Saturday, December 3, 2022


A morning sky, November.

In November we had a lot of rain. The little yard in front of the big barn and all the direct paths between the paddocks became muddy. Every footstep, human or caprine, became a pocket to catch more water.

Then the freeze began. Hundreds of little muddy pockets became high-edged frozen craters; uncomfortable walking for anyone, booted or hooved. At least once each day, glancing out the window at the herd, I thought a goat was lame. Then I remembered the craters. The goats weren't lame, but they were walking the way a human might walk through a room full of lego.

Fortunately we also had some lovely days in November, cold and clear. Here is Campion, Azalea's brother, enjoying the Winter sun on his spine. And beard.

Campion's mama, Lily of the Valley, ditto:

Now we are back to warm weather, buckets of rain, and deep mud, and I've been dropping boards here and there to make little walkways. Most of my extensive collection of salvaged lumber has already been re-used in dozens of projects, so new(!) lumber has been sacrificed to provide footing in a couple of very wet spots. Moving a couple of gates to reroute "traffic" could help, but there isn't a lot of leeway in my fencing arrangement. A vet once described my tiny paddocks as "like a jigsaw" which is both humorous and accurate.

Anyway, dealing with the mud takes some time every day, and hooves need to be checked and trimmed more often than usual. Absolutely no one enjoys this, and it's hard on my back, but it's one of those things that Must Be Done, and is never finished. With 56 hooves on the place, I'm pretty pleased if I can just keep up with the constant rotation. A spreadsheet that automatically calculates the time since the last hoof trim for each goat has proven very helpful indeed.

How are things with you? Is it early Winter or early Summer? Is it mucky or parched? What are you doing to take any rough edges off life these days?