All posts by Nan Hassey

A Rocky Start

Pongo had a rough first couple of days. It took him about 48 hours to finally start getting up and walking on his own. Phil or I would go out every hour or two and give him a bit of physical therapy in the form of standing him up, supporting him as he shuffled along, and moving his joints, which seemed to want to flex in every direction. We were also concerned that his heartbeat and breathing were abnormally fast. I have a wonderful friend who is a vet and I asked her to come take a look at him on Tuesday. When she arrived, I grabbed both babies from where they were laying in their shelter and brought them into the house where we could all be warm during Pongo’s examination. It was when I plunked Perdy down on the floor that the vet noticed she wasn’t standing on her right. She’d been hopping around only an hour earlier! We had a look and the leg was broken near the hock joint. I realized with horror that some goat must have stepped on her! I don’t have any goats that are mean to babies, but Perdy must have been lying in the doorway of the shelter or under one of the feeders and got trampled by accident.

So it turned out to be a good thing I had the vet here! She made a splint for Perdy’s leg and then she checked out Pongo. She agreed that his heartbeat was abnormally fast, but she couldn’t hear anything really wrong with it. He’s bright and active and has a pretty good appetite so she said to just keep doing what we were doing with the physical therapy.   

Because we now had two special needs kids, we decided to set up an enclosure in our basement where we could keep an eye on them and make sure no other goats could step on them. We brought Snowball in to feed them and settle them into their new temporary home before taking her back outside.

Babies love having a cubby hole to hide in, so we found a cardboard box for them to crawl into. It barely fits the two of them together, but I think they like being smooshed in there.

We were expecting cold weather the next day, but the predicted storm passed us by and we were able to let the babies out with their mama in the big pen for most of the day. Pongo was intrigued by the dog, who responded to Pongo’s inquisitive prodding with a slow flapping of his tail. It was pretty adorable!

Perdy adapted to her cast pretty quickly and was hopping around and exploring just as much as her brother. In some ways this is convenient. Having a baby goat with a broken leg is sad, but since her brother is slow to develop it’s slowed her down to his pace. She was kind of jumping all over him before and being a little bit annoying. Now they are both shuffling around and gaining mobility at a similar pace.

Snowball was happy to enjoy a day of sunshine with her new little family. I closed the gate so the other goats couldn’t bother them.

Today Phil and I brought the babies into the house for a while. They found a nook beside the washing machine and promptly curled up in it. Too cute!

We’re Seeing Spots!

We have some new arrivals! Meet Perdy and Pongo! (I’ll bet you can’t tell why we named them that.) I’ve always wanted a Dalmatian dog, but I’m sure I’ll never have one. They just aren’t practical for farm life. But having black and white spotted goats is surely even better!

We were watching Snowball all day yesterday, but I was pretty sure she’d have these two during the night and I was correct. I couldn’t get to sleep because I kept watching her, but I finally dozed off after a final check at 1:00 a.m. I was shaken awake at 2:45 by Phil who had checked the camera and spotted two wet kids wriggling on the ground! It looked like Pongo had just been born about 10-15 minutes earlier and was still pretty wet while Perdy was already cleaned off and attempting to stand. So they must’ve been born between 2:00-2:30. They are adorable and Snowball is doing just grand.

It’s hard to tell these two babies apart. Perdy has lighter gray spots down her back and Pongo’s are darker. They both have black spots on the backs of their necks, but Pongo’s spot is bigger. Still, it’s going to be a job telling who’s who at first glance!

This is Pongo. He’s having a little trouble standing up. The ligaments in his hind end are still all loosey-goosey so his back legs won’t support him yet, but I gave him some selenium and vitamin E and he’s already improving! He sure has no trouble nursing when I hold him up to the milk bar!

This is Perdy. Isn’t she precious?

And tonight you can see them in Phil’s fiddle livestream! 

A Beautiful Christmas Gift

Over late summer and fall, Phil and I made friends with a couple, Zen and Vanessa, who recently moved to our area. Zen built us a 20,000 gallon rainwater cistern that, when full, should supply all of our household needs through many months of drought. Zen and Vanessa both fell in love with our goats and hope to get their own someday. For Christmas, Vanessa knitted some lovely, warm hats for Phil and I (I’m sure you’ll see them eventually in future blog posts), and Zen painted these gorgeous watercolor pictures of Finn and dear departed Sputnik. I’m amazed that he was able to do such a great job from looking at a couple of my blog post pictures on a tiny cell phone screen. These now occupy a special place in our dining room.

