Grazing (and appraising the garden space)

Yesterday was one of those perfect early fall days. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, the air still warm but drier and crisper than just a couple of weeks ago.  We had a few days of being home this weekend and I had caught up on all most some a little of the inside house work (yes, well, we had clean clothes and I had removed most of the dust and the floors were swept clean, so we’ll call that good, shall we?), so after some book work was completed in the morning we all ran outside to enjoy the day.

I took the goats out of their enclosure and let them graze for a while in the back field and the Littles explored, trying to find their way among the deer paths that had been made through the tall grasses.  Zach found evidence of what we thought to be a bear visiting the back field and after an evening visit to the computer to look up bear scat, our hunch was confirmed. (I do assume you don’t mind that I don’t have an accompanying picture of the evidence.)   As it hasn’t bothered us or the goats, I’m not too concerned about the presence of a black bear in our woods. There is much for it to eat in the surrounding areas, though I’ll be revisiting livestock guardian animals before we add any more animals to our care.

grazing-1083 grazing-1082 grazing-1077 grazing-1066 grazing-1062We walked around to the garden clearing and assessed the damage of not gardening for 2 years.  The upper terrace, where I made an attempt to plant peas this spring, wasn’t too terrible, but it needs attention this fall so that spring planting won’t be quite so daunting.  The second terrace needs to be regraded and either raised to the same height as the top terrace or I need to build a retaining wall to keep the soil from washing away.  I hope to get that work done before winter, but it does require a lot of time at home and more than a little lifting and shoveling.  I might have to ask for help from bribe Zach to get some of it done.  The lower terraces are quite a different story.  They are so incredibly overgrown that I wonder what we can do to reconquer them.  While I try to figure out that part, I put the goats to work on some “clearing” of the brush while I did some cutting and moving of my own.grazing-1072  grazing-1070grazing-1071grazing-1074 grazing-1073grazing-1084

The cats joined us, wandering in and out of the trees, and Mrs. Norris (the smallest of our cats) practiced her stalking skills on one of the goats.  At first the goat was unaware, then she was a bit wary, and then she lost her patience and chased Mrs. Norris away, all in good fun.   The children explored, drew treasure maps on rocks, discovered fairy gardens and watched for the fairies, and found and buried treasures along the way.grazing-1060 grazing-1052 grazing-1047  grazing-1043grazing-1050

Days like yesterday remind me of how much I love this corner of the world we call home.  It is good to be here.grazing-1079