NAPgA Rendezvous 2018

The 2018 North American Packgoat Rendezvous in Island Park, Idaho was a great success and it was the biggest one ever!

Phil and I arrived around 2:30 Thursday afternoon with low, threatening clouds looming over us. We decided that since we were tent camping, a sheltered location would be ideal. We found a suitable little spot, and no sooner had we pulled into it than the rain began to spatter down. I hustled to rig up a high line so we could hang our tarp and perhaps get our tent up before the real rain started, but it was hopeless. I threw the tarp over the line, but before I could get the corners tied off, the heavens opened and Phil and I were forced to retreat. We sat in the truck for a good half hour and more while rain and then hail pelted our foggy windshield and created ever-widening lakes around our tires. I was thankful that I’d packed my rubber muck boots with my raincoat. When the deluge slowed to a trickle, we slogged through the mud and hung our rain tarp, and then put two tarps on the ground under our tent. We’d read the weekend’s forecast and we were determined to stay dry.

Once it stopped raining I put Finn and Sputnik out on a picket line to eat grass. We’ve been in terrible drought in Colorado, so these boys hadn’t seen grass like this since last year! You can see our little tent in the background. And it did stay nice and dry all weekend even though we had several inches of very heavy rain Friday night.

The first thing Phil did after setting up our tent was to scope out the thunderboxes. Dwite Sharp is in the background with the kids he brought.

Phil and a few other folks got the tents up. It was cold, wet work. It was too damp that night to start a campfire, so it was a rather cheerless start to the Rendy. We were supposed to hold a NAPgA board meeting Thursday night, but the rain delayed setting up camp, and everyone was too cold, wet, and hungry to face down such formidable topics as amending by-laws and scheduling meetings with the Wild Sheep Foundation.

Friday morning we set up the Rendy store. The shelves are a bit bare here, but things got added as the day progressed. It was a very successful store this year and ended up raising around $3500!

The army tent was so long it wound up encroaching on Finn and Sputnik’s tethering area. It turned out very well for them. Since it was a high traffic area, they got loads of attention from everybody who walked by. Finn especially lapped it up.

We had a board meeting Friday morning. Can you sense the thrill in the air?

After lunch, everyone gathered round to hear Marc Warnke from www.gothunts.com talk about hunting with goats, transporting goats, keeping them fit, etc.

Marc and Matt Lyons also talked about the various saddles they’ve used, and showcased their own design.

The sun finally made an appearance later in the afternoon, so Phil and I took Finn and Sputnik for a walk on one of the trails outside of camp. Kate from Australia came with us and we all had a great time stretching our legs and enjoying the scenery and sunshine.

The boys were really digging the grass in this place! They hardly had to drink all weekend because there was so much moisture in the browse. That’s a far cry from Colorado this year! Our grass never exceeded three inches, and now it’s all brown and burnt to a crisp, so this Rendy trip was a real treat for these fellas.

“Don’t get your toes wet, Finn!”

By Saturday morning, Finn and Sputnik had eaten and trampled their area down to the dirt. Compare this photo to the ones Thursday and Friday!

The day was clear but chilly. As per tradition, Clay Zimmerman kicked off the festivities with sourdough pancakes. We were grateful for the big army tent which provided a dry place out of the wind for cooking and buffet tables.

Immediately after breakfast, Clay and I jumped straight into our talk about saddling and saddle fitting. Clay spoke about saddle placement and the particulars of how to properly cinch up and adjust breastcollars and britchen straps.

I focused not only on saddle placement but on fit. Here I am showing people how to look down the channel for spinal clearance and how to see the angle of the tree vs. the angle of their goat’s back.

It was fun to have two vastly different goats to compare/contrast saddle fit. This saddle was on Finn in the previous photo and it more or less fits with a few issues (which would be largely resolved if Finn lost weight). Sputnik, on the other hand, is a saddle fitting nightmare so it was fun to demonstrate the differences. Here we’re looking at how the rear of the saddle perches up higher than the front.