These are the Things We Choose to Remember…

Last week I said goodbye to my dear friend Sputnik. I did not expect to lose him so soon. Sputnik’s legs weren’t straight. In 2017 I took him to CSU to have his joints x-rayed because they were not aligned correctly. The vets thought his tendons were contracted. We hoped they would eventually stretch down, and they did a little bit, but it was never enough to give him flexible joints. He was always stiff-legged and a little bit clumsy, but he loved to work and he was not sore, so we didn’t limit his activities in any way. Our long trek through Death Hollow in 2019 changed all of that. Sputnik came away from the adventure with a lot of pain in his lower front legs and especially in the right front. A few days’ break and some anti-inflammatory medication set him right again, but it was the beginning of his winding down.

Our trip to South Dakota in September 2021 was Sputnik’s last. Although he loved being out on the trail, he was sore most of the week. He avoided the trail whenever possible, preferring to walk on the softer grass to the side. We took it easy on him but he was slow and needed frequent breaks.

Sputnik’s last big event was the Christmas parade in December 2021. I gave him painkillers a few hours before and he did a grand job pulling our carriage alongside Finn, but he was limping by the end. He went well through the winter and I hoped that he would be fine as a pasture ornament and occasional carriage puller for the next couple of years. Unfortunately it was not to be. Sputnik’s limp got progressively worse as the weather turned warm, and when June rolled around he began to go downhill rapidly. In the course of just three weeks he went from happily limping around the yard to barely walking on his right front leg at all. He could no longer keep up with the herd. Medication did not stop the daily worsening of his condition. The lameness rapidly became so severe it began affecting the rest of his body. So on June 23rd–one week after Sputnik’s 8th birthday–we quietly laid him to rest and buried him beside his mother, Petunia, who also died untimely in January 2020.

Sputnik was a unique and brilliant individual with a devotion to learning new tricks. Words cannot encompass all that he was, so I will post my favorite photos throughout the years and our many adventures together. Sputnik’s life may have been short, but it was cram-jammed with travel and excitement. One thing I can say for certain is that Sputnik never led a dull life. And this is how I choose to remember him…

June 16th, 2014. My first difficult delivery. Sputnik was the second born kid and before his head was fully out he had his name. I’ve often been asked where I came up with that name and I can’t say. He was just born with it. I found out years later that it means “fellow traveler.”
In October I tattooed ears and the green ink smeared in a rainstorm. It was suitably ghoulish for the season.  


Sputnik loved performing tricks. Here he is showing off at the Weld County Goat Extravaganza in April 2015.

Sputnik’s first trip to Utah in September 2015.

I had just taught Sputnik how to give kisses. We had a romantic moment under the pictographs at The Window in the San Rafael Swell.

We followed it up with a trip to Escalante where Sputnik learned to carry a packsaddle.

Calf Canyon Falls, Escalante, UT.

Jumping parking barriers at the Yule Log Festival in Beulah, CO. The Yule Log Festival became an annual tradition for us.

Hiking Graneros Gorge near Colorado City, CO in spring 2016. For such a wildly spotted goat, Sputnik had a rare talent for blending in perfectly with the background.

2016 was the summer we taught the boys to drive. So we drove to Dairy Queen one hot summer day after the County Fair and took advantage of the drive-thru window.

Sputnik helped teach the kids at the packgoat competition at the Pueblo County Fair. He was always very patient with them.

Teaching kids how to drive a team of goats at the Fair.

Climbing Uncompahgre Peak near Lake City, CO in late September, 2016.

I made a practice of having Sputnik jump over or through unusual things.

Bartlett Trail near Rye, CO in October 2016.

Hauling in the Christmas tree December 2016.

We finished off 2016 with a local hike to a frozen waterfall near San Isabel.

Sputnik was the hero of the hike when I attached a leash to the back of his saddle so he could pull three women up a steep, icy slope.

Sputnik and I enjoy a pleasant afternoon drive in early 2017.

Sputnik all duded up in his Easter finery. He was always a hit pulling the kids around in his cart at the community Easter egg hunt.

