Monday, July 28, 2014

muddy monday

Lately I seem to spend a large part of every day soaking wet.
Maybe it's been a tremendously humid Spring and Summer,
or maybe I'm becoming even less tolerant of humidity, which has always been difficult.
I don't know.
But even the simplest task, done slowly, soon has me soaked in sweat.
And then, there's been all this rain.
I'm not complaining! Just commenting.
I feel very concerned for those living in drought conditions,
especially in fire-prone areas.
People and wildlife alike.

Today, I was puttering in the barn, doing the daily mucking out
and dragging the big trugs-o-muck out to the Very Raised Bed,
then raking the wet hay and goat pellets down into the piled wood.
It wasn't very hot at all - maybe low 80s - and I had a fan blowing in the barn.
And still, I was soaked.
When I finished up (it's never finished, I just mean when I couldn't do any more)
I came back to the house to switch to dry clothes.
About two minutes later, I looked out the window and saw a wind coming up.
And the sky going dark. Really dark.
Hurricane dark.
I went back outside to quickly add more hay to the feeders,
so the goats sheltering in the barn would have plenty to do without squabbling.
And my, what a rain. It started when I was nearly back at the house,
but water was dripping off my hair and clothes when I got in.

Here's a terrible shot through my bedroom window, of the porch roof:

A deluge, with roll after roll of thunder.
Fortunately not much wind.
I'm hoping no more trees came down.
(There's been a lot of that in recent storms.)

When it ended, the light was dramatic.
This is not a flash picture, but it looked so much like one
I had to check the camera twice:

And amazingly clear air, and sunshine:

I went out to check on the goats, because there had been some
really big thunder cracking right overhead,
and I was a bit concerned about the babies.
All was well. Everyone was eating.
Of course I couldn't get a picture of the babies, because they started
bouncing around as soon as they saw me coming.
They consider me an excellent Entertainment Opportunity these days.
(Fair play; I feel much the same about them.)

But this little snapshot captures year-old Tsuga pretty well:

You can tell from her face in this picture that she is still a youngster.
She is Lily's daughter from last Spring.
I feel really sorry for Tsuga.
She doesn't have anyone to buddy-up with now that Lily
(who was glued to Tsuga every hour for an entire year,
even sleeping with her chin resting on Tsuga for a fluffy pillow)
has her new babies and hasn't got a kind word for Tsuga anymore.

This is typical behavior when a doe has new kids, but it's very harsh.
Very hard to watch.
I remember vividly when LeShodu had the boys, Acer and Betula,
and immediately turned on the year-old Lily and Violet.
It was terribly sad, but as sisters, at least they had each other.
Tsuga's cousin Sambucus is the same age, but has a harsher disposition
and I keep her with her mother, Violet,
because they are peas in a pod. Tough peas.
Even if I put Tsuga and Bui together, they wouldn't really buddy up.

And although I do my best to cheer her up,
I am no substitute for a goat when it comes to company and conversation.
So Tsuga is odd-goat-out until the herd dynamics shift again...
when the babies get a bit older, perhaps,
or when the herd numbers change for one reason or another.

Hang in there, Tsuga. 
It may seem stormy at the moment, 
but this too shall pass.


  1. You have such understanding of your goats and empathy with them. How lucky they are. And those massive drenching storms with lightning and booming all night, sounds like our weather here in central NJ at the moment. Followed by clear lovely day, low humidity. Low for us, that is!

    1. We had such pleasant weather today it was genuinely hard to believe...but my helper informed me we are now expecting another long run of muggy roasting. Makes it hard to be idle on a comfortable day!

  2. It's amazing how your half of the country has been getting soooo much rain and the half I live on is soooo dry. If only we could spread that rain out across the country so we could all get what we need. That sure was a downpour you got! Looks like a waterfall from the roof! Humidity is nice to a point but I totally understand how it gets tiring after a while...especially when it's hot. The extreme dryness is tough on the sinuses but much easier to do stuff without getting soaked so quickly in sweat. I'm glad you and the goats are ok. That's so interesting about the light after the storm. Wow! Take care!

  3. I would love a cuddle with Tsuga, she just looks so soft and fluffy!

    1. She is! Her top coat is a combination of almost wiry guard hair and the most amazing smooshy soft stuff. Everyone who sees her has to pat her :)

  4. herd always makes me laugh when people see two animals getting along and say something like, "humans should do as well" or "we can learn from animals"...yeah. What those folks don't see are the nasty behavior that sometimes results in injury or death. Animals, like humans, can be cruel and mean just because. I see it every day in the horse herd where there's a pecking order. Sometimes that order changes but rarely. Anyway, it's been wet here, chilly as well and, last night, I slept in a flannel nightgown and was comfortable. Be safe out there Quinn.

  5. We had a violent thunderstorm the day we came back from camping. I was glad we were in a house and not in a trailer that night! The lilies do look amazing in the after-storm lighting. I love it when a good storm clears the air. Poor little Tsuga :( There's always a pecking order in animals, but hopefully they don't fret over it in the same way we do. My sister has horses, and her 36 year old mare got hounded horrendously by the other horses because she was so old (she used to be top of the bunch!). But when my sister separated her from the others to give her some relief, Penny would whinny and scream for the others so badly, that she finally put them back together again. It's just the way things were. We used to sneak our baby goat into the house ;) She put the poor dog in his place on those occasions! Wendy x

    1. I think the "herd" instinct can be a hard road..."must have companions at any cost!" It's hard to watch at times.
      If I ever brought a goat into the house I think Piper would stop speaking to me! Right after she snuck into the kitchen and emptied the rubbish across the entire room.


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