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.