Autumn Morning Milking

Even though it becomes harder to get out of bed on chilly fall mornings when it's not quite light out, once we are up and out, we are instantly, generously rewarded. The air is crisp and cool. As we set out, we can see the sun rising through the trees. The hill is still in shadow.

Sunrise, 6:30 AM
When we reach the goatyard, the goats are already grazing. They yell and gallop and jump around, pleased to see us. 

Jasmine, 6:40 AM
As we settle into the milking routine, the rising sun begins to illuminate the tops of the trees in the west.

6:50 AM
Little by little, the sunlight spreads over the hill.

7:00 AM
When we head back down, it is fully daytime, and we are fully awake. I'm grateful to the goats for getting me out of my warm bed to experience the quiet majesty of autumn mornings.

7:10 AM


The Hardest-Working Woman on the Farm

Who is the hardest-working woman at Cotton Hill Farm? Not any of these goats, though their brush-hogging skills are impressive.
Water Cooler Gossip
Not the hens, although they are laying quite nicely, and not me, though I did make three cheeses at the same time yesterday afternoon. Certainly not Rose of Sharon.
Rosie's Job is Purely Ornamental 
No, the dedicated worker in question is a more shadowy figure, known to us only as Little Grey Cat, L.G.C. for short.
L.G.C. on the J.O.B. 
LGC has been around here for several years, maybe even longer than we have. Sometimes in the winter I've looked out the window to see her stalking some critter, her dark fur stark against the snow. Two summers ago, she had kittens in our garden shed; all but one died within a week. 

We've been seeing LGC around a lot the last few weeks, and the other morning I found three little black kittens and the head of one mouse in the shed. The kitties look like they're already a month old at least. Later that day LGC brought them at least two more mice. What a good mom!
Cute Kitten Eating Lunch.  
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That Was Summer

Last week, for the first time in months, we slept without the fan on. Last night, I noticed it was dark before eight. The asters are in bloom, the hummingbirds have gone, and the mornings are chilly. Summer is definitely on its way out.

The goats are making the most of what remains of summer. We had high-tensile fence installed around their pasture, so these days they are roaming free in the mornings, eating up the clumps that never made it into any of their pens. The weeds are so tall, you can't even see the kids. They go back to their sheds all fat and happy for a midday rest.

Meanwhile, down the hill, the vegetable garden is just getting good. I guess I was running a little late in the spring, so we still don't have mature eggplants or full-size tomatoes, but we do have a giant sprawl of winter squash. I'm also very excited for edamame - any day now.


Maybe when autumn is here I'll be a little more responsible about updating the blog. Enjoy the ends of summer, folks!
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