When we bought this cabin, the property had not been cleared for probably ten years. Scrub oaks covered everything. Because fire is a real and constant threat, we did fire mitigation which is basically clearing the land of all the growth near the buildings.
Scrub oaks that have been cut down like to grow back. We've paid to have the yard weed-eated (eaten?) (eatered?) a couple of times but it's expensive and they never do a very good job. It's a lot of land to weed eat and mowers are useless because of all the stumps. It's been suggested that a herd of goats would do a better job.
Well, guess what? Last Fall we had goats move next door!
Also known as the new lawn crew.
The cut the grass AND fertilize.
These nice goats live on property that has trees and no grass. Our yard has tons of grass. Grass that needs eating. And goats love to graze. Do you see where this is going?
I invited Martha and Maisy over to visit. And graze. They came on leashes.
And ate. And ate. And ate. They've been coming every evening.
This is Maisy. She is a Nubian goat. A little more skittish than Martha. Also a pickier eater. She prefers the plants that I don't want eaten, like the daffodils and the flowering shrubs. Maisy likes to vocalize. "Maaaaaaaaaaaa."
And this is Martha. She is part Alpine goat and part something else unknown. She's very laid back and is basically an eating machine. Bless her heart.
(Both girls are dairy goats. Their owner is going to teach me how to milk them!)
And if you think Martha is a little plump, you are correct. She's pregnant, as is Maisy. They are both due any day now. Next week there will be kids out in the yard, too! I am so excited because there is just NOTHING cuter than baby goats.
And goats are curious. I was holding the camera by my side and apparently the camera strap was irresistible.
We have other four footed neighbors, up the hill a bit. Also curious but not near as social.
Alpacas. Not llamas.
The light brown one's name starts with a B but I can't remember any more than that.
Next to him is Gideon and the white one is Summit.
The alpacas' owner went out of town and asked me to just check on them, make sure no one had escaped. These guys are pretty self sufficient. Hay, water and they are good.
But alpacas are very skittish. These guys won't even come to their owners unless they are holding a pan of grain. And Bunny and I wanted to get up close and personal with them. So the owners told us where to get the grain...heehee!
Anyway, Bunny and I went over and visited, grain pans in hand.
Bunny was pretty tickled when they came up to her. Aren't their faces fabulous? Love their different hairdos.
I was pretty tickled, too. (I know, I know, stand up straight.... goodness! awful posture here.)
And lucky. Usually they won't let you touch them but I guess Summit was so interested in the grain that he forgot to scoot away when I put my hand out. Or maybe because I had my tongue out concentrating, he got confused. Hard to say.
While these guys don't come mow the lawn for us (although they would probably like to) they are still entertaining. Occasionally I hear them alarm which sounds like someone is being murdered. The first few times I heard them I ran up the road expecting to see a mountain lion with alpaca parts dripping from its mouth. Nope. Just some silly alpacas playing and making noise.
I commented on Facebook that the "Alpacas are alarming again" which started the most fun word play ever with two friends. We made it through the entire alphabet.
The baboons were bleating before.
The cattle are cooing constantly.
And the dogs dug determinedly.
The elephants had eaten everything.
The falcons had forgotten facts.
The goats gloated gluttonously.
The hogs hurled hummus.
And iguanas ignited illegal incendiaries.
The jaguars juggled jaggedly!
The kangaroos kept their kalamata kabobs in the kennel.
The leopards licked lollipops.
The manatees mingled in the muck.
Nancie nibbled on nectarines.
Octopi occupied Ontario.
Pandas parceled packages.
The quail quelled the quibbler quickly.
(With a bonus Q in Spanish: El quetzal quiere quietud del químico.)
Rockin' rabbits ruminated over the rutabagas.
The sloths are still snoozing.
Tigers tickled the terrified toad.
Unicorns are unilaterally united under the ukeleles.
Vultures voraciously vomit their vitamins.
Wolves want worts.
Xenopus xeroxes the x-rays.
Yucky yaks yodeled.
Zippily the zebras zapped their zippers.
Are your neighbors that inspiring?
(We also have bunnies and chickens behind us, along with cats across the street and plenty of dogs. But the goats and alpacas are special. That's why they get their own post. )