Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Flowers to Feed the Soul.

Wordless yes, so look... breath in....
"Bread may feed the body,
But flowers feed the soul."
~The Koran~


Monday, May 9, 2011

The Cal-Am Dairy Goat Show- Plymouth, CA.

This is a big part of what the goat show is about. Young children raising and showing animals. Learning how to lead a goat out into the arena and being proud of themselves and their animals.
The young ones played and watched ...
This is where kids learn to break in a pair of cowboy boots at an early age.
and where stepping in manure is a way of life.
The awards were waiting and the folks that record and call the different categories of the show checked  the paperwork, making sure that categories and breeds were in the right places.
Before the showing of the goats, the judges brought all the 4H kids out and showed them how to handle their goats. How to walk, lead, stand and show their goat to the best advantage. The judge was so good with them and some of the goats were very young and not use to being in a show. Some of the goats were not cooperating. The judge would take the goat and demonstrate how to calm the goat down and lead instead of being led. It was fun to watch him work with the kids.
You can see how many different goats there were. Each child had their own goat that they had raised. I loved this little tiny goat with hardly any ears. It was a very young, goat that looked kind of like a greyhound. It was one of the calm ones. I asked someone. They said it was a "cross", maybe between a La Mancha (very small ears) and a Nigerian dwarf but she wasn't sure. I don't think she was crossed with a Pygmy or a Dwarf because her legs were long.
 I wanted to bring her home with me.She was so sweet and a bit overwhelmed with everything.... but so beautiful.
So the judging began. Nubians have their own category. Brownie would have been proud. He would have been strutting his stuff..... only he's a "HE" and this is all about the ladies today. But he would have been cheering them on.
The show is basically about this..
Conformation, udders, teats, rib cage, legs and coat. It's a beauty pageant for does.No evening gowns or tiaras. Just goat perfection in the show ring.
The term DAIRY CHARACTER refers to the characteristics of a doe that give you reason to believe she will be a good milker. An average doe will give you about 1,800 pounds  or 900 quarts of milk per year.
These gals are the best of the best.
Their owners don't milk them before the show, so that they look full and wide. In a "doe" show, this is a good thing. Some goats looked uncomfortable out there. As soon as they are done, they head right for the "milking station" that is set up for them. I would imagine that they are quite relieved after they stop at the "station".
My friend, Jane, brought two goats to show. The one on the right above is a yearling and wasn't sure about all of this. When Jane left to show her other goat, this one put up such a commotion that she could be hear all over the fairgrounds. I went over and talked to her. I told her that Jane would be back soon. I stood there with her until Jane returned. She quieted down some but she was still upset. Poor little thing. She just didn't know what was going on and why her Jane and her goat companion were gone. As soon as they came back she was fine.
"I don't know why she got so upset. Jane and I had business to attend to. I may win a prize. She's such a baby."
Will you look at this! Only a Nubian would wear something so amazingly pretty. Of course, I'm partial to this breed but look at this handmade, quilted, goat  coat. Wow! Some goat owners stop at nothing for the love of their goats. There was a cold wind blowing through the arena area so a lot of the goats had covers on them but this one was special.. don't you think?
So the wagons lined up and waited, in hopes of winning Best In Show, the highest honor, and the biggest prize....
One for each ring. Our gourd group donated the gourds and I put the baskets together. They hold goat supplies from CAPRINE supply in Desoto, Kansas., little bottles of sparkling apple juice and a big ribbon  from the ADGA.
Look at these beautiful animals.... I think they know that this show is for them.
They are interesting, unique and fun loving animals. We all had a good time.
The President of the goat club and I set up the raffle.. Oh, excuse me... OPPORTUNITY DRAWING.  We had wonderful donations from local businesses.
All in all, it was a good show. These shows always teach me more about goat breeds and the folks who raise them. I learn more all the time. It's a great group of people. I'm proud to be a goat owner and be in the company of these people who love goats.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Memories of My Mother

The best conversations with mothers always take place in silence, when only the heart speaks.  ~Carrie Latet

I miss you Mom.
Now, you are in my heart.