Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hitchhikers and Muscle Men

Most days, when I head out to do chores, I have a hitch-hiker or two
along for the ride.
It's the highlight of Maddie's day...

And then there's Sam, who rides along when he is tired of running.

Oakley, on the other hand, never accepts a ride...
not from anyone!

Thank goodness our veterinarian lives on the farm.
We'd never get Oakley into a car!

And then, there is the occasional surprise hitchhiker,
like this katydid.

During this past summer, our nights were incredibly loud,
thanks to the song of these katydids.
Lately, though, we rarely hear them.
In fact, except for the occasional "caw-caw" of crows, we hear very few birdsongs,
or insects these days.

Yesterday afternoon, at feeding time, I sat in the buck's pen watching, listening.

It amazed me how silent the world was...
a sharp contrast to the bird and insect symphony that has entertained us for the past months.

I wonder if the animals notice the subtle changes that happen between the seasons.

Animals seem to live in the moment, without notice to future or past.
But then, who really knows?
This is Fred, our red fainting goat buck who reminds me of Ferdinand the Bull.

We are occasionally questioned as to what kind of animal Fred is...
as he looks a little like he might be part pig.
Check out those thigh muscles!
Fred is one of our most muscular goats, and also one of our most highly myotonic.

You see, fainting goats are actually myotonic goats.
They respond to nervous system stimuli such as fear, surprise, or excitement
with stiffening of their muscles.
This can cause them to drop over as if they have fainted,
when in actuality, they have just stiffened up.
Because Fred is stiff so much of the time, he has developed very big muscles.
And you thought he just spent a lot of time at the gym, didn't you?


  1. seems fred is doing his own form of isometrics! teddy refuses to get in the car any longer which is a real problem since the vet nor the groomer live here.

  2. I love reading your blog and looking at the beautiful pictures. I always learn something new:)Had just recently seen a myotonic goat on America's funniest home I know.

  3. What I miss are the birds in the morning---talking about babies and bugs and the neighborhood cat.

    It seems like Fainting goats would have evolution against them. The more "fainting" the goat, the more likely he is to get eaten by a predator. Luckily, Fred is safe and sound. :)

  4. Being in a warmer clime, the birds have just started singing again with the return of the sparrows. Ugh, so many many sparrows. But the mockingbirds are also singing a bit more so that's very sweet.
    I'm curious, what is it about that particular type of goat that you like so much, as opposed to Pygmy goats or others?

  5. Fred is so handsome...even if he is part pig...I still hear the Chickadees, Wrens, Cardinals and finches..and the squirrels..noisy buggers they are..Soon it will be Crow season..

  6. Love your hitchhikers!! My two can't get out the door fast enough when I tell them "let's go"! I do believe it is their highlight to go in the car.

    I don't think I would want to get in Fred's way. He look strong enough to bowl anyone over. But I guess if you scared him he would stop and stiffen up, maybe!

    Enjoy you Fall day!! Hugs!!

  7. I just love Fred.. Quite the handsome fellow.
    I enjoy your posts so much Beverly, thank you for a day on the farm
    p.s. I have not seen a katydid since I was a child..

  8. So this explains why my thighs are soooo big.

  9. I thought he had been working out at his feed bowl! Ha!

    I have never seen a Katydid up close...beautiful!


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