The flock at evening: 7 mothers, 1 protective aunt, 2 big sisters, 1 milk goat, and of course, 18 kids.

It took a while, just to find the energy to put in an update. Kidding season ’12 is over, with Trillium’s single birth, 2 weeks ago: a smallish girl who never drew breath. One more tiny grave to dig, and cover with turf and rock (coyotes!). 18 live kids for 23… not a good ratio.

If it had to be, guess it had just as well be a single kid, from (deep breath) my best milker. If you recall that she hadn’t bagged by her due date, well… After milking out and freezing 12 pints of colostrum (good for weak calves, foals, lambs and puppies as well as kids) I am now coping with a gallon of milk a day. No more expensive, suspiciously vanilla-scented powdered supplement for the 3 quads, and (just today) the first batch of soft chevre.

Friendly, biddable Trill would just as soon be the Milk Goat as not.

Yeah, seeing the bright side. In the normal course, there wouldn’t have been a doe to milk until at least April. Trill has her yearling daughter Zinnia for company, and looks forward to milking: an extra bait of feed, attention, grooming and music (traditional Celtic airs & Lyle Lovett) I am told a doe’s milk production peaks around 4 months after kidding. A gallon isn’t “peak”? Maybe not for Trill.

And, umm, about climate change? Flipflops in March, windows open at night to hear the tree frogs, pawpaws blooming (pray we don’t get a “late” – ha ha – April frost)….

and baby goats, knee-deep in clover

Under other aspects, life continues – or starts over…

 

Leaves begin to show on the new Calville Blanc, Norman-French heritage apple tree in my tiny new orchard

...the tiniest Basil seedlings (actually this was two weeks ago, they're a lot bigger now)

3/4" long hatchling grasshopper, checking out the garlic

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