Marc demonstrated his new saddle design on Finn. This saddle fit Finn like a glove.

After lunch, a huge crowd gathered to hear Dwite speak about goat nutrition and parasites. There were many good questions and a lot of good advice.

Sunday morning we packed everything up and headed out around noon. We met a lot of new folks and reconnected with many that we’d met before. We met some folks face-to-face for the first time who we knew online. It’s always fun to put a face to a name at these events. We saw many beautiful packgoats and packgoat prospects as well. Soon it will be time to start planning for Rendy 2019!

Clamber up Calf Canyon

For our second day in Utah, Herb took us to Calf Canyon. It is a beautiful area of sandstone rock and boulders, and more “classic Utah” scenery.

I loved this giant split rock. Looks like it got struck by a lightning bolt.

This old dead cottonwood tree had a lot of character.

Shade was a scarce commodity so we generally took advantage of it whenever we found some.

I love this double arch. Well, they aren’t exactly arches. They’re actually shelter caves. But they looked pretty neat, and rock’s got a great two-tone thing going on.

These guys look ready to tackle the canyon!

This was one of the more interesting bits of the hike, although difficult to capture in pictures. I suggested we leave the trail and hike up a dry creek bed. It turned out to be a fascinating detour. Herb found a softball-sized chunk of fossilized dinosaur bone that was good enough to rival anything found in a shop, and we all found unique rocks to take home. At this point, the gravelly creek bed became a narrow chute of smooth sandstone that required some climbing. I was able to shimmy up by placing my hands and feet on either side of the chute and spidering up. I knew Finn and Herb’s young goat, Barry, could jump high enough, but I wasn’t sure about the dog or the other two goats who were carrying packs.

Here I’m looking down at them while Phil scales the crack. The photo is deceptive. The notch was deeper than it appears.

Finn originally jumped up after me, but then he went back and explored the far side of the notch and created a false path for Sputnik.

Finn leaped across the canyon when Sputnik came up his path. The dog was able to scramble up with a boost from Herb, and Herb’s goat Shelby made a valiant attempt to scale the wall. But the weight of the pack pulled him back down and Herb had to take him back and find a detour.

Sputnik scaled this wall and then got stuck. He wasn’t sure where to go. Finn had leaped across the notch with no problem, but Sputnik is not as athletic as Finn and was wearing the packsaddle. The walls of the notch sloped back as they got higher, making it a much wider jump than I was comfortable with. I’m not sure Sputnik was comfortable with it either, but he also didn’t seem comfortable with the idea of hiking back down the canyon and finding a way around.

Sputnik had to land where Finn is standing, which is probably a good 10-12 feet across. He contemplated his next move for quite a long time while we waited for Herb and Shelby to take their detour.

I thought Sputnik would choose to go back down and take the detour as well, and I was about to hike down myself and encourage him in that direction, but he suddenly took flight and leaped across. I wish I’d gotten a photo of it! He sauntered up to me afterward like it was no big deal.

I love Sputnik’s expression: “Do you mean we have to climb up there?”

*Sigh*

By noon, shade was in very scant supply, but we spotted an overhang high above us on the canyon wall. We climbed up to it and picnicked there and removed the goats’ packs. The canyon ahead of us was choked with large boulders and we weren’t sure how narrow it might get, so we stashed the packs under a rock and continued our hike without them.

Look closely under Sputnik’s boulder and you’ll see Luna panting in the shade. She got a little hot that day and took advantage of every spot of shade she could find.

We all took advantage of the shade under this large overhang. The thing about narrow rock canyons is that they reflect the heat back at you all day, so these shady bits are like little pieces of paradise.

I love the rich, deep red walls with the white band running through.

The walls narrowed almost to a slot canyon near the end.

Something about the light and shadow makes me love this photo. And I love the myriad holes in the rock behind Finn’s head.

