September began with one of the season's biggest events, the Fall Harvest Festival at Duluth's Bayfront Park
featuring a huge farmers' market, lots of craft and food vendors
and demonstrations of skills such as blacksmithing.
But the biggest attraction again this year was the Goat Ladies of the North.
The goats drew large throngs of fans
and were especially fascinating to the younger set (of future goat ladies, no doubt).
Besides selling Laura's goats' milk soap
and offering a chance to meet winners from the Carlton County Fair
the Goat Ladies demonstrated to enthralled crowds the fine arts of milking and hoof-trimming.
As the days dwindled down to a precious few (per the Kurt Weill/Maxwell Anderson "September Song")
the Farmers explored the neighborhood on foot
and on bicycle
and enjoyed visits from friends
such as Janet, who gets a smooch from Viva,
[photos courtesy of Janet]
and cousin Lila, who always catches the goats' attention
when she brings along that fascinating alien Sophie.
The goats take advantage of the good weather, also, making sure that Barb doesn't get too comfy in her chair
hiding out in the tall vegetation
and enjoying the last of the fresh salad before the heavy frosts --
all under the watchful gaze of Señor Sanchez
who has grown apace during the summer
is cute as a bug with his Tony Bennett style hairpiece
and is finally showing some interest in the ladies.
"Momo! Over Here! Do you have a map? Because I just keep getting lost in your eyes!"
"Hey, Eclipse! If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?"
"Who wants to come up and see my etchings?"
We wish that the ladies -- especially Awe Baby -- would become as romantically inclined.
Cheeky might seem to be nuzzling Sanchez
but she attacks him whenever they're put together
leaving the Ref to rescue the poor guy.
At any rate, the new Tibetan prayer flags are flying, and we're hoping for a successful breeding season, leading to safe and productive birthings in the spring.
Other signs of autumn include newly constructed burrows
(this particular vandal has 32 acres to dig in but selected the front lawn)
and the start of the fall colors.
We aren't sure how the abnormally dry summer will affect the aesthetics
but it's been devastating to the hay crop.
Some of the local hay we bought for the winter months has been useless, and the rest of it isn't very good.
The reviews on Caprine Yelp are unanimous:
"Worst dining experience I've ever had!"
"You're kidding with this stuff, right? Where's the real hay?"
"Aaaaaaaaaachhhhh. I've been poisoned!"
"The food is lousy, and the portions are too small!"
Whenever they see Barb coming with more of the recent hay
the goats stare at her menacingly, like a scene out of Hitchcock's The Birds.
In early October we'll visit beautiful Warba in northern Minnesota and bring back a truck full of nicer hay.
The town liquor store might be closed, but Warba still offers better provender than we've been able to find locally.