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.
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.
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.