The end of the canyon! This was a very rewarding hike because we were able to reach the final destination. Too often these canyons get choked by boulders and/or brush to the point where you can’t continue and you are left wondering how much further it runs on and where it goes. This one ended in a tall, vertical stone wall.

A straight-up view from the bottom.

The view back down to where we came from.

Phil isn’t a silly guy at all. No indeed.

Emerging from the narrows.

Sputnik almost matches the jumbled rocks behind him.

Back to our shady overhang for another quick break to cool off.

Herb scoots down the steep slickrock boulder while Finn looks on.

Finn scoffs at human incompetence as he trips lightly down the rock face on his agile, grippy goat toes.

The light was strange as we emerged from the canyon, and we could smell smoke in the air. The Trail Mountain Fire was blazing just north of us. It had been started intentionally by the government as a “controlled burn” two weeks earlier, but had immediately gone out of control because of the drought. The fire was still raging when Phil and I returned a few days later from Idaho and I hear it’s only just now winding down nearly a month after it started. Our taxpayer dollars at work, folks!

Yarrr!

Love the little peek-a-boo hole.

The view behind us.

Phil Hassey: Goat Guru.

We brought water with us for the goats, but they finished it off before the day was done, so they were delighted when we came across this trickle of water near the trailhead. Goats don’t generally like to get their feet wet in a natural creek bank, but if they’re thirsty enough they’ll brave the mud.

Exploring the Morrison Formation

Okay, get ready for a boatload of photos! Our first full day in Utah, Herb took us to explore some of the Morrison Formation. This type of desert landscape is all over Utah and consists of mostly purple and white banded hills with rocky outcroppings. Herb informed us that here be dinosaur fossils!

The steeper bits made us thankful we had goats to carry our water and gear!

I was also thankful I had a goat on the downhill side to steady me as we hiked along this precarious hillside. The rocks were very unstable and one slip could have caused a sprained angle or even a long, painful tumble.

What’s Sputnik doing, posing like that? He must be learning from Finn!

This is one of those “almost-worked-out” photos that Finn and I managed to botch. See Herb and Woodstock framed in the archway? They are the intended subject matter. When Phil told me to call Finn, I thought he meant he wanted Finn to look through the rocks. But Phil actually wanted me to call Finn away so he could get a nice shot of Herb. Now we’ve got Finn’s throat in the shot. Oh well. Not every artistic endeavor is destined to succeed.

Classic banded hills.

Herb and Bacchus.

This is not the most interesting photo in the world, but it reminds me of something that greatly affected our hike but which can’t be seen in the photos: Gnats! Yes, we were endlessly gnettled by an ignfestation of gnasty, gnefarious gnats which gnawed on our gnoggins and our poor goats’ gnethers. (According to Herb, every word that began with the letter “N” must be preceded by the letter “G” (pronounced) to emphasize that fact that the word “gnat” is ridiculous.) The people wore “gnat gnets,” but there was gnothing to protect the goats. We were surprised to see Finn suddenly lie down with his load mid-morning on this dirt pile. At first I thought maybe he was sick, but it turned out he was trying to scratch his belly on the ground.

I think Wile E. Coyote is hiding behind that rock with a stick. “Be careful, Sputnik!”

“Don’t push, Sputnik!”

That’s a B-I-I-I-I-G rock.

Stripey mushroom rocks! Are there any Smurfs hiding back there?

What are they all looking at?

Noble goats.

Herb and his goats blend in very well with this landscape.

I prefer red packs to help my boys stand out.

“Water! Water! I need water!”

A handsome trio.

We took a break in the shade of an overhanging rock. Everyone was glad to get out of the sun for a while.

An altercation occurred when Finn finally ran out of patience with Herb’s dog, Luna. She teased and pestered Finn and Sputnik every time they stopped, and both goats kept warning her off with their horns. Finn finally snapped and rammed her in the ribs. She howled as if every bone on that side was broken, but I think she mostly just wanted Herb to acknowledge her suffering because she stopped crying as soon as Herb checked our her “injuries”. She was fine five minutes later, silly dog!

