

Sherrilee said...

Barb -- I told Cynthia and Donna to bring my best wishes with them today! Sherrilee

Dave said...

Barb and Steve,

Great images of the baby goats, as usual, but I am beginning to lose track of who is who and which is which.

It appears that Brigitte and I will be visiting at the end of August, if that works for you.

Dave in Baton Rouge