|Overcash Hay Farm, Salisbury NC|
When Chuck got to the farm to pick up the trailer, he noticed a bunch of limbs down in the buck field. We have had several storms blow through in the evenings along with the intense heat, and the one the night before had been a particularly windy one, to the tune of wind speeds being clocked at 70 mph. A few sheds had blown over, but luckily no large trees were downed on this farm (there are a few across the road to the old farm). Chuck started picking up cherry limbs, and soon realized there were more little pieces of limb down than he could pick up in time to either make it down to get hay on time, or before one of the bucks might decide to sample one. We have both heard many stories of horses, cattle, and goats lost to the cyanide formed in wilting cherry leaves, and our woods are like most woods in this part of North Carolina - just loaded with cherry trees. So, he fell back and punted. He moved two kids out of their pen and put the bucks in there. It is attached to the buck field and close enough to the gate to put a goat panel between the two and he just led them in with a feed bucket. I have googled and googled to see if there is anything definitive that says how long it takes for the cherry leaves to become nontoxic, but I haven't found any information that gives me a warm fuzzy that they are safe before they are completely brown and crispy, so the bucks have not been moved back over yet. As Chuck said that morning, dead goats don't eat much hay.
|An interesting machine approached with hay|
|I wondered why they just dropped the first few bales|
|AU Grazer - open bales remind me of alfalfa|
|Chuck arranges the first bales|
|The magic machine on the job|
|This has to take practice.|
|The hay man checking it out|
|Virginia checking it out, too|
|I wonder what she thought as this approached|
|Apparently, not too much.|
|Loaded and adding straps|
|All that's left is to finish strapping and pay|
As I had mentioned before, this goat had really soft poop, which means he was still sporting a reasonable mess on his back end. They say when you have an accident, time slows down, and I have experienced this phenomenon a few times in my life (most involve being thrown from horses, and having time on the way down to craft a logical plan for landing and getting hurt the least). Here again, it was as if everything had gone into slow motion. I heard myself saying "oooohhhhh nooooooo" as I watched in horror as Chip's little body sailed through the air, his face aiming directly at the buckling's befouled hind end. I winced as he landed, his head appearing to be squarely up against where the poop had been. Chip had caught the goat and had his hands in a death grip on both back legs and was holding fast as Chuck swept in and took over. The buckling is pretty young, so I believe he was too surprised to even attempt to kick or move. It was all I could do not to look away as Chip picked himself up and began to turn towards me, although we were already at that point all caught up in the giggles in spite of ourselves and expecting a really traumatized little boy and a particularly malodorous trip home. To my astonishment, he looked brightly up at me, miraculously free of poop, and beaming from ear to ear, declared, "I caught the goat! I caught the goat." And he had. I still have no idea how Chip launched himself face first towards the business end of a scouring goat, landed squarely up against it, and came out unscathed and smelling like a rose. I guess he just got lucky this time.