Yesterday morning was beautiful; sunny and mild, with a light breeze. This is the kind of day when I love to be outside. So I took myself up to Davidson Mesa for my run. The day was prettier than I felt, which was stiff and a little awkward, as I caught my foot twice on rocks as I began. Fortunately, I did loosen up as I ran. I started on the trail paralleling the dog park, where lots of happy dogs and their people were also enjoying the day.
As I ran, I noticed a trailer parked out in the open space and wondered if there was a project going on. There have been a few different research projects up there, looking at weed abatement, and various species on the mesa. I continued along the trail and when I turned south, the trailer came more clearly into view, along with a number of dark spots. Are they here? I wondered with excitement. A few minutes later it was clear, the goats were here, and working.
Goats have been used around here for a while now to do weeding. They are pretty good at eating the weeds, their droppings are fertilizer, and herbicides can be avoided, along with the very tedious human work of digging weeds one by one. I knew the goats had been in this area last summer, and I hadn’t seen them at work, which had disappointed me. Happily, I continued my run, and the return path of my loop took me directly past their enclosure, a portable fence, with an electric wire along the top, more to keep the predators out than the goats in, I imagine.
I paused for a bit to observe and enjoy their presence. They munched along, largely ignoring me and the few other passersby. Some younger ones were playing and they all appeared content to my non-goat self. Seems like a pretty good gig for a working goat. Different places to graze, meals included. And to me, who really doesn’t like noisy string trimmers or poison sprays, its a good solution. Maybe I’ll hire them for an out of control part of my back lawn!