"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Worth Waiting For

Oh, my goat! What is this??? Looks yummy...uhhh...beautiful, don't you think? So what is it, you ask? Well, this is a picture of the goatmother's Epiphyllum. You see, as I have said before, the goatmother views herself as somewhat of a 'gardener'. Now, this doesn't mean she is all that good at it really, but she tries very hard and that has to count for something ... I guess.

Anyway, as you may or may not know, the goatmother used to live in California (waaaay too hot for me) and moved here 5 years ago. This was in her pre-goat era. Now when she resided in California, one thing she always liked to do was go to the annual cactus show in a place called San Juan Bautista. So some 7 years ago, or so, she purchased one little limb of an Epiphyllum (or Orchid Cactus) and decided to bring it to Washington with her even though it had never bloomed (hope springs eternal and all that...).

Just in case you were wondering (you were, weren't you???) Epiphyllums in the wild live in the branches of trees. To me this sort of makes them like birds, or monkeys. Why don't they call them Bird Cactus or Monkey Cactus? At any rate, Epiphyllums don't really like the sun and they sure don't like a lot of rain. ( Uh, oh. Doesn't sound like a Washington sort of plant to me, but then what do I know?) With that in mind, the goatmother hung it out under the eave of the 'doggie' house nee potting shed in the summer, and put it inside the potting shed in the winter under fluorescent lights. One might wonder why she didn't bring it inside the house, but it turns out that Epiphyllums must have cold in order to bloom (again with the hope springing eternal thing ...).

So the Epiphyllum grew from a sprig to a many-branched sprig, but still it had no blooms. Then the goatmother read that the thing to do was not to water it in the winter. At all. Whoa. Harsh. This was an extremely hard idea for the goatmother to consider, but she gave it a try. Amazingly, last year, in the spring, the annoyingly-unadorned managed to put out two small buds. The goatmother, being the goatmother, thought, 'Oh! I must give it some water!'... at which point the buds promptly fell off. Oy. Way to go Mother Teresa.

So this year, the goatmother stepped on her compassion and DID NOT water the Epiphyllum. It set on two buds and still she persevered. 'Oy', she thought, 'this plant has not had any water since October.' But she held her hand and waited...and waited...and waited... The buds grew larger and every day the goatmother would go to the potting shed and think...'any day now, any day now'. Then last night, the goatmother went out to the potting shed and lo and behold the eagle had landed! And as you can see, it was very well worth the wait.

And just so you can see how large this bloom actually is, below is a shot with the whole plant.

I, myself, like to think that it finally opened in honor of my dear friend, Baby Belle. "Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again."

Friday, June 19, 2009

No Words

Sometimes in life there are just no words...even for a philosopher. Yesterday I lost a comrade-in-arms - someone who inspired me to start my own humble musings. My old chum, Baby Belle, from the farm I was born on, passed on to that great Salal patch beyond. Never was there a sharper mind, a more cynical nature, a more finely-honed wit, or a greater friend. Period. Baby Belle, you will be so greatly missed. May there be Peanuts and Swedish Fish in unending abundance as you bounce merrily through ever-lush fields of Blackberry, Salal and succulent, fresh spring grass.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Now That's What I'm Talkin' 'Bout ...

Really. The picture just DOES not do it justice. Really. You may recall that back in February the goatmother learned how to crochet. In case you forgot, you can check here. Anyway, at that time I was hoping against hope for a coat. But then she made this ridiculous looking thing for Cabra (check it out here) and I lost ALL interest. Quickly. I'm sure you can understand why. But now... NOW the goatmother has fashioned what you see above. It is beautiful. It is purple (my favorite color) and it has lovely pastel flowers. Okay, I'm back in for the coat. A goat could look very stylish in something like this. Why I could be the next Linda Evangoatista, or the next Tyra Butts, or maybe even the next Cindy Cudford. I am So stoked. All I need now is a pair of Jimmy Chews or Manolo Baaaniks to complete my ensemble. Move over all you would-be fashionistas. Mahrí-gold is on the goatwalk.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Meet the Munchers

It has been just way too hot here and heat always brings out the nastiness - in Ella as well as in general. Anyway, with the heat usually comes the flies. I don't like flies. They are annoying - just like Ella. At any rate, it has just been way too hot. I don't like hot - just like I don't like Ella. I'm sure you get what I'm trying to say here.

Enter The Munchers. Who are The Munchers, you ask? Well, in this case, they are a pair of Barn Swallows who have decided to take up residence in our barn. So why am I calling them 'The Munchers'? That would be because they have a very healthy appetite for little insecty things that buzz about - like those vexatious flies. Way to go Munchers!!!

Now The Munchers are very good to have around a farm because they not only eat flies, but the ever-pesky mosquito. How great can one bird be? Why they even eat those unnerving too-many-leggedy-for my-taste spiders. Mun-chers! Mun-chers! Mun-chers!

I must admit, however, that I do not understand why they are called 'Barn Swallows'. I think my name for them is much more meaningful. I mean, how could a bird swallow a barn? Surely that isn't possible, and yet one might never imagine the amount of cookies a goat the size of Peanut could swallow either. Perhaps the phenomenon could be likened to the winners of those hot dog eating contests who are always way too skinny to be consuming that kind of a load. I'm just sayin' ...

At any rate, with any luck there will soon be a few more checking in. In the meantime, maybe we can get a little reciprocal action going. The Munchers can teach Boo to eat like a bird while Boo teaches them to eat like, well, a Boo. I think it's going to be a niiiiiice bug-free summer. Yes indeedy.