After a week of cold weather, it finally warmed up on Friday, and we went for our first goatwalk of the year. Later on, we'll be doing this nearly every day. Today's walk was a short one, just to get the herd used to doing it again. Not very many of the animals came along, just a few goats, none of the sheep.
The goats were a bit nervous. They spent more time looking for danger than eating. After a while, though, they started to relax and find stuff to munch on. There isn't much growing yet. They mostly ate the low-growing evergreen plants like kinnikinick and false box. We also found a group of young pine trees to nibble. I love the citrusy smell that fills the air when they eat pine.
Of course, the dogs had a great time. They checked out the bush around us, hunted mice, and played in the patches of snow that haven't melted yet. Tobias came with us, too, though he wasn't as happy about it. He mostly followed behind, muttering to himself.
Goatwalking is at the very center of our life here. It's a necessary chore, keeping the goats happy and healthy. It's also entertainment for us, part of our food-gathering process, and a survival skill. I once read a book, aptly named, "Goatwalking," that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in survival skills. Unfortunately, I don't know the author's name. Most of the book is a fairly heavy philosophical work, but the first chapters, dealing with goatwalking, were fascinating.