I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it’s funny.

Bacchus enjoyed posing before the various Hues of Utah.

I love the rocks in this dry riverbed. They look like paving stones in an ancient roadway.

These rocks were my absolute favorite. I couldn’t get enough of them. They are hard to capture in photos. The brightness of the gold and the depth of the purple are usually lost.

Phil poses on the colors of his Alma Mater. Houghton College used purple and gold.

Herb photographs Bacchus’ best side. Tongue

If it weren’t for the tuft of grass in the foreground, this might look like a full-sized tree growing down in a rock canyon.

Personal portraits:
Boss photo of Herb and Bacchus.

Boss photo of Phil and Finn.

Wimpy photo of Nan and Sputnik.

In photos, the only thing that really brought out the purple in the rocks was Sputnik’s halter.

Woodstock’s coat blends in perfectly with the color of the rock. It’s a good thing he’s wearing a green pack to contrast!

I loved these little “goblins” down in the valley.

Little did I know that a few minutes later we would walk right past them.

Check out those colors!

In this landscape, I felt we might fit in better if we were using camels.

It looks like we’re in the middle of nowhere in a trackless desert, but believe it or not, we’re almost back to the truck. It was a great day of hiking. We found many interesting rocks and fossils, including a few that were worth bringing home to my curio cabinet. What a wonderful excursion!

Two Days in Utah

Phil and I decided to attend the North American Packgoat Rendezvous in Island Park, ID this year, so we packed up Finn and Sputnik and headed out on a Monday morning. The Rendezvous wouldn’t start until Thursday afternoon, but Phil and I wanted to stop for a couple of days in Utah on the way. We have a friend named Herb who lives in Ferron, which was almost exactly halfway along our route from Rye to the Rendy in Island Park. It seemed like a great opportunity to visit with Herb and explore his beautiful part of the country near the San Rafael Swell.

Monday evening we arrived just early enough to take a short hike to see some petroglyphs. Herb met us at the trailhead and we all unloaded our goats. Packs were not necessary on this little excursion.

Herb led the way way. The goats were funny. We had our two and Herb brought two of his, so there was a lot of jockeying for position and no one quite knew where to walk in the lineup. They all got along pretty well, but they kept switching places, being unhappy about it, and switching again. Herb’s dog, Luna, wasn’t quite sure what to do with two new goats and kept teasing and harassing mine to get a reaction. The goats showed quite a lot of restraint and no one hit her on this hike, although I could see Finn revving up to it.

I love how Finn’s beautiful facial markings pop out in this light.

Herb’s “Barry Goatalow” has turned into quite the athletic young hiker! He’s enormous for a yearling, with long straight legs and nice conformation. He loves to climb, jump, and explore, and he does it with an easy, graceful style. I think he’s going to mature into a killer packgoat.

Finn, looking gorgeous as always.

Sputnik’s dinosaur-like features look great against the rocky backdrop of a Utah desert.

Does this goat ever NOT strike a pose?

This and That

Petunia is a true matriarch. Four years later, her son Sputnik, though vastly larger than she, is still her closest companion. And this year’s kids are never far from their mama either. 

I took these photos in mid-June when there was still a slight tinge of green in the pasture.

Baby goats racing down the hill! 

Phil Hassey: Goat Baron

Honey Pie and Prudence love to play on the “baby goat rock” as we like to call it. Look at little Honey’s marvelous airplane ears! 

Phil and I went for a drive later that day. We’ve got to get the boys practiced up for the 4th of July parade in Westcliffe.

I love how they ride in our truck with no cage, ears flapping in the breeze.  

One big, happy family

Sarge, or “the little peanut” as we’ve been calling him, needed help on our walks for the first few days. His mother seemed determined to start bringing him as soon as possible, and he did his very best to keep up, but he’s very tiny and kept getting trampled by bigger and faster goats. So we often carried him during the first week.

