Saturday, April 17, 2010

Evening With a Goat

We've been trying to sit down by the pond in the evenings now that the weather is so beautiful. We're using those folding chairs that the goats smell dog on, so we constantly have goats nosing around us.

Irving the cat likes to hang with us too. When he jumped up this time, he and Arlene the goat actually touched noses, but of course I missed that picture, so I got this one instead.

If you're wondering what Irving is staring at, of course it's the ducks.

We're certainly a bizarre little family...

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Irving Catches a Duck -- NOT

Irving the cat is such an embarrassment. He really thinks he can catch a duck...and the ducks think he's a complete buffoon.

In the picture below, he starts to stalk two of the smaller female ducks. (I hadn't realized when I took the picture that I caught the goat sticking her tongue out too.) Halley, our white cat, takes up the stalking stance too, but she's a smart cat, so quickly gives it up and goes to roll in goat urine.

Then Irving decides it's better to try catching Corky, the huge Muscovy duck with claws.

Corky ignores him and walks away, so Irving tries the two female Mallards again. I promise you that they know he's there. They just don't care. They walk away several times, and he stalks them again, each time getting this close. You can see how concerned they and the other ducks are.

They continue to ignore him, so finally he looks at us with this 'shouldn't I be higher in the food chain than this?" look.

Irving, you're an idiot. But in a good way.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Be Careful, Irving!

I can't decide whether Irving the cat is brave...or a foolhardy idiot...when it comes to the goats. They're so much bigger, and have horns, but he stays put even when they get way too close for comfort. Emma was feeling itchy yesterday, so she laid down to roll in the dirt, right by Irving. (He blends in, so look for him in the dirt just down the hill from her.)

She started to roll, while Irving watched with interest.

I love the expression on her face here.

But I really love this next picture. Look how Irving is clearly nervous, but holding his ground.

Of course, I guess being brave doesn't exclude being a foolhardy idiot...
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Distracted By a Goat

I took a folding chair, plus a book and a local newspaper, down to the pond to relax yesterday evening. It wasn't as relaxing as I thought it would be.

First a goat came and licked my newspaper.

Then she gently head-butted my knee until I abandoned my chair. She knocked it over, and then bit it.

It didn't seem that bad to me, but it came from my mother's house, and I think it must smell like dog. At any rate, they didn't like it, and pushed it around while I watched. Then Arlene noticed I had dropped my book on the ground and tried to eat it.

I pulled it away from her and tried to gain control over the situation. It turns out that goats don't really understand a firm 'NO,' like cats and dogs do.

They wouldn't listen to me at all...but one look from my husband, and they walked away and started grazing.

I can't even get respect from a goat. How pathetic is that?

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Life In the Pond - Tadpoles

In a walk around the pond this evening, I saw thousands of tadpoles massed in a swarm in the shallows by the dam.

Last year -- our first year in this house -- we noticed that this pond didn't have cacophony of frogs that the previous pond we lived on had. We speculated that it was because the builder had used Roundup all along the pond so his cattle could get to it.

We haven't used any herbicides or pesticides, and I think this spring we're going to hear the results!

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Green Has Consequences

The spring pollen is here with a vengeance. It's collecting at one end of the pond. We're seeing pollen dust devils in the driveway. I think it's worse than last year, but I could just be blanking out last year.

One of our goats prefers hay to grass. Look at the difference between her nostrils...

...and the nostrils of the goat who prefers to eat the pollen-crusted grass.

I wonder if goats have allergies?
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Inappropriate Place for a Camera

This picture says "If You Find This Facility Unsatisfactory, Contact Fire Department." What's unusual about that? It's in a public restroom. Now I want everyone to know that I don't normally take pictures in public restrooms, but this was irresistible. It's at a park on Jekyll Island, GA, a barrier island off the coast of Brunswick, Georgia that's two-thirds undeveloped by state legislation.

It's a small island, so I guess the fire department does pretty much everything. It's also one of the most beautiful places on earth, along with its sister Sea Islands. The area has gorgeous marshes, history, coastal forest, and pretty beaches.

My family's originally from the Brunswick area, so I may be biased, but the live oaks with their Spanish moss alone make it worth the trip. We were there over the last few days, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.

I love where I live, but there's something about the beach that's so relaxing...

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Foot-Petting a Goat

I'm not kicking this goat, I promise. My husband and I were sitting on the bench by the pond, admiring the afternoon. I had my legs crossed, and Arlene the goat came up and gently but insistently pushed her head up under my foot. She wanted to be petted, and she didn't care how.

I foot-petted her for a moment, then she ran off to play again.

After having these goats, I understand now that petting zoos aren't for the children...they're for the goats!
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