There was a solar Eclipse last week and it’s about time I posted the photos! Phil tells me there was some speculation among folks on Facebook about what animals would do during an eclipse. Some even wondered if they should get eclipse sunglasses for their dogs. I wonder if some folks maybe ought to not own animals.
As you can tell, our animals were completely terrified of the sudden dimness. They went into a feeding frenzy in a vain attempt to stifle their utter terror.
Nubbin is horrified by Pluto’s failure to wear doggy eclipse glasses. Everyone knows that goats with their horizontal laser pupils can stare unblinking at the full noon sun, but dogs will go blind during an eclipse and ought to take more care to wake up from their naps and put on eye protection.
Tinny demonstrates the famous caprine eclipse-staring ability.
Little Coral was overcome by “eclipse madness” and began to levitate.
King Finn takes to his podium to calm the frenzied crowd.
On the human end of things, Phil rigged up a cardboard projector by duct taping our binoculars to a tripod. We only had about 90% totality, and since the day was cloudy I wasn’t sure we’d be able to see much. But the clouds were often thin enough to give us a view, and the projector was good enough we could still see some sunspots and watch the clouds drift across the image on the paper.
In fact, the thicker cloud cover gave us the opportunity to view the eclipse directly and get photos of it without a filter.
The light across the valley took on an eerie hue, almost as though a huge thunderstorm was brewing. Apparently our house will be right smack dab in “the zone” for the total eclipse of 2045. Supposedly that eclipse will have six minutes of totality! As even this 90% eclipse was pretty nifty, I’m eager to see what a full eclipse is like.
The chariots are coming together! I bought some heavy sheet plastic from an online motorsports site. Now we just need to add decals!
This is the dead-end circle where there are two big, noisy, ferocious-looking dogs behind an invisible fence. Sputnik had a meltdown last time we drove here. This time he went round the circle like a champ! Finn did very well too.
What a handsome trio!
Everyone went very well the whole time and we had just turned to head back to the truck when something startled Finn in a big way. Phil and I were driving side by side when Finn suddenly bolted with a loud snort. This spooked Sputnik and both goats took off like a shot, almost leaving Phil and I behind on the pavement. Good thing neither of us was standing up in our chariots! Our goats “huddled,” escalating the situation into a full-blown Hollywood-style chariot race. When goats panic they form a tight bunch and run shoulder-to-shoulder. Well, that’s what Finn and Sputnik did and of course our chariot wheels locked. There was a loud ripping noise of tire scraping tires and an acrid smell of burnt rubber as we raced full-tilt down the street. Had it gone on much longer we might have started smoking! However, we managed to stop before the tires were damaged and then we had to get out and unlock our wheels. We led our frightened charges for a while until they calmed down and their breathing became less frenzied. I’m not sure what set Finn off. There are bears in those woods, but we never saw one.
We get a lot of stares when we drive around town with this crew in the back!
Finn loves his buddy Phil.
I got a REALLY COOL gift in the mail today!
It’s a Marc Warnke “kid pack”!! Tigerlily thought she’d model it for us today. It fits her perfectly! It will be so much better than the dog pack she’s been wearing (and which is really too small for her).
“I do look wonderful in this pack, don’t I?”
It also fits Sputnik (barely). The cinch *just* stretched around his enormous grass belly. This will be the perfect pack to take on little short trips and day hikes. I’m so glad it works for a full-sized goat.
Anyone remember these tiny, adorable little cuties?
Yeah, me neither. Last week, as though someone flipped a switch, they went from slightly musky and still pet-able to burn-your-nose hairs stinky and I-don’t-want-you-within-ten-yards-of-me. With rippling swaths of muscle, they no longer bear much resemblance to the snuggling, huggable creatures we brought home last year in April. They’re still very friendly and they don’t understand why the last thing I want to do is touch them or let them rub against me!
I’m not sure what happened, but Rocky’s skin has somehow grown about twice as much as the rest of him, so he looks more like a Shar-pei than a goat.
Rambo, on the other hand, gets more regal all the time.
Rambo is proud of his ladies.
Since rain was in the forecast this afternoon, Phil and I took our hike this morning. We chose the Greenhorn Trail, and–who’s that peeking at us from behind Finn??
