Tuesday, April 22, 2014

weekend away

Last week, I had a sudden thought:
wouldn't it be a good idea to revisit the farm where I bought my first cashmere does?

NOT to buy more goats.
Seriously, just not an option.
I am close to carrying capacity on my little piece of property,
which is why I bred only two does this year.
No, just to visit, and ask questions, and "talk goats" with cashmere experts.

So I called the farm.
Then I called my new critter-sitter.
Then I had about 48 hours to get ready for a 500-mile roundtrip weekend in Maine.

"Be sure to arrange for daily hay in ALL our preferred locations!"

There's nothing like picturing someone else doing the chores,
to make you realize how many things you've been meaning to get around to
changing or fixing or writing down.

For example:

As I made a chart of the various blends that each goat is fed daily,
it occurred to me for the first time:
nine different components of goat feed
stored in nine identical orange buckets
is not much of a "system."

And the gate that Betula has been pushing against with his head
every single morning?
What are the odds he will push right through it while I am away,
and release three big goats into the bigger world?
Pretty good odds, that's what.

So I spent two busy days patching, mending, reorganizing, and noting.

And then, because of course I want my goats to look their best for company,

I washed all their collars.

I got 'em.


The trip was a bit of a whirlwind, but certainly fun and productive.

Sorry, I didn't take a lot of pictures - mostly just visual note-taking.
But here is something you may find interesting...

this is the young buck Samson, visiting here in November 2011.
Five months later, LeShodu and Samson's sons Acer and Betula were born.

I liked Samson a lot, and was surprised and delighted to see him again last weekend.

Since making his contribution to the cashmere gene pool, Samson has been wethered,
and is now a companion to a large herd of does. Here he is:

Such a handsome, happy fellow, enjoying a wonderful life.
He walked right up to me for a head-rub, and we had a lovely visit.
It's always a special treat to run into old friends unexpectedly.

Piper didn't come to Maine, because there are livestock guardian dogs on the farm.
She had excellent company here, though,
and when I got home the last of the snow had melted.
No matter what the weather does now, Piper and I have declared Winter OVER. 
Back to regular romps in the woods!

This picture is after a good run, much exploration, and several plunges through a stream.

One of us was ready for a lie-down.