Thursday, September 5, 2013


Driving past the goats on Highway 70 this afternoon I noticed that the berm in front of the goat yard that faces the highway looked accessible.  It was newly-mown and seemed to have a relatively wide path between the electric fence and the drop -off to the highway below.  I realized I had completely overlooked simply leaving my car on the road that goes by the dentist's office and then walking around the front of the dentist's front yard and up the side of the berm.  The goats are always on that side of the yard anyway.  So immediately after dinner tonight as the sun was setting I raced down the highway and pulled into the little street and parked in front of the row of mailboxes near the corner.  It was so easy to climb up the berm, and when I got to the goat fence, a dozen or so goats came ambling over to greet me.

They stood mah-ing at me and I mah-ed back at them.  They were jolly and playful.  A bunch of them watched while I started sketching.  Then they got back to clambering up and down the steep, rocky slope of the yard, eating weeds and brambles as they went along.  They moved constantly!  I just let my hand dance along with them, barely looked at the page beyond checking to make sure I was still ON the page.

Here are some observations:  Most of the goats were mothers with very large udders.  I wondered at first if they wanted to be milked;  then I noticed that there were some babies in the group, so no need for humans to milk those mamas! These are white goats with black patches, short-haired, and with horns that are flat like blades and beautifully curving.

The udders of the goats were shaped very different from cow udders.  They were seamed down the middle and the nipples stuck out toward either side.  The goats all had short, fluffy tails. ( I googled goat breeds when I got home since I know nothing at all about goats, and the closest match I could find was Anglo-Nubian for the breed.)

They were enormously nimble, chewing on leaves while balancing in the most precarious-looking positions.  I loved drawing these goats!  It was completely worth having bugs land on me constantly and trucks whizzing by on the highway a few feet away.  Up there on the berm it was all sweet goat sounds and smells and evening coming on with a few katydids and a bottle-blue sky.


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