Having help is a wonderful thing! I signed up with HelpX, a help exchange network this summer, and it has been a very good thing. There have been a few no-shows, but I've had 5 great people come and help me get things done on the farm. Got about half the firewood in now, the garden is ready for winter, lots of little things have been done, it's great! I've met some neat people, too. Thanks Heidi for telling me about that organization!
The bears have been active around here this year. Neighbors have had visits, and I've had an almost close encounter with one while out in the woods with the goats. I haven't taken the goats out now for over a week. Do not want to run into a bear. The goats would run for home, leaving me there to deal with it by myself. No, Nellie would go after it, or at least bark at it and scare it away. :-) Still, I don't want to take a chance and have a close encounter. It might just go after a goat or something.
The deer, or I should say one deer, has decided that the gardens are her territory. I've been chasing her off and throwing rocks at her when I see her, but now she's only coming in at night. The apples are starting to ripen and she's going after those. The bears aren't coming in because of the three layers of fence and the dogs barking, but this deer jumps the fences and ignores the dogs for the most part. Nellie is finally realizing that this deer will run from her if she charges towards it barking. "Grandma" would just stand there and take her on, but she got ate by a mountain lion last winter, and her descendants aren't quite as brave as her. The only problem is Nellie only goes after her if I yell "get outta here" at the deer. Otherwise, the deer have the run of the place. The trees look pretty bare in the deer eating range. The tops still have leaves and apples, but the mid to bottom of the trees are well trimmed. Most annoying. Next year we are getting a real fence up that the deer won't destroy. The black snow fence stuff they just blast through. Now it looks horrible with big holes in it where they jumped through it, not over it. It's archery season, but no one has shot these deer around here yet. I keep waiting and telling all the bow hunters where they are hiding out during the day, but the deer are still around.
The long dry spell in the cashmere sales is finally over! Thank heavens! I've only got 13 fleeces of mine left to dehair, then I'll be done and get can them all up on the website and other places and get them sold. I'll make some yarn with it, too.
Miss Astrid is the first, and hopefully only, unplanned pregnancy of the breeding season. Midnight got out when the herd was out in the lower pasture and had a grand ol' time out there. Thank heavens she was the only one in heat that day! February babies are not what I want around here, it's usually too cold then. I don't have a good barn, just a bunch of 3 sided shelters that work great in the late winter, early spring, but not so much in the dead of winter. I guess if I have to, I can make something in the hayshed. I just don't have heat lamps or anything. Good thing cashmere goats are hardy!
Well, that's the latest news from around here. Happy Fall everyone!