These two are the cutest together. Coral is still very much a baby herself, and motherhood has done little to “mature” her as it usually does with most goats.

Look at that little pink tongue!

Proud mama.

And let’s not forget the “big kids”! TinCup’s and Nauti’s kids hang out in a group, and their mamas often take turns babysitting while the other goes out to graze. The kids are getting old enough to stay with the herd most of the time now, but I still occasionally see the four of them conked out under a tree with one mama grazing alone nearby.

Wild Honey Pie’s pattern reminds me of the colors we commonly see on Nigerian Dwarfs, but that seldom present on a large breed goat. I love it!

What a cute face!

And Honey Pie’s sister Prudence looks like a little Boer in her coloring. If my neighbor still had his herd, and if I hadn’t personally overseen TinCup’s date with Rocky, I’d be concerned that there’d been some mistake. But no, my neighbor hasn’t had any Boers for going on three years now so there is no question about this girl’s parentage. But I like to tease her about being the “red-headed stepchild”.

Tired mama with her cuddling babies.

Nauti’s kids are growing like weeds. Sadie is going to be a beautiful, striking doe. And Maxwell… I just have to laugh at this little guy. He’s about as gung-ho as a goat can get. I’ve been having to correct him on an almost daily basis because he insists on pushing me with his little horns. He’s getting better, but I think whoever ends up with this goat is going to have to keep on top of the manners. This little guy started using his nubs on people earlier than any baby we’ve ever had. They all try it at some point, and most go through a phase where they have to be corrected fairly regularly, but Max started a lot sooner and is more persistent than most. Unless his personality changes during wethering and re-homing, he’s definitely going to become an “alfa goat” type. He’s very bold but also very friendly. If I sit down, he makes a beeline for my lap and he stays there. But if I put him down and turn my attention elsewhere, there’s a very good chance I’ll soon feel his little nubs digging into my lower back. And of course he’s already chasing the girls with a lascivious gleam in his eyes.

Penny and Rita are growing nicely and are sweet as they can be. Jezebel, as always, is a very doting and nurturing mother.

With great big girls demanding food, Jezebel shows us the face of long suffering sacrifice.

A four-kid couch party and the littlest couch potato of all

We’ve been so busy these last couple of weeks that I haven’t had time to post photos! At the end of May, Phil and I brought FOUR babies in for a movie! It was quite the fiasco! Sadie and especially Max were getting too big and rambunctious to come in the house any more so it took some effort to control the situation! I put a sheet on the couch for hair control. All the kidlets are shedding!

Max exits stage left and I’m left with a pile of pretty girls.

A few days after the “Four-kid-fiasco,” little Sgt. Pepper came on the scene and has been occupying our couch for movies ever since. Here he is just three days old.

And what a heartbreaker!

For the first few days he had cute little lopsided ears.

This little goat loves cuddles!

Revolution…er… Goatolution 9

Our last 2018 kid was born on May 31, and we rounded out our Beatles-themed season by naming this little guy “Sgt. Pepper.” It’s only fitting to have nine babies in a Beatles-themed year. He’s a tiny little peanut, weighing in at only 5 lbs. at birth. Once we dried him off he felt like a little ball of dandelion fluff–certainly not much heavier!

Coral couldn’t have picked a much prettier day to have this little guy, but she could have picked a more suitable location! I could tell she was getting close, but I wasn’t at all sure how close. She’s a first-time mom and didn’t really seem to have the routine down. She came for our daily walk with the herd at 1:15 and she never separated herself or dug nests or any of the other little things impending mamas do. She was more vocal than usual but that was it. Her cute little udder seemed to grow every time I looked at it. It felt a little hot to the touch and had some lumps which worried me, so after our walk I spent a few minutes massaging it with hot towels. It was only a bit of congestion and the lumps worked right out, but the massage seemed to stimulate some contractions. I didn’t know if they would continue or pass, so I put Coral off the patio and turned my attention elsewhere. Phil went back in the house to work.

