"The life of a goat herder is easy, the goats take care of themselves."
Eddie Murphy, Coming to America, 1988
Although 2014 is the 7th year the goats have been on the Roan Highlands, it was only my second time being lucky enough to assist in "herding" them to their summer home. And, for the record, it is alot easier than herding cats!
|2014 - And they're off!|
I am not a botanist, so I cannot explain the purpose & science behind this endeavor as well as the people who developed it, but in a few words, here goes: This volunteer based project was basically created to try to help preserve the grassy balds of the Roan Highlands here in TN/NC. While there are many theories concerning the development and age of these balds, the fact is that this area remains an important habitat for many rare species of plants such as the Grays Lily and Bent & Spreading Avens. The purpose of this project is to attempt to restore the diversity & growth of these plants through use of grazing animals. One of the primary invasive plants on the balds is blackberry, which also happens to be a favorite food of goats.
And did I mention that the "kids" are crazy cute?
|2013 - Taking a break on the climb up|
|2013 - Baxter at Round Bald|
|2014 - Lyndsey gets to meet Bigdog|
|2014 - Heading up to Round Bald|
|2014 - The last stragglers|
|2014 - Everyone present & accounted for!|
While the weather was a little bit cool, misty & rainy this year, there was still a good turnout of volunteers & no goats were left behind!
Overall I feel like this is a very worthwhile endeavor & hope it continues in the future. The Baatany Project is always in need of assistance & support can be provided in a variety of ways: You can "adopt" a goat for a month or a summer, help pay Bigdog's kibble & vet bill, help carry food and/or water up, or even purchase a hand knitted hat made from the hair of the Roan Goats!
Check out www.baatany.org to get the whole story.
Now I just can't help myself - gotta end this with some of my favorite goat photos!
|2013 - Not a bad place to spend the summer|
|2014 - My buddy Harold finally gets to check "goat herding" off his bucket list|
|2014 - Lyndsey really enjoyed it as well|
|2014 - Mama! Wait up!|
|2013 - Hiding in the paddock|