March 08, 2010
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.
There was an embedment of friendship in yesterday’s sunrise. Something about the colors moving through clouds and clouds moving through sky called for a heavy jacket, a cup of coffee, a webbed chair on the eastern side of the house and silence.
Late winter allows for hearing not attainable in the coming spring. Not long from now—if the weather stays as warm as it has, in the next week or so—the morning sunrise will be full with tractors groaning at the pull of an implement. But this morning, there was at first complete silence. Then as my ears tuned to morning sounds I heard birds rustling in the trees. From time to time, the neighbor’s dog barked—a squirrel or cat or just watching horizonal colors and can’t believe it,s luck? Other neighbor’s horses were in the pasture with energy that comes with cool sunny mornings, playing and snorting at each other. I made it about half way through the cup of coffee when a sound came from the barn that I faintly remembered from earlier in the week.
It was about time to feed anyway, so Belinda and I gulped down another swallow and headed for the hay barn. Sure enough, two does had birthed, each with twins. We loaded them into stalls in the nursery barn, made sure each of the kids got a drink, sprayed a little iodine on the umbilical cords, gave the kids a shot of selenium (we don’t have the mineral in our dirt and it is critical to their survival), fed the mothers, and gave them a bucket of water. Once we were done, we headed back to the hay barn and fed all the other goats.
The timing worked out just right. We ran back to the house, washed up, changed, and headed off to church. There is something satisfying in taking care of babies first thing on a Sunday morning. The conversation on the way to church is a little more lively, mystery settles into the service a little more deeply, and the enjoyment of community together is a little more holy. Coffee and banana bread afterwards taste a little better.
When we returned home, we thought we would take a walk before dinner. We walked around the north end of the barn to head up the animal run to the west. No sooner than rounding the corner we stopped. Clearly our listening ability from the morning had long gone. For prior to rounding the barns corner we had no idea there were three mothers with triplets and two more with twins. The afternoon quickly slipped by as we moved animals to the nursery barn, gave shots and fed and all. By the time we headed back to the house, most of the mothers and all the kids were sleeping.
We sat on the west side of the house, watched the sun set just to the north of Pahto’s peak, and sipped tea. Like I said…not complaining.
For those who are interested. With such a number of animals birthing at once, we will have a field day at the farm next Saturday March 13th. We will use this time to clean animals, tag, take care of horns, clean the nursing barn, trim hooves, and generally make the mothers lives better. If you would like to come, email or call Dave (509.969.2093) and let us know you’re coming. If you’re from out of town and need a place to stay, also let us know, we might be able to help you out.
If this isn’t your forte, there are other opportunities coming up for you, your children, or your grandchildren to visit the farm.