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Snowback Mountain

Winter is back. Most certainly so. With more snow and freezing temperatures. Very pretty and very, very cold. Is it time for spring soon?

In surprising news from the playground, Preben is still around. Per told me he would be leaving last Friday or early this week. Perhaps the snow got in the way of plans. Maybe Kurt hasn’t been able to come pick him up yet. Well, we’ll see what happens next week.

I wonder how Preben’s leaving will affect the hierarchy at the playground. Since he’s been tied down he has lost a little of his dominance, naturally. But I wonder if it will change things when he’s gone. Mio will be the undisputed leader of the flock. Maybe that will calm her down a little. Right now she seems almost desperate to make sure she gets all the food and treats when people feed them. I still find it adorable, the sounds she makes as she chases the other goats away. She certainly knows how to be a bossy lady!

And I wonder what it will mean for Kamel. She used to hang around Preben a lot for protection against Mio. But she doesn’t really do that anymore. I have been working with her, trying to make her a little more confident. I can tell she’s not quite as used to human touch as the others. She’s not as afraid as Mathilde was, back when I started going to the playground. She won’t run away completely. But she will often take a few steps away if you try to stroke her back. So I’m trying to get her more used to that. With treats and kind words. I have also been cleaning her eyes. She gets gunk in the corners of her eyes and it builds up. I don’t know if it bothers her at all, I don’t see any signs of that. But I figure cleaning it out a little is a nice exercise in trust. Being touched around the eyes can be a scary thing. I should know. I feel she’s getting more used to it now. I feel like she understands that I’m helping her. And I feel like she is already a little more confident. Not backing off as often. In one of the videos below you can see her butting heads with Mio. And she comes over now when there are treats, even if Mio is there. Mio can still push her away, but she comes back and makes sure to get her split of the goods. It’s nice to see her becoming a little braver.

We’ll see what happens with everything.

I think we’ll proceed to pictures now.


Goats in the snow. I do love how Bob looks when his back gets all snowy. He’d make an excellent christmas decoration! Just don’t try to put him on the tree, there’ll be no tree left in the morning.


Mia climbing around on me. Never gets old


Mia in the snow. It occurs to me that she has a black patch on her body kinda like Bob has a white patch on his black body. Funny symmetry.


A little closer on Mia.


It’s not often that the goats sit down when it’s so cold, and especially not when there’s snow on the ground. But I guess Mia was tired and found a little patch of hay. She also had a big old yawn which will be on video below.


Got comfy!


Three goats in a row in the snow.


Impatient little girl! “If he doesn’t give me raisins I’ll just have a look in his pocket and see if I can find some on my own!”.


Mio keeping an eye on the horses.


Snow on the streets of Århus.


Snow in the park.


More snow in the park.


Even more snow in the park.

Now videos.

First the great, big Mia yawn. I love it.

And a goatlog from Monday. Feeding the goats in the falling snow. Kamel butts heads with both Bob and Mio.


And goatlog from Thursday. Starting off with a little walk in the snow. And then I brought a bag of old bread for the goats. See if you can spot me under the swarm. Mia butted heads with Kamel and had a sitdown in the hay.

Good goat times.

After writing most of the above I went and celebrated my brother’s birthday. Happy birthday, bro! I finally got to see my parents’ new place. It’s a nice little place. It doesn’t quite feel like home, though. After 30 years in the old place I guess it will take a little time. With my bad eyesight it’s hard to really “get to know” a new space. I don’t think they’re completely done with the decorating either. But it was nice to get to see it.

Here is in fact a picture of the apartment block:

Second floor, or third depending on how you count, on the left.

Now I think I’ll finish off with a slightly edited copy of a Facebook post I did a couple of days ago. Just because it has a nice spirit of positivity to it, I hope.

Sitting on the bike I was thinking of how some things have changed from last winter. For the better.
Last winter the exercising was not going great. It was cold and I would work for 30 minutes on the bike and barely get a sweat going. It was hard and demotivating. Now I have plastic bags and sweaters and snowpants and it’s just better. I can go longer, faster, harder, better. Drenched in sweat. Maybe this winter I won’t balloon up.

Another thing that is better is the goat trips. Also because of dressing up. Not in plastic bags, but just warmer clothes. And click-heaters and foot heaters. Last winter I could only go see the goats once a week, and it was a short visit at that. My poor circulation made it just horrible to go out. Currently my schedule is twice a week, and for longer periods. So that’s better. When it gets warmer I will hopefully be going thrice a week. I always feel bad leaving the goats (and Mia’s infernal cries don’t help!) and staying away for days. I feel like I’m part of the family and that I’m abandoning them. I know they have a good life at the playground, but they also don’t have that much to do in the pen so me being there and giving scratchies and treats and stuff for them to do, I think it improves their quality of life. And obviously they improve mine. I feel like I should just move into the stable, that would be better for everyone! But it’s better now than last winter.

