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?