Ode To Wild Spring: Goats

Californians like to complain about the weather. A lot. And given that our weather is pretty darn close to perfect all the time, I know this will be laughable to our readers living further afield. However, the past few weeks have seen a series of rain storms of such intensity that all complaints are totally warranted. Power’s gone out, roads have flooded, the roof is leaking (ugh, don’t ask) and half the state is a few wet inches shy of sliding into the Pacific Ocean. We’re all ready to wring out our soggy clothes and get on with the business of SPRINGTIME.

Early signs that spring is on the way... Even the trees are excited!

So, when we woke up this morning and saw that there was a dry break in the storms, we put on our coats and headed out of doors. (After being cooped up for weeks, it felt great to get out and get some fresh air.) We headed straight for our favorite hangout – the Oakland Zoo (also blogged here). I think we were the first in the door when they opened. It was awesome – we had the place to ourselves for a whole ten minutes! (It’s quite a popular spot.) Turns out the animals were as excited about the dry spell as we were! Most were out and about, and we had a great visit. So in honor of all things spring and the creatures who appreciate it, we are declaring this week ODE TO WILD SPRING here at thishartmannlife! Enjoy!

First up: The Goats

In the pantheon of animals, goat don’t generally come to mind as worthy of laud, honor and respect. But at the zoo, they are a regular favorite and certainly a highlight to our visits. The goats and sheep are housed in a barn with open enclosures that allows visitors to pet and groom the animals. It’s generally packed with munchkins of all sizes. But today, we had the place to ourselves. Ryan loved every minute of it.

The pygmy goats are like the potbellied pigs of goat family. They are short, squat and make you wonder how nature and evolution could have possibly crafted such a thing. Regardless, they are cute as can be – and the perfect size for toddler adventures.

Sometimes, I think Ryan has much fun playing with the straw as petting the goats. But today, she gave all her love to the goats. She even gave one a hug!

We’ve even seen a couple of goats escape their enclosure. Nimble, they are.*

Sing it with me now: "Give me land, lots of land, under stary skies above... Don't fence me in!"

Stay tuned for the next ODE TO WILD SPRING installment of springtime fabulousness… the bunnies!


*Here in Oakland, fire is a major concern. In 1991 the Oakland Firestorm killed people and pets and wiped out large swathes of residential neighborhoods. These days, goats are regularly used to groom the hills and perform fire abatement during the dry season. I love that even though we live in the High Tech capital of the world, the best solution to weeding hillsides is a hungry pack of goats, a goatherd and a dog. I love the low-tech answer to a very real modern-day problem!


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