Archive for the 'Animals' Category

18th Jun 2007

The Adventures of Blossom the Goat

Got my goat back!

Here’s Blossom’s adventures, as far as I can piece them back together:

Thursday, June 7th, Blossom arrives from friends in Idaho.
Saturday, June 9th, Blossom takes off for the hills some time in the
Sunday, June 10th, my dad thinks he spots her across the lake.
Michael, Alaetheia, and I hike in to find a white boat (not a white
goat) bobbing (not grazing) in the water (not on the shore). Feeling
pretty stupid and tired and sweaty from the mile+ hike, I go ahead and
call to the folks in the boat, “Excuse me! Have you seen a little
white goat?” to which they say, “No” in a tone that indicates they think I’m as weird as I feel.

But I don’t care, because I already feel dumb, and now I’m
doubly goat-depressed.
We put up signs at the post boxes and the post office.
We go into a goat funk.
We go into goat mourning.
We come back out of the funk.
Friday, June 15th we get a call from some folks who had the goat back
on Sat. and Sun., but she ran off again. Now we at least have an idea
of which way she went (because “head for the hills” pretty much is
omni-directional from our place).

My dad saw a bob cat.
This was before we got the goat.
The coyotes are raising their pups.
We’re not hopeful.

Saturday, June 16th, we put up more signs–eight–on our way to town.
We start getting calls:
First, a gal who thinks she saw our goat on Craigslist.
Then some folks who had her briefly, but she was making their dogs (a
Neufie and a St. Bernard) cower, so they took her to friends.
Then a guy who says, “I think my friends have your goat.
Incidentally, I’m one of the folks who was on the boat you were
hollering at on Sunday . . .”

Exactly one week after we lost her, we are reunited with Blossom,
who’s only a little worse for the wear. Actually, she’s not worse for
the wear at all. She’s pretty spiffy.


Posted in Animals, Musings | No Comments »

15th Jul 2006

Saturday, July 15th : What Barn Kittens Love


This is about as whole as we’ve seen their mom drag in. These guys are serious carnivores–and they’re only nominally bigger than what their mom drags in.


I swear we offer them cat food. Plenty of it.

And yet . . . .


What’s not to love about dead rodent?

(And yes–we’re very careful to make sure what we think we’re grabbing is actually a kitty *before* we grab it).

Posted in Animals, Musings, What's for Dinner | 2 Comments »

08th Jul 2006

Alpaca Shearing, July 8, 2006

We sheared the alpacas for the first time today. More specifically, this was *our* first shearing–they’ve been sheared once a year for the past 6 or 7. And, to be fair, we didn’t do the shearing, the shearer did, but Michael held the heads, and I scooped and bagged the fiber . . . so it’s not like we were just eating bon-bons on the porch.
They look like this when you start:


and this is what they look like when you’re done:



First, you have to catch the alpacas. They’re flighty and they’re fast, so this involves a certain amount of trickery. Since we already had the stock panels set up outside the pasture gate, I lured them with grain, then closed the gate.


But we didn’t have fenced area up by the house, so Michael loaded 6 stock panels onto the back of the mule and trucked them up the hill, after he walked up with us.


That would be Fudgy, Michael, Pablo, Jen, and Alaetheia. Note the green shirt, a good colour to wear while working with unhappy alpacas.


Here’s the boys, waiting for the slaughter . . . er, shearer.


We have a goat, too, Piccalo, also known as “Piggylo” and just “Piggy” for short in our alpaca herd. My grandmother thought he *was* a pig when she came for a visit . . . she didn’t actually get on the pature to get a good gander at him. He was not happy when we walked the boys up the driveway, and he bleated quite a bit until Michael, while retrieving the stock panels to make a working area on the garage pad told him that they were up the hill (you wouldn’t think this was a surprise, owing to his having watched us walk up with them), and he trotted on up to hang out. After a bit, he decided the grass was greener, and squeezed under the panels to eat some lovely weeds. We decided he should probably go back to the pasture when the shearer arrived.


Joe (our shearer) running the cutters on the hind of Pablo while Michael holds his head.


Hoof trimming.


One down, one to go.


Joe trimming, Michael holding, Jen scooping fiber, Fudgy screaming–non-stop.


All done.

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