Coral was baa-ing a lot but it soon faded into background noise as I got busy with other things. After about 15 minutes I began to notice that the baa-ing had changed in tone and frequency. I peeked round the edge of the house and she was lying among the wood chips in a baking-hot corner where I cut and stack firewood. And there were hooves peeking out from under her tail! I rang the doorbell to summon Phil down from work and I hurried over to fetch Coral up from the hot, dirty, and uncomfortable spot she’d chosen and pulled her onto a patch of clean grass nearby.

Sgt. Pepper made his appearance shortly after 2:00 with no assistance. Well, I tugged gently on a leg as he came into the world, but Coral did all the work. Much like his mother, who we’ve nicknamed “Fuzzy”, there was more hair than goat, and this funny little guy had 1 1/2 wattles! There was a normal, furry wattle on the left side and a hairless black half-wattle on the right. It looked very silly. You can just see the naked little thing poking out from under his neck in this photo.

Penny was very curious. I kept trying to push her back because mamas are usually very protective of brand new babies and don’t want other goats poking their noses into the action. I didn’t want Coral to trample little Pepper in her zeal to run off the interlopers. But I needn’t have worried. Coral was so enamored with her offspring that she didn’t even look up when first Penny and then Jezebel (who is often mean to Coral) came up to sniff the newcomer.

Coral was so cute about Pepper’s birth. She’s already one of the most adorable goats I’ve ever seen, with those big, wide-set eyes, the perpetual Cheshire cat smile, and permanently curious ears. When Pepper thudded to the ground with a crash (yes, Coral was standing, and yes, I failed in my catching duties), Coral whipped around with a look of shock on her face like, “Oh my gosh, did that just come out of me??” She paused for a moment in pure disbelief, then cautiously lowered her head and began to sniff and poke timidly around at the new baby. She looked both curious and terrified at the same time. She took a few careful licks then suddenly her fearful attitude turned to pure rapture as the realization dawned on her that this baby was her very own to nuzzle, lick, and enjoy. She couldn’t get enough of him after that and is a wonderfully careful and attentive mama.

Standing achievement: unlocked.

“Gah! Mama quit pushing me!”

“Darn right I pushed… you’re growing up too fast already, and I was not finished with your bath!”

Once Coral was satisfied that Pepper was thoroughly clean and dry, she plopped herself down and snuggled right up to him in a possessive manner that I’ve not seen in a goat before. All of our mamas are proud of their babies, but Coral is in a league of her own. She’s spent the last two nights curled up with him in the shed as well. Most of our mamas tend to put their kids down for a nap and then take a little time to themselves, but Coral is spending all of her time with her new baby for now.

As a singleton, I have a feeling this little guy is going to grow very quickly once he gets going on that udder. And as a funny note, I was talking to Phil about removing Pepper’s hairless half-wattle because it looked like a long, nasty, black tick to me. I guess Coral had the same idea because when I checked on him a couple of hours later it was gone. Coral had nipped it right off! So now he’s a little one-wattle goat. So funny!

Is there a more idyllic setting in which to have a baby? I ask you!

Meanwhile, can anyone see Nauti under all these kids?

Coincidentally, Phil and I just celebrated our 19th anniversary and we now have 19 goats to celebrate it with!

Covered in Kidlets

I’m sitting in the office with Max on my lap as I type. He’s such a sweet, friendly, happy baby. He follows me like a shadow and loves to be picked up and held, but I’m afraid these days will be over very quickly. He weighed in at 18 lbs. on his 2-week birthday! He’s one of the fastest-growing kids we’ve had yet! I have a feeling this one is going to love going for hikes when he’s old enough. He’s an explorer, and he’s just as happy to be with people as with his mama. And what a cutie! He’s going to be a very handsome fella one day.

But enough about Max for the moment. I’ve barely shared any photos of our two new kiddos yet!

Honey Pie and Prudie are a little more skittish than Max and Sadie, but they’re coming round quickly. I was busy organizing a horse show the weekend after they were born so they didn’t get quite as much early attention as the other kids. But we’re making up for it this week!