In June 2017 I hosted the North American Packgoat Association (NAPgA) Rendezvous in Lake City, CO. Sputnik was one of the celebrities at the event. One of my fondest memories of Sputnik is of remembering his face in the rearview mirror of my truck. He would crane his neck out to the side, lift his face into the wind, and let it blow through his beard and flap his ears wildly around his head.

We climbed Uncompahgre Peak at the NAPgA Rendy. Sputnik was worn out at the top! Here his is taking a break at 14,320 feet above sea level.

Farmer Nan and Rooster Sputnik taking first prize at the Colorado State Fair goat costume contest. Sputnik was a very patient soul!

The International Goat Days Festival in Millington, TN was the pinnacle of Sputnik’s career as a harness goat. I dressed as Juno, Greek goddess of the hunt (or was it war?) who is sometimes depicted driving a goat-drawn chariot.

Sputnik won the famous Goat Days chariot race, edging Finn out by a neck!

After Tennessee, we traveled down to Arkansas where we posed on the famous Hawksbill Crag.

We spent a day tromping down the Buffalo National River and hung out on this big tree.

That was the same trip where a spider spun a web between Sputnik’s horns.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Sputnik. He was a very solemn-looking goat with his noble Roman nose and beard. The line of headstones in this deserted graveyard near a ghost town suited Sputnik’s serious personality.

We stopped in Tulsa, OK on the way home to visit scenes from Weird Al Yankovik’s 1989 move, “UHF.” Sputnik took a long drink out of this lovely fountain.

Viking princess warrior in her goat chariot at the Rye Homecoming parade in 2017! Sputnik was the perfect proud, prancing steed!

Big as he was, Sputnik had a talent for standing on very small objects.

I drove Sputnik to the bank one day. A friend’s young packgoat-in-training tagged along for the adventure.

Rodney was way too big to actually ride Sputnik, but we figured he could sit up there just for this one photo op. Sputnik didn’t seem to mind–in fact, I think he liked the attention.

Sometimes Sputnik was a goofball.

In March 2018, Phil and I took the boys to Missouri. We stopped at a carriage shop in Jasper where they had these enormous Shire statues. Sputnik was alarmed by the giant fake horses!

Earth Day 2018. We picked up a shocking amount of garbage along Boulder Ave. outside of Rye!

In June 2018 we stopped in Utah on our way to the NAPgA Rendezvous in Idaho so we could visit our friend Herb. We loved these bright yellow and purple rocks!
The drought in early 2018 was intense and the Spring Fire (one of the largest in Colorado history) was roaring less than an hour south of us, filling the sky with smoke and ash. I bathed and clipped the boys for the 4th of July parade and took some glamour shots in the odd light.

We debuted our fancy new carriage at the Westcliffe 4th of July parade that year!

In late July, 2018, the floodgates opened and Colorado turned green again. Tragically, I lost my horse Jet to a lightning strike during one of those intense storms. For months I’d been planning to attend an “all-women’s pack trip” in the Mount Massive Wilderness near Aspen with the editor of Pack Animal Magazine. Because of Jet’s devastating loss only two days before, I almost canceled my plans. I’m so glad I didn’t! Sputnik was a total Boss on this trip! He carried a 48 lb. pack and was eager to do it!

At the end of August Phil and I drove the boys and their carriage in the Colorado State Fair Parade.

The boys made a lovely turnout, but the long wait during lineup was exhausting!

That fall Phil and I took a trip to Taos, NM. We stopped at Wheeler National Monument near Creede, CO on our way there. What a unique place it is!

Sputnik and I took a break on a hiking trail overlooking Taos.

Snow fell the night before our last hike in Taos. This is one of my other favorite pictures of Sputnik. The aspen leaves lying on the freshly fallen snow were breathtakingly beautiful, and Sputnik blended perfectly with the backdrop.

Sputnik and Finn became traditional fixtures at the annual Beulah Yule Log Festival. It was expected for them to wear their harnesses and help drag the Yule Log back to the pavillion after it was discovered from its hiding place in the woods.

2019 was a Banner Year. Phil and I took the boys to Texas in April where we hosted a small NAPgA Rendezvous and visited my relatives. Sputnik showed off his tricks for my family.

My grandfather’s wife, Dominique, took a cart ride around their yard.

I had a hard time persuading my grandfather, Charles, to take a ride, but Sputnik finally managed to persuade him.

