5/30/15

“Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!”

 as Thomas Nashe transcribed bird songs back in the spring of 1590.
 Spring came early to MeadowWild Farm 425 years later.
 
  April concluded mostly brown still

 
 with a veneer of morning ice on the seasonal streams and back pond
 
 and slim pickins yet for the goats.
 
 
 But by mid-May trees were leafing out, grass was growing
 and marsh marigolds blooming.
 Rain and morning mists greened up the horse pastures
 hay fields
 and lake shores.
 The golds and light greens of early spring
 
 
 gave way to the deeper greens and lush grass of late May.
 
 Orioles are pigging out in the front yard.
video
Snow on the morning of May 15 reminded them not to come north before June.
 
 The crabapple exploded with blossoms
 
 and most of the other apple and cherry trees are flowering
 even the scarred and beaten old veteran in the backyard.
 
 
 Feral Momma Kitty makes her rounds
 and dispatches yet another plump, juicy mouse.
 Dustin keeps an eye on Momma Kitty and the other wildlife
 wishes there weren't screens on the windows
 and wonders why he didn't get any of the excellent Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc that friend Karen made.  That's Dustin's picture on the label, from his long stay at Friends of Animals where he spent a great deal of time on Karen's lap. 
 May is a magical time at the Farm.
 The kids are strong, healthy, growing every day, and have reached Maximum Cuteness.
 They tear around the meadows
 
 battle for supremacy on the Skywalk
video
 and go tête-à-tête
 leading to the occasional bloody forehead.
 Then it's time for a nap
 often next to Mom.
 Mojo and Amigo get worn out just watching the youngsters.
 They remain the best of friends, though they engage in a fair amount of head-butting, too --
which keeps Mojo's scurs from getting too long.
 
 Amigo still sports his winter coat, making him resemble a bison.
 
Chandra's rejected boys are thriving
 although Tippy developed an entropian; his right eyelid turned in toward the eye, causing the eyelashes to irritate his cornea.  Dr. Angela Urban stapled the lid temporarily until it grew out normally, and now he's fine. 
 Although he and his brother never quite got that whole bottle-feeding thing down smoothly -- even up to the day they were weaned off milk.
 Spring is not all fun, games and feeding at the Farm.  A winter's worth of poopy compacted waste hay had accumulated in the barn
 and more was composting just outside the door.
Spring cleaning took place on April 27. 
 
  Everyone was locked outside of the barn while Leveau Excavating did an excellent job of clearing the area down to sand with a skidsteer.
 
 Of course the goats monitored the operation and offered plenty of free advice about how to do things properly.
 
 After the area was sprinkled with barn lime
 
 and the pens re-erected
 the goats moved back into their clean new living room.
 Old and more recent compost piles were consolidated away from the barn -- and this black gold is now available to local farmers and gardeners.
 Spring is tattooing time
 
 and the newbies got inked with their registration numbers on May 20
leaving green inner ears
 
 and smudges elsewhere
 especially on Barb's hands.
 May is also graduation month, and several MeadowWild denizens moved on to new pastures; 
Chandra to Finlayson
 Rider (renamed Steve by his new owners) to Thief River Falls
 
 and Momo and her sweet girl Manti to Pine City.
 The barn just isn't the same without Momo's deep bellowing.
 Finding herself down four goats, Barb consulted the Chaffhaye chart to see if she needed more.  Unsurprisingly, she decided in the affirmative
so it was road-trip time on May 24; friend Brian delivered two of his girls to their new home, 
(photo courtesy of Brian)
then it was on to Kara Kahl Farm in Houston, MN 
 to pick up Xiu and Anisa.  Barb had first contracted to buy only Xiu, but decided that the two-week-old should have a companion on the way up north and during her quarantine period, so she ordered Anisa sight unseen.
 Wattles were a bonus!
 
 The babies are adjusting nicely to their new home
 and are skillful and eager bottle-feeders -- in sharp contrast to Tippy and Cobra in the pen across from theirs.
 
The girls get out every day to run madly up and down the driveway
 
 saunter along
 and get hugged.
Friend Hilary visited on Memorial Day to meet the newbies
 
 
 and was coaxed by Mojo into an extended head-rub session.  Mojo now wants to live in Hilary's apartment.
To celebrate the season, the new arrivals, and Hilary's visit, Barb baked a gorgeous rhubarb tort from mom Caroline's recipe (minus the secret meringue ingredient: marshmallow cream).

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