from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three year journey between-homes
(Goat Suite Saga #5a)
February-March-April 2011 (the desert outside Las Cruces, NM)
Final Goat Family Portrait: Larry, Terry Scape, Mama Goat and Tater
With Tater gone, Mama Goat and the kids were introduced to life beyond the pen; opening up numerous opportunities to roam about the range during the daytime.
Terry & Mama foraging in Tate’s feed bin
At first, the threesome devoted their new found freedom to eating leftover hay in Tater’s now empty pen rather than go exploring. However, frolicking in the feed bin became passé once its contents dwindled down to nothing. While the pens held fond memories of family playtime, Mama Goat, Terry Scape and Larry easily entered into a daily routine of romps out on the range.
Romps on the range
Billy & Terry & Leggy Lady’s manure mound
Human romps out on the range increased as the days grew warmer. All of us on the compound got quite excited about starting a new garden plot by the goat pens where Leggy Lady left us lots of soil enriching fertilizer.
New Mexican Gothic: Billy and Terry
Everyone on our corner of the compound pitched in: Billy and Terry tractored and raked,
Karen in the director’s chair
Karen watered and directed, and I…well…I raked, but mostly just kept the goats company.
Laura, sitting in the goat pens
By the end of that third weekend in March, we had a fully prepped garden area; ready and waiting to begin planting crops. In order to gain greater yields during its producing stage, we were now ready to plant our cool weather crop seeds by the dark of the Moon (time from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again) and to plant our above ground bedding plants by the light of the Moon (new to full) in April. Planting by the Phases of the Moon is a new farmer-thing I learned and has some basis in scientific reasoning. Just as the moon pulls the tides in our oceans, it also pulls upon water beneath the soil’s surface, causing moisture to rise in the earth, which encourages plant growth.
Consequently, this combination of getting my hands in the dirt, planting according to the Phases of the Moon and watching Mama Goat, Terry and Larry cavorting about the land caused my brain to come up with the song title for a musical composition I’d had rolling around in my mind for quite some time:
Goats in the Garden at Midnight by the Light of the Full Moon
Several rhythmic motifs came to me from observing those goats playing on any given day with such abandon and crazy clumsiness, providing me with plenty of creative inspiration.
Do they care?
As well, I acquired some melodic material from their bleating. Continue reading