Charles and Dominique’s yard was full of tasty green things to eat! Mmm!

During the Texas trip we stopped at a nursing home where my aunt’s mother Peggy lived. She grew up with goats and always said they were her favorite animal. While there, Sputnik gave rides not only to Peggy but also to the other residents in the home.

And he entertained the crowd with his tricks, as always.

Sputnik introduced our friend Connie Losee to goat driving at the Texas Rendy.

The main NAPgA Rendy was held in Wyoming in June that year.

I set up an obstacle course and Sputnik showed everyone how it was done!

Strangely, Sputnik was one of the only goats I knew that liked baths. He loved to have the water sprayed directly into his face.

We took friends hiking to a local arch that summer. Sputnik carried everyone’s picnic lunches and helped tow some of the older folks up the big hill near the end.

In September 2019 we went back to Ferron, UT and met up with friends from Washington state and their packgoats. Taffy and her faithful and beloved friend, Bourbon, are in the back. Sadly, Bourbon passed away in the prime of his life like Sputnik.

Skillfully navigating the rock formations in Goblin Valley, UT.

We camped out in the San Rafael Swell and hiked to The Window on this trip, just as we’d done in 2015.

Another photo under the pictographs. My, how Sputnik grew since the last time!

Sputnik was very good at helping me down steep slopes. He always held steady so I could use him for an anchor.

Exploring Little Wild Horse Canyon.

After we left the Swell, we traveled south to Escalante where we hiked up the Escalante River.

Only a minute after this photo was taken, and less than 15 feet from the spot where he’s standing, Sputnik stepped in quicksand and sank immediately up to his chest. He couldn’t move and Phil and I worked frantically to remove his packs so we could pull him out.

The greatest adventure I ever had with Sputnik was the time we got lost in Death Hollow. The camera was waterlogged that day so there were no photographs of that beautiful place, and the goats marched admirably for much longer than they should’ve had to. When we climbed out the next day and continued our trek back toward Escalante, Sputnik’s feet were bothering him. Nevertheless, he plodded steadily along, carrying his saddle and our tent without complaint.

Sputnik matching the scenery as usual…

The bacon zone at Bighorn Canyon!

Sputnik discovered a love of Gatorade on that trip!

Sputnik’s last Yule Log Festival. The pandemic canceled festivities in 2020 and 2021.

But it was a very enjoyable last Yule Log Festival. Sputnik tried every variety of goodie from the cookie table, and he even got his own cup of wassail (which he LOVED!)!

Sputnik helped me haul logs that winter. Look how proud he was!

2020 was an odd year for everyone and ours was no exception. But in September 2020 we visited our friend Herb in Ferron, UT and we had a great time hiking the formations in his neck of the woods. It was our best adventure with Herb ever!

“Goodie, please? Goodie-goodie-goodie?”

Blending in again as usual.

Phil and I ended that trip by stopping off at Rattlesnake Arches in Fruita, CO. Sputnik was exhausted after Ferron and became very footsore, but by the time we realized he was too lame to hike, we’d gone too far and there was nothing to do but press on around the loop. His usual enthusiasm wasn’t there so the trip was difficult and not nearly as fun as expected. Still, it was a beautiful place and I’d like to go back and remember it how Sputnik would have liked to enjoy it–without sore feet.

January 2021 after-Christmas party!

The community Easter egg hunt was cancelled in 2020, and it was modified in 2021. There were no Easter eggs and no goat cart rides, but we filled the goats’ packs with bags of candy to hand out to the kids as their parents drove them through the park. Sputnik was a big hit.

In September 2021, Sputnik took his final road trip. We traveled to South Dakota, stopping on the way give the goats a break at a city park in Nebraska.

Sputnik enjoyed the hiking, but he laid down to rest his feet at every opportunity. He couldn’t bear to see the other goats get saddled and not wear one himself, so I saddled him up each morning but I didn’t tell him his panniers were empty.

A rare moment with Sputnik in the lead.

Finn became kinder toward Sputnik as Sputnik’s lameness became more prominent. They spent more time lying down together and less time with Finn bossing Sputnik around.

We had a last mini-Rendezvous with some other goatpackers in Slim Buttes, SD. It was Sputnik’s last hoorah and he did very well for himself. He still managed to outpack several other goats on the trip even on our extra-long day hike. But there would be no trip afterwards. Our next adventure was in Utah and I knew the slickrock would be murder on his poor feet. He’d earned his retirement, even if it was early.

