Sunday, October 10, 2010

Getting ready for winter

Last week's chance of rain had us scrambling to put things back under shelter, caulk the holes in the shed and getting the chimneys cleaned out and ready to use.  Some things we try to do all summer, like cutting and stacking fire wood,  but there is invariably a fall scramble to get everything done.

There's a reason for fall cleaning in addition to spring cleaning.  I need this kick in the pants, I mean opportunity, to organize and put away all of that stuff left laying around out of doors while we work on projects.  Trimming goat hoofs and making new garden trellises means that bags of screws, drill bits, etc., are often left left wherever I used them last in one mad attempt after another to squeeze one more activity into my day, and now we have the seasoning of reckoning at hand.  I've even cleaned out the garden cart!

We're not the only ones getting ready for winter; we found this praying mantis in our bathroom earlier this week, happily munching on a resident crane fly.  The first year we were here we had a mantis take up residence behind the African violet on the bathroom shelf.  There's no plant there now, but this guy seems just as happy hanging out by my deodorant or on the bathroom mirror.

So going down the list, chance of rain scare not withstanding, we have maybe a cord of wood put by, the yard raked, about half the tools put away, fall veggies planted and chimneys cleaned.  We still need to finish roofing the new goat pen, finish organizing the tool box, built a compost bin, organized the garden tools and pots...  I think I'm losing the battle.

Of our babies born this summer, well some of them are almost all grown up, with some surprises.  The triplet doelings are doing superb, and have put on enough growth that they should handle the cold without any problems.  And those twin boys from Pi?  Well, turns out one of them was a girl too!  
Brack, 3 mo old wither from Pi
Bess and Mary, 5 mo old doelings from Maharani

Unfortunately, it turns out that Pi isn't that great for milking.  Small udder, undeveloped teats even after nursing for three months, so we swapped her out with 3/4 La Mancha doe from Quest Enclave, who is Pi's actual owner. In exchange for wintering at our place, I can milk Bean until it's time to dry her up halfway through her next pregnancy, sometime mid-spring.  Already Bean is an obliging, sweet goat who is giving us about a pint of milk each morning. 

Bean, newest addition

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