I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Monday, May 17, 2010

Goat Cheese and a Warning from Murphy... I think.

We made GOAT cheese Saturday. It was really fun and easy. I drove up from Sutter Creek a few miles, driving toward Volcano, where we lived for 3 years when we first moved to Amador Co. The lady who offered to show us how to make goat cheese is a member of our goat club and she, very generously, showed us the process.
She also fed us lunch with everything made from goat cheese and goat milk. We were served a mixed green salad with circles of breaded and baked goat cheese slices, a goat cheese quiche with mushrooms and onions, a "goat cheese" cheese cake and goat milk ice creme. OMG! It was all delicious. What a treat!! The quiche, with big pieces of goat cheese in it and the ice creme were my favorites. I learned that Nubian dairy goats produce the best milk for making cheese because they have the highest fat content. Not that my goat boys would care..., because they don't do milk, but Brownie needs to know that female goats have great value in the goat world and actually produce something for their owners. He thinks he's a "big cheese" just because he eats grass. I think we need a couple of milk goats around here to show him otherwise.

Last night I took a walk and when I came back I went over to the goat house to say hello and tell the boys about my Saturday cheese making experience. Murphy seems to be the only one who was interested. The others were inside their shelter.
Murphy, as usual, seemed to want to tell me something but the words were strange and I really didn't understand what he was telling me.

"What's the matter Murph'?" I heard him say it again..., one of those Welsh sounds came out of his mouth. The language, in my opinion, that this goat channels is from some other place and time.
I never did understand what it was that he was trying to tell me, but last night we heard an animal somewhere out there screaming as if it was being attacked.., and then silence.
This morning the gate had been broken loose again and 3 of the goat boys were outside in the run. Murphy was still in the goat house doorway looking at us with those strange eyes.
"What's going on Murph'?" I asked.
This time he didn't say a word. He just looked at me and then out at the other goats.
Something is not right. Something is spooking the goats. I sense that it might be the mountain lions that our neighbor filmed a few weeks back. Maybe I'm wrong. It could be a loose dog , a coyote, a lynx or fox too. The grass around the chicken coop had been sat on, but nothing has tried to get into the enclosure. Annibel is locked in the garage at night, so it's not her.
We are on guard around here. The Prospector is fixing the fence, but I think we should close the goats in completely. A Mountain Lion does not respect a fenced area if it's hungry. I don't argue with the instincts of a wild animal if they need food.
Murphy knows and he's trying to tell us. But, with all the stories I tell about these goats, I don't really understand what he's saying so we need to be vigilant. We may have to stand guard for a few nights to see what's going on.
Murphy knows. All the animals do.
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  1. Oh, you have me worried now about the possibility of a mountain lion wandering about your property.
    On a lighter note, I think it is SO cool that you made goat cheese. I LOVE me some good goat cheese. Yum.

  2. If you cannot understand the goats, we sure could not. You and your goats make a very interesting and neat feature. I will pass on the cheese though.

  3. Yum yum yum, what a delicious menu, I LOVE goat cheese in any form! Yes, get some nanny goats, Farm Lady!

  4. Yes it's best to listen to that Mr Murphy, no matter what language he's using. I wouldn't want one hair on that sweet face so much as dented!

  5. I have had goat cheese when I was a young girl,but I did not know you could make all the other stuff you mentioned. I hope you find out what is trying to get at your goats. Have a blessed day.

  6. Murphy has a sort of smile for the camera- Oh if I was there I would stand guard for them. Hey if you do does that mean like children they feel safe and would not let you know anything was wrong, and wouldn't another animal sense or smell you?

    I saw this movie where a guy poured goat pee on himself so another animal would not smell him, so he could sneak by- it was too funny. I guess if it worked, hey, just sayin'

    Goat cheese is like heroin to me :) Ummm some fresh herbs, a little honey...oh I am needing a fix right now :)

  7. The cheesemaking and recipes really have me interested. I might be tempted to buy some goats milk cheese at the farmers market to try the cheesecake!

    I'm worried about the mountain lion, though, and hoping you'll be locking the boys in until he finds another stomping grounds. Good luck!

  8. I've only tried goat cheese once, and I was less than thrilled.. but maybe it was just the one particular maker,you know? I'm willing to try it again, but maybe just not at the market.

    I heard a mountain lion while we were in Murphys, and the local deer were spooked and pretty edgy. But the Old Guy and my friend didn't believe me, saying that mountain lions don't exist in the wild anymore! They thought they didn't exist outside of John Wayne movies! Yeah... and the bears don't either eh? ;)
    So listen to Murph. HE knows what he's saying, even if you don't!!

  9. Absolutely listen to Murphy! Of course he knows, that's what he's trying to tell you. He wants you guys to protect them, and you will. Poor Murph, he's so responsible being the spokesman for the group!

    Thanks for stopping by Connie. My heart is healing quickly, but will never forget. Hugs, Riki

  10. Poor Murph,,I am worried about them all and you so do keep us posted...Carlton is pretty handsome too. Animals can usually tell things that we can't like earthquakes..I was born there and it always seemed they acted odd prior to an earthquake..you've probably heard that all before too. Anyway,,, Lovely pics and thanks for sharing them. I was just going here and there doing the blue monday thing..And wanted to stop by.
    Have a blessed week...Hugs from Iowa ~ Dena

  11. Oh the sweet taste of goat cheese..... How fun to actually make it. Take care of Murph and the rest of the crew. The mountains are full of wild things that could hurt them. Listen to them- an animal's innate sense is always right.
    Take care, Sue

  12. We used to have goats when I was a child. One day my mom decided to make goat cheese. For some reason she ended up with balls of cheese the size of small eggs. It tasted just fine, but it was more fun bouncing them.

    I suggest locking Murphy and the boys in the barn at night. We lost a few goats to Mountain Lions. Cutting the limbs of trees (inside and outside)around the goat pen that are hanging over the fence might help. I can think of only one way of stopping a hungry Mountain Lion from getting you or your animals. But I don't know your views on that. Stay safe! Sherri

  13. You have the most interesting stories, Connie, living in the country. I know you will take the necessary steps to protect your critters. Murphy is doing his best to communicate, I'm sure. Take care and wishing you and all your creatures a safe night.

  14. That sounds like a delicious meal! I love goat cheese. Oh I hope it is not a mountain lion! Time to get a Great Pyrenees for your goats? My husband ran into our neighbor at the store the other day and he asked if we were having troubles with coyotes because they have lost three calves already this year to coyotes. So far (knock on wood!) we have not lost a goat to a predator since we have had the livestock guardian dogs but there seems to be more and more coyotes every year around here! I loved the cute pictures of Murphy, he looks like such a sweet goat!

  15. Oh gosh, what a worry for Murphy and you! I know you will keep the goats safe, Murphy trusts you and so do I.
    I'm doing a cheese making course next week, can't wait, but made from cows milk, I don't have a goat any more and when I did he didn't provide the necessary milk.
    I do so love reading your blog!!


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