The first day of autumn in the MeadowWild neighborhood was anything but seasonal.
The temperature hit 85 (20-some degrees above normal) and periodic showers aggravated the uncomfortable humidity.
The damned weather radio jolted us awake periodically during the night with thunderstorm warnings.
It wasn't very soothing.
2017 proved the 13th wettest summer since record-keeping began in 1870 – glug glug glug.
But the rain finally let up long enough to get a good late crop of hay in –
and just in the nick of time – only a few bales remained from last year
and the goats faced the prospect of ordering in Domino’s pizzas all winter long.
While Barb was off showing Kuiper & Alice at the Bluff Country Classic Dairy Goat Show
(thanks to guest milkers Laura
and Rick (with young helpers) –
the good folks from Happy Critters Farm arrived with 520 bales of new hay and a crew to stack it in every nook and cranny
of the garage,
the milking shed
and the goat barn --
all under the watchful eyes of those most interested in a well stocked larder.
Propane has been pre-bought for the heating season
(although Barb still needs to paint our tank to resemble a watermelon)
and the furnace will soon be inspected and cleaned
so (like Randy in A Christmas Story) we're as ready as we ever will be for winter.
Santa’s Busiest Elf is crafting batch after batch of goats' milk soap that will be cured and available in time for the holiday season.
Since even before the autumn cool down, Dustin has been in heat-seeking mode;
when he's not disembowelling the study couch
he follows the sun from room to room in search of warmth.
Soon he will retreat to his cozy igloo by the heating vent.
He’s currently battling for control of the counter in the corner of the renovated kitchen, which Barb thought would serve as an immaculate, aseptic workspace for processing milk and cheese.
But Dustin is convinced that we paid thousands of dollars so that he would have yet another place to look out over his domain, keeping an eye on the front lawn, on the goat pastures
and especially on Momma Kitty.
A recent New Yorker cartoon is posted on the refrigerator;
It's still pretty green in the MeadowWild area
and the mighty Blackhoof River still flows unfettered by the icy chains of winter.
We're listed as at 25-50% of peak fall color
with some splashes of red and orange in the neighborhood
but Red Oak Lane has yet to approach
the spectacular colors of a few years ago.
Alice continues to adjust to her new home
working out a hierarchy with the established denizens.
The McCann Farm reports that Mojo is enjoying his time with the ladies
but nobody at MeadowWild seems interested in breeding season just yet;
when they aren't helping with the apple harvest
the gentlemen hang out on their topper and spools, ignoring the ladies
who congregate near the barn instead of the fence line.
We’re hoping for more romantic interest soon.