Our move into the rural lifestyle has been gradual. Leaving the big city of Sydney to migrate to the village of Mole Creek 19 years ago and then transitioning to the isolation of a country retreat after 12 years of frenzied living as guest house proprietors, we have eased ourselves into the changing world around us. Since getting the goat girls, the pace of change has picked up and now new developments are almost a daily occurrence.
|The Circle of Goat|
Each week there is a new acquisition from the rural suppliers be it fence parts, animal food or animal husbandry implements and each week we learn new things about the complexities of keeping livestock. Part of Lyn's work in accommodating this new situation as been to build the goats a shelter to keep them from the cold and make their sojourn with us a pleasant experience, safe from the elements and with all the comforts of whatever it is that goats find comfort in. Mind you, this is one project that is likely to take as long as the book shelves I promised Lyn several years ago.
|"I am not an animal"|
|Sugar realigns the string lines|
The location of the shelter was chosen due to its relative level ground and a convenient pile of nearby rocks. Preliminary site works involved mowing the area to provide a clear work place and to discourage the persistent occupation of anything of the slithery variety. Unfortunately, even short grass isn't a definite deterrent for the slitherers and no impediment to the leeches at all. Digging the foundations gave Lyn an excuse to play in the dirt and reinforce her discernment when it came to telling a useful rock from a nuisance rock. Each afternoon when I arrived home from work the first task was to find Lyn in the paddock and see if any extra muscle was needed to shift a particularly recalcitrant stone.
|Polly tries a medicinal elixer|
|Every one gets in for a drop|
The walls of the shelter have reached a respectable height but now are abandoned for the winter and visits to the girls and bottles of cider are more widely spaced as the hours are short and the ground damp. But summer will return and with it the patter of tiny hooves as a new generation of kids literally climbs the walls and relishes the stories that their mothers tell of times before the stone walls and of the largess dispensed by those mysterious builders with their strange elixirs and pockets full of treats.