Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
I don’t talk a lot about myself in my blogs. Well that probably isn’t completely true, I am sure a forensic psychologist could tell you a lot about me from what I write about comic books and movies. But since this is my 138th blog post and in the spirit of The Simpson’s 138th Episode Spectacular I will share how I ended up living on a goat farm.
It started a little over two years ago when I came out of work and nearly everything I owned was packed in my Jeep with a note saying my then wife had changed the locks on the houses door and not to come home. So in a winter snow storm I drove from Idaho to Oregon to move in with my family. You know the old saying “Family are the people that when you have to go back have to take you back in.” My father had recently passed away and my Sister, Brother in law, niece, nephew and mother had all been living in rural Oregon with the goal of creating a goat farm. The farms name is GetFooLA for get the *F* out of Los Angeles, since my sister and her husband didn’t want to raise their children in LA.
The origin of this story probably stated thirty years ago when I was a teenager and we lived on a boat in Southern California. My mom had this idea of moving to a farm surrounded with animals and calling it “The Peaceable Kingdom”. My sister thought this was a great idea. Me I thought it was a terrible idea, because at the time I couldn’t see anyone wanting to live anywhere else but on a boat in Southern California. But here we are now three decades later pretty much living that dream.
Now the six humans, live on the same five acre property as thirteen goats, four sheep, five rabbits, eight chickens, seventeen ducks, two cats and two dogs. Basically we a dogma short of a cult. The goal is for the farm to produce enough food for us and selling goat cheese and goat milk soap that it will basically become self-sufficient.
My sister wisely figured the more emotionally tied to the product I was, the more energy I would contribute to it. So last Springwhen one of our does had a baby I got one, I named her Claes, after my favorite character in the magna/ anime Gunslinger Girl. She was one of six goats born in a forty-eight hour period last March.
Goats are born with their eyes open and Claes was able to walk within fifteen minutes of her birth. For increased emotion bonding we actually bottle feed all six of the goats. Kids (that is what you call a baby goat) have all the good aspects of both kittens and puppies when they are young. When they grow older goats can be stinkers, but they are adorable when they are young. Claes as a baby got extra bonding time as she used to sit on my lap and we would listen to punk rock and watch science fiction together.
Claes is the smartest of our goats. (I claim science says she is the smartest of all the goats) Which isn’t always a good thing. When she was younger her nickname was “Trouble” Among the things she figured out was how to get to the top of our roof. I’m telling you it takes a pretty smart goat to figure out how to make it on top of a roof. Of course since it seems that the entire planet Earth is trying to kill goats, with its poisonous plants and high speed cars, being the most intelligent goat and being smart enough to figure things out can be kind of dangerous, like said roof incident.
We also have four sheep we started out with three but now we have four. My brother in law was taking my niece to a school project when our neighbor the llama farmer called him saying that he thought one our sheep had escaped. He called me and my mom, who were both at home at the time and we rushed out when I found the ram in question and it dawned on me. Our sheep don’t have horns and this sheep has humongous horns!
When my brother in law got back he decided that we should go after ram before he got hit by a car. I agreed but wasn’t fully on board with this since, uh did I mention that he had HUGE horns? So I entered our neighbors property with a guide rode and the heaviest winter jacket I had as armor. Our neighbor who honestly I only meet a few times came out and asked me what I was doing with a rope creeping around his property. I explained there was a lose feral sheep on his property which we were trying to capture, he basically said “Carry on.” Eventually my brother in law and I cornered it, and after it whacked my BiL in shin with his horn he got it into what was basically a quadruped wrestling hold so I could get the guide rope around its neck and amazingly large horns.
My sister thinks the ram got dumped next to our property thinking hey these people have sheep they will take care of it. Normally I would consider this a conspiracy theory but after posting missing signs at all the local feed stores and an internet campaign no one claimed it. It was too well groomed to have been wild so I am thinking well maybe she was right.
Now on the property there are also these wild small roundish eared rabbits (not counted when I mention our five rabbits). These rabbits are the apex prey. Everything hunts them. They die in all kind of ways including one deliberately running at the tires of my car in a forty-five degree angle, like he purposely was aimimg for my tires. A few weeks ago I made a wrong turn in the fog and ended up in the hills behind our house and I saw one of these roundears being chased by a cougar or a bobcat. Everything preys on them, coyotes, wildcats even Buicks.
So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when some rabbit bodies were found on the property, or parts or rabbit bodies I should say. The culprit though surprised me. It appears to be a frigging bald eagle!
I first saw an eagle above the property about six months ago but since it was flying high and silhouetted by the sun at that time I could only speculate that it was an eagle. Until in August I was out checking on the goats when it flew by me at only about fifty feet above and seventy or so years away from me. When it banked I could defiantly see the white head. About four miles away our neighbors (You know live in rural Oregon when you call someone who lives four miles away your neighbor) has seen two bald eagles an adult and a juvenile.
Now I love the feral little roundeared bunnies as much as the next guy. And I was sad to find out that some were being killed. But dang it, somewhere deep down inside, the idea of the FRIGGIN symbol of America is completing the circle of life in my back yards is kind of cool. I am also grateful that a bald eagle didn’t get my goat when it was walking on our roof. how did my life come to the point where, I am glad a bald eagle didn’t swoop in and snatch my goat when she was walking on the roof, became a real thing?.
So there you are a glimpse at GetFooLA farms for Dave’s Corner of Universe, maybe i will share something really personal on my 278th post.