Goodbye, dear friend, my faithful “fellow traveler.” May your feet be sound and pain-free as you hike on in the next life.

Funny Funny Finn-Finn

There’s a reason I often look at Finn and say, “Funny funny Finn-Finn!” 

Finn is a clown and a show-off, and he’s the ultimate “Hold my beer!” goat. Finn is always fun to watch, but today he was in rare form! I drove from town with a load of water and groceries and the goats were all jumping and skipping on the rocks and lawn in front of our house. Everyone looked lively. Young Sapphire was a bolt of lightning ricocheting off the rocks with her tail in the air while Sonic and Scout took turns rushing up to Finn in feint attacks. Finn, however, was running circles around everyone with his hackles raised, tail erect, and ears cocked. He was only partially reacting to the other goats. Mostly the other goats were reacting to him as he spun, danced, whirled, leaped, caprioled, and launched himself full-speed off boulders. He ran figure-8’s through the herd, sending pregnant does and young bucks scattering in all directions. Sonic tried to match Finn’s machismo several times, but soon ran off in alarm as Finn’s antics escalated.

I unhitched the trailer and honked the horn as I drove through the mayhem to park near the house. Finn snorted and launched himself around the yard again at full speed. As I unloaded groceries from the back seat, I suddenly found myself attacked from the rear as Finn leaped up and tried to jump over my shoulder into the truck! I screamed with surprise and anger and Finn snorted in alarm and bounced off my back. He was a little more careful of my space after that, but he marched up to the house with me and tried to follow me through the porch gate. I could tell he was about to leap it. Finn went through a gate-leaping phase a few years ago and we cured it by keeping a full cup of water near the front door. I could see the temptation to clear the gate battling a memory of cold water in the face. 

Finn wisely turned and cavorted around the yard, but he clearly had an urge to do something more spectacular. I was taking another load of groceries out of the truck when Finn looked me square in the eye, sized up the height of the truck bed, then suddenly launched himself over the raised tailgate! Had he not been looking me in the eye when he made the leap, I’m sure he would have easily cleared it, but in his urge to make sure I was watching him, he misjudged the jump and hung a front leg. He clung there for a few seconds, scrambling to get his hind feet over, but the one front leg that hadn’t cleared the jump was in the way. With an unceremonious crash, he fell onto his back, legs flailing in the air. He quickly rolled over and leaped to his feet with a hangdog look about him. I’m sure he wished in that moment that the ground would swallow him up. He gathered up the pieces of his pride and stalked primly off in the other direction. 

Things settled down quickly after that. Finn tried to shake it off by trotting nonchalantly around the yard, but he’s lame right now. His left front leg is sore from trying to heave the rest of his bulk over the tailgate and I’m going to guess it will stay sore for a few days. Still, it was a noble effort and I’m sure his spirit isn’t dampened. The fact that something is too high for him to jump has rarely stopped him from trying. Even in this case, I’m quite sure if he’d kept his eye on the target instead of on me he would have cleared that leap without touching a foot to the tailgate. He did it once before as a young goat when the truck was moving. He’s heavier now, but he’s strong and I think he could still clear it if he weren’t so intent on looking at me and saying, “Watch this!”

Happy Halloween!

We seized Halloween this year. We broke out the old hearse decor for our wagon which hasn’t seen action since 2016. Finn had been acting feisty toward the other goats earlier in the afternoon so we chose him to pull the hearse so he could work off some excess energy and angst. He was a huge success. He got lots of pets and plenty of candy to make it worth his while. He’s such a good boy! Nothing spooked him except for one small child in a Hulk costume who went beyond pets and decided to give Finn a big ol’ hug. Finn wasn’t particularly comfortable with that level of familiarity coming from a green, pillowy-feeling mini-monster! Finn backed away in an expedient but not-so-sudden-as-to-be-unsafe manner while the father scolded his son to be more respectful of animals’ personal space.

Our lighted green skeleton took the wrong kind of batteries so we left it at home and instead filled the hearse with jack-o-lanterns that we’d carved that afternoon. You can just see me in the photo. Halloween is nearly always freezing in Colorado so I prefer warm costumes over the more trendy “sexy” ones marketed toward grown-ups these days. I was a Viking. I was not a “sexy” Viking. I was a wolly, burly, WARM Viking!

