The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Into the woods with goats

Goats in the woods

One of my favorite parts of goatkeeping (combined with our too-small pastures) is that our herd prompts me to wander in the woods on a regular basis. On previous summers, I've usually figured I'm too busy to go on extra walks, but our goats have taught me that there's always time for a good ramble.

Barren woods

During the week, we just spend an hour in the evening hanging out within a short distance of the coop. I read and relax while the goats browse. But on the weekends, I often like to explore...even if that means we end up in parts of the woods that are so deer browsed that they're nearly barren from a goat point of view.

Goat on a hill

(Note to self --- I definitely need to buckle down on the hunting this fall. The deer have been staying out of our garden, but their populations appear to be very high this year.)


Ah, this spot looks much more goat friendly.

Hillside treefall

There's nothing like a pair of goats to make a bipedal human feel even more ungainly than usual. Our darling does prance across deadfalls like this in a heartbeat while I slowly pick my way through the trip hazard with much more care.

Goat on a log

Of course, I shouldn't be surprised at their agility since the girls have been practicing on their balance beams for most of the summer. In case you can't tell, Abigail is repeatedly headbutting that tree in front of her while staying steady atop the log despite her trailing leash. Ah, to be a goat.

Grazing goats

GoldensealTop finds of the day Sunday included a small patch of goldenseal that I likely couldn't pinpoint again and a couple of blooming downy rattlesnake plantain (a relatively inconspicuous orchid). Plus some extra peace and joy to hoard for the busy week ahead.

Thanks for the boost, Abigail and Artemesia!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Your woods look beautiful - what a nice way to spend part of your evenings. Around here the mushrooms have been popping so I've been looking for excuses to hit the woods. I'll be posting mushroom foraging posts all this week like an obsessive science geek... I can't get over how beautiful and delicious some of the wild species can be. Just another reason to leave the woods intact.
Comment by David The Good Mon Aug 10 09:34:49 2015

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