Our big, little, surprise
It was a beautiful day today, warm, and full of sunshine. Kevin took the plow off the tractor. With the long range forecast calling for more warm weather ahead and pretty much every animal in the forest telling me it's spring, we felt it was a pretty safe move.
After soaking up a bit of sun, Douglas and I went for a walk which we cut short after we both got covered in ticks. They are out in full force, and will no doubt be worse than last year because of the mild winter we had. There was a time when you didn't see a tick until June... now you see them until December and then they return in Feb.
After our walk, I started cleaning out the 5th wheel. It's time to start getting ready to head North. We are hoping to leave here mid May - and that will come in the blink of an eye. Douglas got pretty excited about it and even broke out his "I love camping" T-shirt.
Once I had dinner mostly sorted... bread baking in the oven, all the prep work done.. I sat on the porch with the dogs and relaxed for a couple of minutes. It was about 7 PM and there was still plenty of daylight left. Two deer, Torn Ear and Deer Norman, were watching us from the yard. I was listening to the birds, so many voices in the forest now... when I heard Max, the older of my Great Pyreenes, yell at someone. The kind of snap he makes when he wants someone to stay away from something. Then all was quiet again.
I can see the barn from the porch, but barely. I looked up and I saw everyone lining up at the barn, waiting for me to come up and put them to bed. Once I got up to the barnyard, I was busy kissing Sammy Saanen on the nose, when Max came over and tried to get my attention. I thought he just wanted me to pet him instead of Sammy, so at first, I ignored him. Once I stood up I saw him run towards the barn and right to the thing he was trying to tell me about...
Mini Nut, one of my does, was standing next to a teeny, tiny, kid. Max would not let any of the other goats near the kid, he was yelling at anyone that went near. I thought I had another week before any kids might be due, but apparently I was wrong. I went over to the baby who is by far the smallest kid we've ever had. She was clean, and Mini was talking to her. I picked her up and examined her, saw that she was a doeling and like a mother does with her new born child, I made sure all her little hooves were alright, and every little bit of her was as it should be.
I got everyone settled in for the night in the barn and spent some time with Mini Nut and the new babe... She's as sweet as can be. She's white, but she's got a brown tinge to her ears and down her back. It's adorable.
Mini is still looking very round and kind of lopsided. However it's been quite a while since the baby was born and nothing has changed. She is not in any distress, she's eating well and being the wonderful mama that she is, so it doesn't appear there is a kid in there in the wrong position. But it does look like she might have another one in there. I've been doing checks and nothing is changing.
The doeling is eating well and walking very well, so I'm very hopeful for her.
After a check of the baby, I spent some time in Sammy's pen with him. He laid his head down in my lap as he always does and I stroked his head and his beard. After a while, he put his nose in my hand and closed his eyes, falling asleep with me holding his chin. He's still my baby. He's two years old now and he's about 70 pounds, but he's still that little tiny goat kid that was so sick he couldn't stand up, that I gave needles too, many bottles, and every bit of love I could... he's still that little goat kid that would climb up in my lap in the evenings and lie back in the recliner with me and sleep with his head on my shoulder. With my other goats, when I look in their eyes, rarely can I see the kids they once were, even with the ones I bottle raised. With Sammy, I see that little baby in there every time he looks at me, and every time he climbs into my lap to snuggle, all 70 pounds of him.
On my way home in the dark from my last check at the barn, with just the stars lighting the way back to the house, I was stopped in my tracks by the music that was playing all around me. The frogs were all out and singing.
Spring has arrived and it's brought the singing frogs, the meeping timberdoodles, and a newborn doeling with it.