It’s that time of year. The goatie boys are definitely getting ripe. Bagels the brown buck is not quite as ready for the ladies as Beige Boy, aka Mr. Nasty. Yes, Mr. Nasty. For a buck under a year old, he is amazingly pungent and is very adept at peeing on his legs and rubbing it all over his face. I don’t even have to be halfway up the driveway and I can already get a whiff. And now comes the dangerous part: he is very friendly to me right now because he can smell the girls on my clothing. Which means that he may be more willing to challenge me once he is in with the does. But for now, he spends his days with his head through the fence calling to the girls, who tease him mercilessly. I am afraid he is going to have to wait another week. At least he has not been able to get over or through the fence like happened at Butting Heads Farm!
So this year I am not up nights worrying about whether or not the artificial insemination is going to work or not, like in the last two autumns. We are going to have an old fashioned breeding, and cross our fingers and toes that all four does get bred. One more week and we can let the little guy in with the girls. I just hope they don’t beat him up!
We have been very lucky not to have to turn on the heat until the end of last week. The week has been mostly beautiful, with bright moonshine and frosty mornings. But the temperature has taken a nose dive, and I have been scrambling to get my chore clothes figured out. Work clothes, as well. Transition seasons are always a little crazy in the clothing department!
My husband and I have been on a quest to find a decent hooded sweatshirt that isn’t as heavy as a Carhartt model. John and I have been wrangling over the same ripped up, saggy hoodie for the last two years and we decided to travel down to Freeport and check out LL Bean. Little did we know that there was a huge pumpkin-carving festival going on (proceeds of which are going to Camp Sunshine). It was wonderful! Some very creative pumpkin carvings. Something like 6,000 pumpkins had been donated. (And we both bought amazing hooded sweatshirts that are lightly lined, and just perfect – in different colors so there should be no thievery!).
It’s a very cloudy, blustery day today, and it didn’t feel like a chore to zip around the Midcoast. We had a very lovely day. I have not been good about blogging in the last week or so, and I have a collection of photos for the post that are random from the last few days. And, it feels like a hot drink kind of evening, although what that might be I just don’t know!
This is definitely the weekend that I look forward to when I can. The New York Sheep and Wool Show in the Hudson Valley in Rhinebeck. Wow. it’s quite the festival. A lot of our friends are down there, and I am hoping the weather was as beautiful there today as it was here. Spectacular day, actually.
Since none of our spinning group could get down there, we decided to have a ‘Not at Rhinebeck’ party. As usual, we outdid ourselves with the potluck food, and I am still in a quasi-food coma! It was a blast, as always. I guess we just can’t help ourselves. Everyone converged on our house, and it was a blast. Lots of laughter, great food and some spinning and knitting actually ensued as well.
While I was doing chores this morning I bent over to put the grain in the feeder for the two bucks and Zorro the Llama, and as I was standing up I was briefly eye to eye with BB and I not only got a close-up view, but a good sniff. Wow! Rank! He must have just started in the last few days as I have not noticed before. He is peeing on his front legs and rubbing it all over his face. Ah, the delights of goat courting and breeding season :*) He is spending most of his time mooning next to the fence, calling to the girls. When one comes closer he begins to chortle at them. What a hoot! He is definitely the man of the day. And the girls are finding him very interesting indeed. He may have to moon over them for a few more weeks, I am planning on trying the breeding group together in November. I am hoping for goat kids in April, preferably as close to (or into) my April week off! If I were a betting sort, I would probably bet against myself. Things don’t usually work out that neatly!
I wonder if Beige Boy knew I was deciding which way to run with the breeding plan. If so, he has sold himself well. I don’t think our little Bagels the Alpine/LaMancha buck is really up to tackling things this year. He has been fighting worminess and anemia, and I think he can just grow and wait to be our most important guy for next year.
As usual, the week is flying by, punctuated by meetings both before and after school. We have really launched into the autumnal weather, forcing us to finally break down and turn on the heat. The leaves are quickly turning color, and after the heavy rains this past Monday night, Tuesday morning became my first official ride to work on roads covered with wet, slippery leaves. It’s always an adventure!
The really beautiful part of this time of year for me is not only the trees, but the sky. When I think of it I am trying to post photos to Instagram (ruitfarmnorth on Instagram), and most of those recently have been interesting and beautiful sky shots. This morning I was driving to work and as I came around a curve on Route 32 in Waldoboro, I pulled to the side to take an amazing one of the dawn sky over Broad Bay. (If I had waited for the next curve, I could have gotten a view of that sky over a foggy hillside that falls down to the water… but there was not place to pull over on that one!)
I had to include two of my favorite things here that represent the passing of one season into another, which are the tomato salad and the beets in the roasting pan. Very sad to see the tomato season over, but definitely looking forward to root vegetable time of year.
It was about time! Time to see the old cars exit the driveway. The 11 year old Subaru as well as the 1989 Jeep Cherokee. It was amazing :*) The old Jeep didn’t have inflated tires, so the man had to put it on the flatbed and tow the other vehicle he had just picked up, and the Subaru was driven off by his friend, behind the tow truck. Wow. A lot of good memories and good times.
I don’t know why we even moved the old Jeep up to Maine with us, but we did. It’s been a pain in the neck all these years.
The room in the driveway is definitely welcome, particularly with the winter coming.
I have had a most lovely read this past two days. We are beginning to get our book orders in at both my schools, and I snatched one of the books as I was cataloging them and could not put it down (an awesome perk of my job). It is a YA (young adult) novel, which is my favorite category of good reads. I just can’t get past them. I hardly ever read “adult” fiction anymore, I have such a wonderful supply of great literature at my fingertips.
This book, The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde, is just spectacular! I could not put it down. Wonderful characters, great plot, and a lot of action go a long way to making this a book I was sorry to leave.
An alternate UK reality is the setting for the book. Magicians and sorcerers have been losing their powers and they fear the old magic is going to disappear. The main character, Jennifer Strange, is an indentured foundling who runs the Kazam Mystic Arts Employment Agency for wizards and magicians, and she is very creative in trying to keep the agency afloat. Of course, the 15 year old Strange is in for some riotous adventures as she discovers some things about herself along the way to helping ‘Big Magic’ return to the Ununited Kingdoms. My favorite character in the book was Jennifer’s loyal Quarkbeast (“a small hyena-shaped creature. . .often described as one-tenth Labrador, six-tenths Velociraptor, and three-tenths kitchen food blender”) who tries to protect her and can only say”Quark!”.
I have not read any of Fforde’s adult novels, but I may have to take a look. The Last Dragonslayer is a funny and clever send up of politics in general, and also takes a big stab at consumer-driven culture. Very witty and an altogether fun read. There is a sequel out which I am going to get as an audiobook so I can listen in the car (Song of the Quarkbeast). If you love Terry Pratchett, Jasper Fforde will not let you down!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!