Friday, July 30, 2010

Milk Goats and Mosquitoes - July 30, 2010

We picked gooseberries for the first time today.  This is a wild plant at the edge of the yard.  There are several others around the property as well.


The arrival of the neighbor's milk goat.

 Establishing the pecking order.  I never could tell who won.  They both just finally stopped.
A hard as they were hitting they should both have a splitting headache.


Friday, July 30, 2010
I was up early this morning to finish up the article I’ve been working on. I let it set for a day and did my final editing this morning. I added a little more stuff and deleted other parts of the article then put together the photo package and photo captions. Since this is being submitted to an online magazine I had to resize the photos to take up less space. I use Adobe Photoshop most of the time although I have other programs that will do the same thing. I take lots of pictures and use the best. I really love digital cameras. I use my Canon Power Shot A480 for most photos but some magazines are a lot more demanding than others. I use my Canon EOS Rebel T1i for them (although the A480 set at 10 mp and with the ASA manually set at 100 does a good enough job for some of them). If you keep the ASA set at 100 or below you get “noiseless” photos good enough for most magazines. I use a tripod for those pictures where detail counts.

After finishing the article and sending it in I took the goat with me as I set more gopher traps. When I had the traps all set the goat and I walked over to feed the buffalo. When we got back I put the goat in the pen and we had lunch then the cat and I conked out for a siesta.

Susan finished up editing a fiction story for another board. There were over 150 pages of run-on sentences and punctuation/spelling errors. She’s spent many hours on it over the past week and finished it up this afternoon.

We took a break for awhile and sat on the porch watching the gooseberries and serviceberries ripen and listening to the garden grow. We let the goat and the chickens out to forage in the yard and watched the cat stalk the chickens and chase the goat’s lead rope.

A neighbor drove up on her 4-wheeler because she couldn’t raise us on the phone. (We were outside.) They’re going camping and needed someone to milk their goat tonight and tomorrow morning. She’ll drop it off later. Susan and I then picked some gooseberries to add to the serviceberries she’d picked earlier.

The neighbor showed up with her goat so we put it in the pen with our little one. Ha! They immediately had to establish the order of dominance and size didn’t seem to matter. The little goat gave as good as he got. Once they calmed down we put our goat outside and left the milk goat in the pen. When it was time to milk her we switched them. The problem we had is that we don’t have a stanchion for milking goats. “No problem” the milk goat said as she jumped up on the picnic table. Susan gave it some grain and I held the collar and stood on one side and Susan began milking from the other side. Then the mosquitoes moved in! They nearly ate the goat alive. (We were rearing heavy jeans and coats with the hood pulled up tight.) I kept busy brushing them off the goat while Susan milked it. We finally got the job done but we lost about half the milk when the goat stepped in the bucket trying to get rid of mosquitoes on her legs. We put her back into the pen with our goat who now has amorous intentions. That shouldn’t be since our goat is supposed to be an “it.” It’s also just three months old. Neither fact seemed to slow down his efforts in the least. So … we loaded up the borrowed goat and took it back to it’s own home. It stays in a fully enclosed dog kennel at night so it should be safe from predators by itself for the night. We’ll go over there in the morning to milk it again.

By the way, have I ever said why we call this “Mosquito Mountain?”

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