edward, the most horrible goat in the world, is an incredible escape artist. he breaks chains, plows through fences, drags concrete blocks for miles, and breaks down doors. at only about 100 pounds, he’s not a very big goat, but he’s as wide as he is long and too stubborn to let mere physics get in the way of his caprine antics. and (of course) this is the goat that oakland can’t stop chasing. late last week, edward broke a steel cable tether (the kind that says “for giant or aggressive dogs; 150 lb. strength”, har har) and was loose most of the weekend. he stayed up in the back pasture where the other two goats are tethered, so it was no big, but there’s no guarantee that he won’t just wander into the house if he’s wild and free, so i prefer to keep him tied. after a failed attempt at tying the steel cable back together, i went to the hardware store and bought fifteen feet of welded steel chain. like, you could drag trees with this chain. it’s ridiculous when jenny is fine with a flimsy dog chain and big old oak is handily tied with a 185# strength nylon rope. i chained edward to the calf hutch sunday night and went merrily on my way. when i got home on monday after work, he was dragging the hutch all over the place, spooking the horses and sending soni under the hot gate. it takes two humans to carry this hutch and would probably take three to beat the friction from the ground to drag or push it. ridiculous!
so, tuesday evening i set about moving some of dana’s pasture fence so that i could tie edward to a tree next to the composter, where the weeds and grass have rather buried the composting operation this summer. the weather was pleasantly jacket-y and cool, but not chilly, and the sun was shining. i was pottering around in the sort of aimless way that i do when i haven’t sat down and made a fencing plan before i start fencing when i realized that those red things on the ground that kept catching my eye were leaves. then i heard the honk of geese. and i realized that there was no escape, the downhill slope was sloping gleefully downhill: autumn.
i looked around me, seeing all of the things that still need to be done before winter and couldn’t believe how quickly the summer flew, how little i accomplished, how panicked the idea of snow on the wind made me feel. at least this summer’s failed garden means that i don’t have the garden to put to bed before winter, but the chicken coop needs repairs, the shed needs cleaning and the floor replaced (and the roof, too, but that might have to wait for next spring), the flower beds need attention, and the whole place needs to be tidied and battened down. and it’s only september, but there’s so much to do and so few (so short, so usually-rainy) days left.