Synchronized scratching!

I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get any photos of Pie when she was 2-5 days old. For those three days, her ears stuck straight up above her head and then flopped over the front like a Fox Terrier puppy. It was the cutest thing! I guess I thought they’d stay like that a while longer. But alas, they stiffened up and now they just stick out, which is still charming but not quite as unique.

I can’t get over Prudie’s coloring! Where did she get all that white? She looks like a little Boer cross. And no, my neighbor no longer raises Boer goats, so there was no mistake in the parentage. She’s just a fluke.

We’ve been bringing these two in for movies on the couch in the evenings now. Max and Sadie would like to keep being “house babies” a while longer, but we need to tame down these two new ones before they get big. I’d love to have all four in at once for a real baby goat party, but that might be pushing things. I’m sure if we give it a try there will be stories to tell.

Soft baby goatie kisses.

TinCup took her kids for their first walk with us on Tuesday. They had a great time!

Max and Sadie are two of the sweetest babies we’ve ever had. I just love these guys and I hope we can find amazing homes for them. They’re going to be awesome goats for someone. They’re bursting with playfulness and they can’t get enough of people.

Finn and Sputnik haven’t gotten much attention lately. We’ve been much too focused on the new little kidlets. But maybe this weekend we’ll be able to get them out for a hike and/or a drive. I’m curious to see how Finn’s harness fits. I feel like he had a pretty big growth spurt recently, but maybe I’m imagining it. The harness will tell us the truth!

Max is king of the rock!

“Run, babies, run!”

Phil loves his baby goaties.

There’s a reason we named this one “Sexy Sadie”. She’s a real looker!

TinCup to the rescue!

We had a near tragedy yesterday, but our dear gal TinCup saved the day! I was down at the saddle club when Phil decided to go out for a hike. He was about to get in the truck when TinCup came racing up the driveway by herself. The goats were all down in the horse corral and Phil could hear a baby crying. Usually mama goats run TOWARD crying babies, so this was unusual. Phil almost ignored the incident, passing it off as goats being noisy (or dramatic as babies sometimes can be), but TinCup baa-ed urgently like she had something important to tell him. So Phil walked toward her and she ran off down the hill toward the other goats.

When Phil got down there, he could clearly hear a baby screaming and he realized that little Sadie had jumped into the horse trough! It was too deep for her to stand but too low for her to climb back over the side. If Tinny hadn’t alerted Phil, or if this had happened while we were both gone, no doubt Sadie would have drowned.

I feel awful because I’m aware of the danger and I’m usually much more careful when we have kids this age. The water tubs in the goat pens are low so babies can see over the side, and so they can climb back out if they do happen to go in. Usually I don’t keep a horse trough filled during baby goat season for this exact reason. My horses have access to a pond and I make them use that when we have babies. But we’re having terrible drought this year and the pond is very low with deep, squelching mud on all sides. It’s difficult and dangerous for the horses to access it right now, so I went into auto-pilot and have been keeping their trough full without thinking. Yikes! This was a good reminder that I need to do something different while we have little kids running around.

Anyway, we’re very thankful for a happy ending. Good job TinCup!!

And here are some fun baby goat pictures!

Sticking with the Beatles theme, we’re thinking about “Wild Honey Pie” for this one. Her eyes were very blue when she was born, but they’re already turning brown. She looked like a little Nigie baby with her flashy markings and the eyes! Also, we’ve had a wonderful variety of ears this season. This little gal has Fox Terrier ears like Finn.

And our “Boer” baby. I’m calling her “Dear Prudence”. With all that white, this one’s going to be hard to keep clean.

And because she’s still the most adorable goat in our herd, here’s one of Coral. She has the most innocent, disarming smile I’ve ever seen. It makes her absolutely irresistible. I can’t wait to see what her and Sox’s babies look like! She’s due in about two weeks.