Left my animals

Did you read that book, The World Without Us? It’s about what would happen if humans disappeared off the face of the earth. Cities would rust, sewer systems would explode, parks would go wild. I’ve been thinking about what would happen if I disappeared–the bunnies would click on their lix-it bottles, the goats would quietly go feral, the bees would swarm over and over again. Knowing this, when I booked my trip to the East Coast, I began ferrying animals here and there. Which always gives me a heart attack.

Last Tuesday I took Bebe and Ginger the goats to a gorgeous goat farm in Vacaville called Castle Rock. I popped them into a big dog crate and drove north. The scenery was gorgeous–green rolling hills, a farm with a bunch of white geese, old crumbling barns. My friends S and J came along because they were interested in goat breeding. Yep, Ginger and Bebe are getting knocked up. We released them out into the pack, and Bebe immediately began head butting everyone. Ginger puffed up. Establishing their rank in the herd. I think they’ll have a nice vacation. I mean, there are six bucks to choose from. The owner, Sarah, and I decided to hook Bebe up with a young buck named Harvey; and Ginger up with a dark and handsome Guy Noir. They’ll stay up there for about two weeks. For days after dropping them off, I thought I could hear them shifting around on the back porch, or nickering at night, begging for some oats. Just my imagination.

Thursday I packed up all the rabbits, and relocated them to San Lorenzo. It must have made a funny sight, several cages stack up in my truck, with black and white rabbits hopping around. They seem happy with the new cages that we built at LaBrie Farm. I bought a whole watering system but couldn’t figure out how to keep it from dripping, so they’re all using bottle waterers until I can get back to fix it. The deck at my house is totally abandoned looking now. I’m not sure what to do with the new space. I was thinking about doing a deep clean, and building a cheese cave out there. It’s a constant 50 degrees no matter what season. Would definitely have to mouse-proof that.

Saturday morning I planted every seedling that I had started. Green bean seedlings had been languishing on top of the duck car, in the garden there were some sad looking tomato starts, basil, and cauliflower, in the laundry room rampicante zuchinis and cucumbers. All planted and deeply watered in before our dawn flight to New York.

I’m in New York still. I heard it rained in Oakland, so I’m imagining the green little ones speckled with moisture and loving it; the goats out in the peaceful fields getting it on; the bunnies snuggled up in the barn in San Lorenzo. Yep, I’m homesick.

I’m reading in the DC area April 29, 7pm at the Arlington Public Library.

10 responses to “Left my animals

  1. I’m going to tell my DC friends you’re out there. 🙂

  2. and yes–it’s a nice and gentle Spring rain–i got my plants into the ground before the rains began, too–they’re really happy out there. 🙂

  3. I can completely relate. It’s hard leaving even when you know you’ll be back. Whenever we come home from anywhere my first urge is still to run out to the garden or the chicken hut and see the girls. We have no girls now, but I still think about running to the garden…a five minute bike ride now.

  4. We’re going on vacation soon and are also planning on breeding one of our does. That would actually be the perfect time to do it, while we’re gone.
    I have a friend that got her goats from Castle Rock and finds that Sarah is extremely helpful if you have any questions.

  5. That book! I am reading it right now – it’s become my falling-asleep book, and it’s a strangely calming meditation. I’m finding myself comforted by the idea of seedlings breaking through the asphalt and geologic time.

    Enjoy your trip!

  6. yup… read that book. (fits right in with my penchant for dystopian fiction) I found it helps put things in perspective. (humans aren’t the be all and end all ;-))

  7. Yuppers! Sarah at Castle Rock is wonderful. I’m the friend Rachel mentioned. She just got to the punch before me.

    My herd consists of 4 goats from Castle Rock plus 3 new little goatlings born about 3 weeks ago (they’re for sale). I’ve been extremely happy with all of them. My two “teenagers” and my 3 new kids were all fathered by Mr. Lincoln. I have my eye on Harvest Moon when I breed Balule (Lulu) in the fall.

    No worries about your girls. Sarah will take excellent care of them! And your kids will benefit from her excellent breeding program and milk lines. But of course, they will be happy to see you when you get home.

    Enjoy your trip!!!

  8. Novella- it sounds like moving the rabbits is a permanent thing when you mention redoing the porch into a cheese cave. Will they be staying out at LaBrie?

  9. I think they made a tv show about this, ” Life after people,” on history channel.

  10. Rob (not imposter Rob)

    Hey Novella,

    Didn’t know you were headed east-coastwards! I think I probably missed you, but I hope your trip was a good one. Still in Jersey, moving slowly but surely toward the hot heart of the season. I’ll send you some of the pictures I took in March as soon as I figure out how to buy stamps during farm hours. Glad to be reading about all the goings on, and congrats on the new site!


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