Finn and I made a cool silhouette on the street.

The jack-o-lanterns came out pretty good this year…

This was Phil’s masterpiece. He made the mouth with a heartbeat line to evoke a kind of spooky “Covid is still in the air” effect. I’m not sure if anyone got it, but I thought it was pretty great.
My pumpkin came out a lot better than I thought it would, and because I generally lack talent in the pumpkin carving department, it’s definitely one of the best I’ve done. I chose this pumpkin because it had a big scar down the face. This can make carving a little tricky, but fun if I can incorporate it into the design. Somehow it worked out!

It’s a South Dakota Goat Vacation: On the Way!

Ever since we took a vacation with Phil’s family to South Dakota in July 2020, I have been longing to go back–this time with goats! It seemed like a fantastic destination for goatpacking, so on a warm, sunny day in September we headed north with our FOUR packgoat boys. Yes, you read that right! Finn and Sputnik are now joined by our two handsome yearlings, Sonic and Scout. We hope these youngsters will learn a thing or two from the old pros!

We made it as far as Scottsbluff, NE and before tucking in for the night we unloaded the goats at a local park for some exercise and fresh greens.

Everyone knows the tastiest leaves are just out of reach. “You can get it, Scout!”

Sputnik always looks so old and wise.

I love walking these beautiful boys in places like this. They look out of place because they are goats, but they also look like they belong because they are gorgeous and regal and who would dare say “Keep off the grass!” to such noble creatures?

That night Phil and I stayed at the Arcadia Hotel which was a lovely little place located right next door to a bowling alley! Phil and I decided to play a couple of games. It was a pretty rundown place, but the ball return machines were awesome! Although old and battered, they had a sleek mid-century modern design with chrome and rocket-inspired fins that looked like they came off a car from 1959. When we were turning in our shoes at the end of the evening we asked the proprietor when the place was built. “1959” he replied. Nailed it!

Next day we headed on across the plains toward South Dakota. We stopped for a brief walk in the Oglala grasslands near the northern border of Nebraska. The view was not particularly inspiring this time of year, but it was nice to get out and stretch our legs. Phil and I planned to make a couple of tourist stops in South Dakota before checking into our B&B so we figured we better let the goats out for a stroll even if the scenery wasn’t amazing.

Once we entered South Dakota, we stopped for a couple of hours at the Mammoth Site where we viewed the skeletons of over 60 fossilized mammoths that had died in a hot spring in days long past. The hot spring silted in, burying their bones and preserving them.

After the Mammoth Site we tootled on over to the Cosmos Mystery Area, which is sort of like a fun house on steroids. Up is down, down is up, level isn’t level, and water runs uphill. It was enough to make Phil dizzy for two hours afterwards. We weren’t allowed to unload the goats there, but I wonder what they would have thought if they’d been allowed? Probably nothing… goats don’t have 3-D vision and I think their equilibrium is different from people’s. But you never know. I’d have taken them for a tour if I’d been allowed!

Girls Rule!

The last two kids of the season were born on June 4th at dusk. Mocha hung around in the pen all day and picked out a nice cozy little corner where she dug herself a pit to lay in. And then she laid in it. And did nothing else. Phil and I kept waiting for her to start pushing but she was determined to take her pretty time. Eventually it got late enough that we had to put all the goats in the pen with Mocha. Finally something started to happen, but when Phil and I came out to attend the birth, all the older baby goats rushed over and began climbing all over us! This would not be a peaceful, quiet birth! So at the last second, with the water broken and a sac peeking out, Phil and I dragged poor Mocha away from her chosen spot and away from the pen so she could deliver without baby goats jumping on her head. I ended up having to assist the birth a little bit. I’m not sure if things were already delayed or if moving Mocha mid-delivery messed baby up, but the kid was stuck like a cork with nose and feet all trying to come out at once. I pushed the head back a bit and gave the legs a tug and with a  few extra pulls, Baby #1 entered the world!

Mocha was surprisingly dramatic. I expected her to be the strong, stoic type, but instead she stretched out on the ground, threw her head back, and bawled as though the delivery had almost killed her. I had to pull on her collar to convince her to sit up and take a look at the new kid. Once she saw the new baby she was smitten and forgot about feeling sorry for herself.
The new kid was a girl about 7.5 lbs and extremely lively! She was standing in less than five minutes and within fifteen minutes she was already starting to hop. I’ve never seen one pop up so fast!

