As the air turns cooler and the wind starts to blow, they come. “Potato chips” start falling from the sky. They come in all shapes and sizes, and colors. But the goats love them, it is fall leaves I am speaking about. The goats eat them like potato chips! They love them, as they go out into the pasture to graze they seek out and find those wonderful “chips” that have fallen into their pasture area. For them they are a tasty snack, to that end we will take them for walks where they will just gobble them up as they find them! So with the wind we are having today there will be a lot of chips for them!
Around here we have a very special goat, her name is Miss Gita. Her job is herd queen and head of security. When the girls go out to graze, she takes her post. Up on to the rock pile she goes to watch , listen, and smell. She scans the area for any predator that may be lurking and is ready to sound an alarm for the goats to head to the barn! Around here we do have a great and wide assortment of predators who would love a goat dinner! From black bears to stray dogs and coyotes, we got them all. So for this reason their pasture is ringed with electric fence with enough voltage to even stop a black bear. One tried to get in a few weeks ago and did not like the shock he got for his troubles and has not been back since!
Years ago I was watching a movie, in the part where one of the crew members was asked why he wanted to go on this mission to Mars. He replied ” I am looking for God, I may pick up a rock there and turn it over and see an inscription, ‘Made by God’ ” Well this may be humorous in a way it is also very tragic.
Out here we have a very different perspective of the creation. You see, there are not words to describe the wonder of seeing a new life come into the world! A chick hatching from it’s shell, a goat kid being born, a sunset, the stars at night, they all have God’s fingerprint on them. As we look on with wonder and awe, I say to myself “and they say the is no God!” There is no God, if you refuse to open your eyes to our wondrous creation! Here, it is up close and personal and we can not do that, all we can do is marvel at His handiwork. For all creation declares the glory of GOD!!!!!!!
Here in the mountains of West Virgina we have four seasons! This fourth season is a split season. Meaning it spans different parts of the year. You city slickers probably have no idea what it is so I will enlighten you! Mud season starts with cool temps and a lot of rain. Then walk around on bare ground and you have mud. There are several types of mud, you know; there is the loose slushy type all the way up to and including the pull your boot off quicksand! Around the house we just have the loose slushy type. If you want quicksand you need to go up to the spring! In this area there is one and only one thing that can defeat mud season; that is rocks and lots of them, tons in fact. The stone companies love this time of year as hapless victims call for truck loads of stone to fill in the quagmire they used to call a driveway/road! This is the only known thing to combat mud season, we pray for colder weather so the mud will freeze until spring mud season!
As the days grow shorter and a chill stirs in the air, the goats thoughts start to wander a bit. It is breeding season on the farm and the goats are starting to feel the yearning to find a mate. Goats come into season every 19 to 21 days during this part of the year. Only during a 24 to 36 hour window can they be successfully bred. The hard part is knowing exactly when that is and be ready! This year we are going to be doing AI with most of the goats. So we watch and mark our calendar. We want to breed them in November so their kids are born in April after the cold winter weather is over. So we have several cycles to watch before they end their breeding season in January. So for now, we can only watch and wait!
For us the answer is yes. As summer turns into fall an assortment of large spiders take up residence in the barn. They take care of some of the flies and other flying bugs there. As Michelle tends the goats she will look for and find a bug that she can throw up into the spider’s web. The spider seems to like it and happily climbs down to clam his new prize. The bug on the other hand seems quite bummed. Michelle remarks he has to eat too…!