Why, it’s Tornado and Storm!! Yep, we decided to bring a couple of the Nubblets for their first hike today! These two are going to a new home together once they are weaned and we want to make sure they are at least introduced to the idea of hiking. This was their first time away from their mama and brother and there was a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth in the beginning. They had a tendency to lag far behind crying, and then eventually race to catch up when they realized we weren’t coming back for them. I found that it was quicker going if I kept one of them on a leash so they would keep up.
Tornado and Storm even had their first experience crossing water. I’m not sure they learned anything except, “It’s wet”. I had to drag them each across one at a time. There was very little voluntary walking. They could have followed me across on the stepping stones (my feet stayed dry!), but instead they preferred to use the rocks to brace themselves against the pull of the leash. This usually ended with them sitting down in the water and getting not only their feet but also their bottoms wet.
And now it’s Storm’s turn.
Finn demonstrated one way to cross without getting wet. The Nubblets did not follow his example I’m afraid.
We got sprinkled on during the hike, but not enough to make us wet. The big rain didn’t start until around 5:00 this evening–just in time for Phil and I to get soaked putting everyone to bed.
Phil and I were invited to bring goats to the Beulah Arts & Crafts Fair again this year so we brought Sputnik and the cart. To keep things simple we opted not to bring a whole entourage this time. Besides, Finn has been amusing himself recently by rubbing his body and especially his face all over our bucks, who just came into full stinky rut during the past week. Sputnik has been rubbing them too, but not nearly the extent that Finn has. I felt that Sputnik would probably clean up pretty well with a single bath, but Finn would likely take several washings to get rid of the pungent reek around his head. Sputnik loves to get a bath, so the choice was easy.
We didn’t get many photos, but Sputnik was a good boy for most of the afternoon. He began to sulk as the afternoon dragged on and got hot. He couldn’t have been tired–the work wasn’t that hard–but he felt that the world was not quite fair to him and started balking when I’d lead him off with a fresh batch of kids. We quit soon after that and I let him graze for a while before we went home. And miracle of miracles–we did not get rained on! I must also add that Sputnik seems to genuinely like children. He enjoyed having them come up and pet him after a ride, and he even shook hands with one girl repeatedly despite the fact that he was obviously bored of the trick. He’s a good boy.
Look at those matching banded legs standing all in a row in the trough!
Sox is fast becoming a very handsome young man.
Westin says, “I’m handsome too!”
I think they’re both handsome.
Our siblings are going to be quite distraught when I separate the brothers into the boys’ pen in the next week or so. I was hoping to have begun weaning them already, but the constant rain has made me hesitant to put anyone in a situation where they might be chased out of shelter. The boys are starting to get fresh with the older ladies, but they are so far maintaining a fairly innocent love for their sisters so it’s probably safe to keep them together a bit longer.
Sanibel looks so much like her pappa!
What’s with the pouty lip?
Little Coral has the most innocent face of any goat I’ve ever met. What makes it even sweeter is that it’s actually genuine! She’s a truly adorable little goat–not mischievous or bossy or even greedy. It might be too much to wish that she stays that way, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.
Westin’s markings are getting more and more striking. It’s a pity his black martingale will likely disappear once he’s wethered.
I finally got some photos of our new Alpine does, Nauti and TinCup, this afternoon! It’s been raining nearly every night at walk time, so many of our walks have either had to be cancelled or cut short as we try to get everyone under shelter before we all get fried by lightning, so photos have kind of been on the back burner. But today I finally brought the camera! We still got rained on a little, but not too bad.
The two girls are doing great. They’ve established their places in the herd and aren’t being kicked out of shelters when it rains. They consistently follow the troop around the property to browse, and they’ve formed a bond with Tigerlily in particular. Nauti is on the left and TinCup is on the right.
The girls adore Phil. He pets them and talks to them every morning when I milk, and he spoils them with treats the rest of the time.
Tin and Pluto share a moment. The girls were terrified of our dogs at first, but it didn’t take them long to adjust.
Nauti needs to gain some more weight! She’s a hard worker and has been putting every ounce of extra fat into the milk pail. I cut her back to once a day milking and hopefully that will help a lot.
TinCup is delighted to be up to her ears in eatables.
I’ve been feeding the girls a little supplemental alfalfa in the evenings before I let everyone else into the pen. They seem to appreciate it. Sometimes I let the babies in there with them. The girls are both wonderful with the kids. Nauti has been helping Nubbin by nursing a couple of the triplets every morning when I put her on the stanchion. As long as I supervise to make sure they’re being gentle, she doesn’t kick at them.