And my new camera. I really love the camera I bought last year. It’s great. Looking at my old videos they look quite poor in comparison. I think it’s the higher framerate more than the hd resolution. Smoother and clearer. I wish I had tons of hd footage of Mads and Magnethe and Vanilje and all my old goat friends. But it’s nice to be able to make better videos. And take pictures again. I missed that. Looking at my old photo archive there are thousands of pictures. But only 3 pictures for 2010. And zero for 2011. Photography isn’t my biggest passion, but I really enjoyed it. And I’m glad my vision got a little better and my camera got easire to operate so I could take it up again. I know I basically take the same 5 pictures over and over, but it does mean a lot to me. Sharing them. I’m sure some people are annoyed by the goat spam, but hey that’s me. I’m sure there are people who hide my posts because of the spam or the other annoyances. But so it goes. It makes me happy to share my goat friends. Knowing they are a part of others people’s lives. When I posted the picture of Vanilje and Renae said she remembered her. That kind of thing makes me happy. That my goats are rememered and cared about. When I share a picture on Mia’s page and I have people that I have never heard about Liking it. I know they don’t go viral like Buttermilk, but 10ish people Liking it? That makes me happy. I really appreciate you good folks who take the time to comment or Like the pictures and videos. Whether it’s the new fellow goat enthusiasts I’ve met or old friends who never gave a second thought to goats before I started posting obsessively about them. It’s a joy to me.

The point is that it’s important for me to realize and remember and appreciate that things can and do get better. Especially if you work for it. I don’t know why I never looked into warmer winter clothers before. For years I went with the same jeans in summer and winter. When snowpants are so much warmer.. Trying to improve things and make them better pays off sometimes. Even if it’s a silly idea like putting on a plastic bag before jumping on the bike. What’s the worst that could happen. I ruin a plastic bag?
It’s a good lesson. Things can get better. I have been down low in my life. I have been close to the bottom. I have been in my bed waiting for the darkness to settle. I have been cooped up in my room, barely leaving the house unless absolutely forced. I have been so blind that I couldn’t leave the house without a cane. I have had to quit Facebook because I couldn’t read the screen properly. Now I post long rambly rants that literally twos of people will read. So it does get better, if you don’t give up hope.

the end.

4 Responses to “Snowback Mountain”

  1. the trace Says:

    It is a good lesson & a good reminder for me (that things can & do get better). Thanks for sharing :)

    I have a question about Mia & all of the goats really. Is she the first to jump on your back? (I somehow doubt it)…What happens when she is significantly larger/heavier? Do you think she’ll know to take it a little easier on her human friends? lol. Hope so.

  2. Plume Says:

    the trace – Thanks Traci! Mia is not the first goat to jump on my back. In fact it has happened with several kids in the past. When the kids are tiny they’ll jump on pretty much anything. Mia is just the first that I have given treats when she does it, which is why she wants to do it all the time. The bogger they get the less interested they are in jumping around, so maybe she’ll stop on her own. Or maybe I’ll have to stop her. I guess we’ll find out! It’s possible she’ll just get so big that there’s not enough space on my back to stand on and then it just won’t be possible. Bob is too big to get up on my back but sometimes he jumps up with his front legs on my shoulder like he’s trying to see if he can do it too.

  3. Debster Says:

    Goat yawns! Wow! And on video, too. The first time you see a goat yawn, you think what are they doing? Then you realize, it’s a big yawn. Just like we do sometimes. It’s quite startling the first time you see it, then it makes you laugh.

    Very nice article, Plume. Sometimes a person does need to stop and “count their blessings” so to speak. I wonder if that’s why people would send you presents of scarfs, gloves, hats, etc?

    If we knew you wanted a snow suit, we would have sent you one. Hee, hee. But, it’s nice to know that you yourself can find warm clothes, a better camera, or an exercise routine that suits your needs. Taking care of yourself allows you to take care of others – like goatzies or your friends at the playground, or helping your parents with their computer issues.

    Your snow pictures are so pretty. Most of our snow is gone, we are to have some rain/freezing rain on Sunday. Not looking forward to freezing rain at all.

    Wish we could have gotten Frankie to yawn for the vet on Thursday. Frank has been chewing his cud excessively and froths at the mouth. We loaded him up in the pet crate and took him to see the vet on Thursday morning.

    Hard to see inside a goat’s mouth when he doesn’t want you to see inside. The vet thought Frank’s had a sore place on his tongue, so we think he may have injured it somehow. He’s still eating and drinking – thank goodness, and the vet gave him an antibiotic shot. We’re to watch him and when it gets warmer, we may take him in and have him sedated to we can actually look inside his mouth and at his tongue.

    The vet said Frank’s would have to be kept warm after he was sedated and it’s been very cold here. Although the vet knows us and he said we’d probably bring Frank in the house to recover! And what’s wrong with that, I said? We have an enclosed porch and a portable heater we could use and I would stay with him till he woke up in an hour or so. Problem solved.

    I think our vet thinks we’re nuts, but we just love those goats like a dog or cat. I mean, they don’t live in the house all the time! We know they are “outside animals”, we’re not crazy enough to have a “house goat”.

    But wouldn’t that be kind of cool???

    The vet said something about have “goat smell” on him. I told him our boys don’t smell! They’ve been neutered and they’re very clean animals. Wet dogs smell worse! No one insults our goats! I see I have some “educating” to do with our vet.

    I’m not sure whether the other two goats were glad that Frank was away for a short time, or if they wanted to go for a ride, too. Frank does seem to be feeling some better. Everyone was out sunning this afternoon, the donkey, too.

  4. Plume Says:

    Debster – I love goat yawns. Big, adorable goat yawns. I wuite appreciated that Mia yawned right when I had the camera in her face!
    I am still rocking your glovemittens. I have started putting handwarmers in them. Those chemical things you open up and then they get warm. Frozen fingers have been my downfall before, but it’s getting better now.
    I would love a house goat! Or two.. or three.. or…
    I hope Frankie is feeling better! It’s always troubling when the goats get sick. But hopefully he’s back to normal by now, or well on his way. Better watch out or you’ll have all the goats and donkey pretend-coughing so they can be let inside the house. I’m sure they’d like the warmth and the human butlers!

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