Monday, August 12, 2019

goats and gardens

There's no better feeling for a person raising livestock than to hear an expert say your animals "look good." Last week, not-my-usual-vet came out and did annual shots for the herd. He commented repeatedly on the condition and manners of my goats, which left me feeling pretty darned good. I don't take my goats to shows, and very few of the people who come here and see them are "goat people," so it's rare for me to get this kind of feedback. Rare and sweet.

Tsuga says, "You know he was talking about ME, right?"

It's taken several years of encouragement, but there are now three separate milkweed stands producing flowers here, and my efforts to bring Monarch butterflies back to my place are ever so gradually paying off.

Last year my Occasional Helper spotted the first chrysalis - which was unfortunately attached to a fence in a high-risk spot. After a lot of thought, I decided it's chances were better in the house, so I had the experience of watching it slowly develop into an actual butterfly. Pretty much everyone I know has had this experience - usually in childhood - but I never did. So it was especially magical.

This year, I saw two Monarchs dancing around the gardens!

And a couple of days ago I noticed one of these, in two of the milkweed stands:


Remember last year's zinnias? I started seeds in peat pots, transplanted them into the terrace garden, and they bloomed and bloomed and bloomed and brought me joy every single day.

This year I mixed seeds saved from last year's flowers with a few left in 2018 packets, and seeded them directly into the garden. They have just begun to bloom and it's so exciting to see what colors they are turning out to be. I already have plans to find seeds for zinnia colors I particularly enjoy, and plant even more next year.


How I love them.

Sometimes when the very last flower on a stem is blooming,
I bring it into the house to enjoy for it's precious day.
Like this:

And perhaps to draw:

And speaking of drawing...I think I answered every comment in the previous post,
but I want to say a general "thank you" again.
I am so grateful that each of you took the time to reply, and I am pleased as punch that you are not getting tired of the daily markmaking adventure.
You lovely people made me the same kind of happy as the vet who complimented me on the condition of my goats! Thank you so much!


  1. Tsuga looks absolutely fantastic! And your flowers look really good too. :)

  2. Very nice to get expert praise! The vet has no doubt seen, and wrestled with, animals with varying degrees of socialization. Animals who know they're cared for as individuals know it. They trust people.

  3. Congratulations!
    Good luck with the butterflies.
    I've seen one here so far. The milkweed plants, I tried to dig them up and out of the way of weeding. The stems are deeper than expected, and no roots came out of the ground. Next year, I'll try transplanting them to a safe place when they are young

  4. Goats! I've missed them. A friend of mine helps the Monarchs go through their transformation. She has a bunch of them in container indoors. Your flowers are pretty!

  5. So good to have affirmation that your animals are as special as you think they are. Obviously you're doing something right! And I'm happy to see that you're helping the monarchs. Here, for the longest time, milkweed was classed as a noxious weed and killed off. Now it's nice to see it coming back and the butterflies along with it.

  6. Love the daylily drawing. But the goat portrait--aawwww! It makes me happy when animals are so well cared-for. It's been too long since I've seen a Monarch, but if I never see the first three stages of the metamorphosis it will be too soon--the larva/caterpillar freaks me out!


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