Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Exhausted, but in that good way

I don't know if I've ever been so exhausted in my life. Wait, that's not true. There was that one time, but I am equally exhausted now.

I had planned to pick up our 10 new cormo ewes today in Lee, Massachusetts, but after getting to bed at 1 a.m. and waking up aching all over, I decided it would be better to leave it till Monday. Also, our new fence isn't entirely up yet, and since the new ewes haven't been "trained" to electronet, and I didn't want to risk one of them getting injured in the fence.

The day was packed though, even without the trip to Lee. Erin and I spent the day getting everyone situated in their new pens, which included a whole lot of moving heavy things (hay bales, cinder blocks, baby goats). Don't worry, I didn't lift anything too heavy with my right arm, which made me feel like such a shirker.

We also had to go buy two new giant sized dog houses today for Biscotti and Fettucini due to an asinine New York state law that requires every outdoor dog to have one. Even if they have three run-in sheds at their disposal. Even if they are Maremma and would never, ever abandon their flock and go in a dog house. Even is they are just expensive boxes for the goats to jump on. 

Today may have been the first time I forgot my camera (blame it on lack of sleep) and damned if I didn't see something that I really, really wanted to share with you. We put Buck Fifty in with the nanny goats last night and he was raring to go! For the past few weeks he has been peeing on his face. Yes, peeing on his own face. It's what a buck does to attract a doe but it makes him looks ridiculous and smell absolutely appalling! While trying to pee on their faces the bucks get pee, well, pretty much everywhere. You can kind of see it in this picture if you click to enlarge it- that brown stuff all over his face and on his front leg? That's pee.

Being in close proximity to a buck in rut causes the nanny goats to start ovulating. In my experience it usually takes a couple of days with the buck for the ladies to become, um, receptive to a bucks advances. But today Buck Fifty found a willing partner in Linda, our ancient nanny goat.

The two of them were just smitten with each other! They were all the time nuzzling each other's faces. Buck Fifty followed Linda everywhere she went to graze and even laid down right next to her in the pasture. It was like they were courting.

I really, really wished I had my camera so you could have seen how sweet they were together. Hopefully the love fest will continue tomorrow when I am properly equipped.

Tomorrow after morning chores I'm getting a hair cut, shopping for a new pair of jeans (preferably without sheep manure stains) and then absolutely positively working on my power point presentation for the talk-thingy on Friday in Cambridge. 

BTW- if you are coming to the talk-thingy and would like to meet up with fellow shareholders for a bite afterwards, we were thinking of going to the Middle East on Mass. Ave. in Central Square. Are you planning to come to the speech? And or to the meet-up afterwards? Let me know so we can let the restaurant know if there are going to be more than a handful of us.

I think that weekend after this we will be ready for farm visits down in the Hudson Valley on weekends. I'll let you know for sure when we've got all the elements in place. Of course you are welcome to just come check out the flock but we can also put you to work if you like.

Finally, a bit of gratuitous cuteness. This is Gulliver, our chihuahua, when he wakes up in the morning. Like me, Gulliver values sleep above almost everything. Also like me, he must be roused of bed against his will nearly every morning. But he is pretty ridiculously cute, isn't he?


--Deb said...

Well, silly, they ARE courting!

And, um, if you can buy jeans that already have the sheep manure stains, I highly recommend you find some new shops because, well, ew(e)! It's one thing to earn them through hard, one-armed work; it's quite another to buy them that way!

Now--you, Patrick, Erin (and Gulliver)--go get some sleep!

aelscha said...

Hey, I'll be there for the talk and possibly the going-out-afterwards. (Are you planning on bringing any of the yarn to sell? Do you need/want a second pair of hands to wrangle that?)

Jean said...

I wish I lived near Boston so I could come to your talk! Why can't you get invited to give a talk down here in Central Virginia?

KnittingBlueContent said...

One of my favorite aspects of your blog "reports" is the honesty in which you relay shepardess life.

An animal peeing on its own face, on purpose, for mating reasons?

EEW but fascinating!

Thanks for always telling it like it is 'down on the farm'. One of my life-goals is to come visit you all and especially those beautiful dogs (even the sleepy-faced one, LOL).

Turtle said...

sorry, still laughing about the whole pee thing...but then i have actually heard weirder! I'd say go get a good rest (or come visit me at the spa!) but i know you have more work to get done...and i'm about 3 thousand miles away!

danielle_dugan said...

I'm not a shareholder (yet -- give it time) but an avid reader. I'm coming to hear you on Friday and would love to join you for dinner if that's OK.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Clearly I lack imagination. I cannot figure out how a goat can pee on his face-- but like the purple cow rhyme, I'd rather see than be one.
And as far as Linda's love life goes... My dad said it was the Old Goats that would surprise you. Tho' I doubt that's what he meant.
Hope your arm is much better.

Jean said...

Thank God human males aren't like goat males... well... not much anyway. lol.
Hope you have a relaxing time in Mass.
Gulliver *almost* looks like my Aggie but with chihuahua ears instead of Cavalier Spaniel ears. Cutie.

Maggie said...

I'd forgotten how adorable Gully is! Thanks for the reminder. Thanks, too, for the reminder we should be glad human males don't do anything as, um, attractive as Buck Fifty ;).

Susan said...

Of course you are welcome Danielle! I would love to meet you.

joanb said...

Susan - maybe there wouldn't have been any 'nuzzling' etc if you had your camera pointed at the love-birds.. er, sheep.

Marguerite said...

Dog houses? Isn't that stupid? Laws and procedures show sometimes a lack of common sense. On top of putting everything in the same mold no matter what, it makes people go through expenses for nothing. As for the peeing, oh la la. I try to picture a buck trying to pee on his face. You wouldn't happen to have a picture would you? hihi ohh forget it! I had a Canada post card in my mail box yesterday. I received my yarn!!! YIPEE Gee that was fast. I'll get it tonight after work. THANK YOU SUSAN... :)

quinn said...

I'm sorry you had the expense of buying two doghouses, but I really feel compelled to say that I don't think the dog house law is asinine or stupid...just an attempt to protect thousands of dogs that aren't Maremma or don't have adequate shelter. If everyone took good care of their animals - as of course you do! - a law wouldn't be necessary. Generally speaking, by the time a law is passed related to animal welfare, it is sadly overdue.
Maybe you could consider your doghouses a karmic contribution to the welfare of outdoor dogs in NY State?
Just my 2 cents. (Stepping off soapbox now.)

Writer Bug said...

Hi! I plan to be there for the talk and some hanging out afterwards. Sorry for the late reply!

habitual said...

Susan, when is the talk and where? I'm in Cambridge - I'd love to come listen to the "talk thingy".... it's not a

Look at Gulliver!!! He's just like my Lottie (also LC Chi). She HATES waking up in the morning, I have to pick her up and rouse her like some kind of newborn baby. It's ridiculous. And sometimes she will skulk back under the covers on the weekend.

habitual said...

Uh crap - I just realized Friday = yesterday.


Shame on me for not paying more attention.