Baby #2 emerged without drama a few minutes later. Another girl! The girls definitely have the upper hand this year! Out of eight kids born in 2021, six are girls and only two are boys. We were not prepared for this unbalanced ratio when we went with a “Return to Treasure Island” theme. There aren’t many female characters in that series. Isabella and Conchita are the only named female roles. Isabella got taken by Snowball’s girl and we have Diamond, Ruby, and Sapphire since those particular jewels are mentioned repeatedly throughout the series. We settled on Conchita for Mocha’s second kid, but what should we name the first? For that one we had to dig deep. In the middle of the series Long John Silver reminisces about his wife–a “woman of color” mentioned briefly in the original Robert Louis Stevenson novel and expounded on in a short but very powerful conversation in the TV series. In the show, Silver says, “Ashanti she were” and it’s unclear if he is referring to her tribe or her name, but that’s what we went with.

Skeeter takes her job as herd queen very seriously. She stood by the gate and watched the proceedings with intense interest. She always wants to know what’s going on in her herd and how many new babies there are.

When the birth was over we took Mocha back into the pen and set her up cozily in one of the sheds where she could bond with her new family.

Skeeter followed us over and stood with her head through the gate to make sure Mocha was doing everything right.

Diamond takes after her mother in more than just looks! She wanted to supervise too!


We have been blessed with an abundance of moisture throughout this past spring. Regular small snow storms hit us throughout March and April, and May came with several long, soaking rains that saturated the already soggy ground and brought grass to places I thought could never be green again.

The goats have been enjoying the lush pasture!
Meet the Three Stooges! From left to right we’ve got Ruby, Sapphire, and Diamond. If our place is a circus, these three are the head clowns! We have a hard time photographing them because they won’t stop jumping on us. They LOVE any kind of attention and if anyone sits down for even a second, they will immediately find themselves covered in muddy little cloven hoofprints from twelve little muddy cloven hooves.

Ben Gunn is an old soul trapped in a young body. He looks like a baby, but don’t let his youthful appearance fool you! When the madcap girls are jumping all over us, Ben Gunn keeps a stoic distance, grazing maturely with the adult goats. He doesn’t even do much rough-and-tumble with the other goats when people are not there! He prefers to butt heads with the big goats and all that baby stuff is beneath him. For all that, he’s not unfriendly. He loves it when I sit quietly with him when the girls aren’t around, and big as he is, he’ll still climb in my lap as long as his crazy sister isn’t jumping on his head.

In one night of rain our neighbor’s nearly-empty pond filled almost to capacity. The next day it filled even more. We haven’t seen it this full since 2017.

Scout sure has been looking grown-up and pretty lately!

“Yes, I’m gorgeous!” he says.

Oh… he’s not posing. He’s just looking to see if Phil has a cookie for him.

Snowball has been keeping her kids closely confined to one of the shelters. This was understandable during this past weekend of constant rain, but now the babies are over a week old and they need some fresh air and sunshine! I evicted them from the shed this afternoon and forced their mother to take them on an outing around the property. They were delighted to finally be allowed to tag along with the big goats!

I can’t get over this little gals’ stunning markings!

Sputnik got worm medicine this morning and has a sulk on.

Finn hides and says, “Don’t give me any worm medicine!”

It swam into our yard…

What’s all this??
It appears that a Loch Ness Monster moved into our lawn!!

I saw this guy advertised for $100 in the Pueblo classifieds and I couldn’t resist. Saturday was me and Phil’s 22nd wedding anniversary and we decided to make a day of it and get ourselves an anniversary present. We drove out with the horse trailer to pick this guy up (he’s solid concrete and pretty heavy!!) and we went out for lunch and ice cream and mini golf before returning home with our prize. We had to bury it a bit because of the slope and to make sure goats can’t knock it over on each other.

Phil and I think this piece looks great in our front yard.

The goats aren’t so sure. Are Ziggy and Sonic brave enough to come in for a closer look?

Aw… Ruby thinks Nessie needs a kiss!

Diamond thinks she found a friend.

Baby goat attack!

Dusty was pretty interested in the dragon for a while too. Pepperjack was more interested in grass and is therefore not in the photo.