Life Here

May 6, 2016 By Shirley Arnold

The Goats of PVE

Much has happened. The 6 Shooters are on the march. We have played two more bocce matches and won both of them.   This, in spite of the interesting distractions around the court.

Not many people play bocce with 160 goats milling around six feet away, separated only by a spindly electrified fence.

Why, you may ask, the herd? Because we had generous rainfall last winter, the grasses, wild roses, thistles, poppies, daffodils, foxtails and fennel grew fast and beyond abundantly in our preserve, management hired this herd to do what they do best – level it, and quickly. They also fertilize it, free of charge.

PVE may not use weed killers or send mowing machines into the preserve, a beautiful area of several acres with Laurel Creek meandering through it. We last hired a herd of goats in 2013, followed by three years of drought, so no need.

These are probably the most photographed goats in the US of A. For the past two weeks, many of our 500 residents armed with cameras and iPhones have been walking around the penned area where the herd is eating their way through undergrowth under ancient oak trees. My house is next to one of the grazing areas giving us a front row seat to the munch fest. It also drives our herding dog, Corky, crazy with frustration.

Sadly, by next week they will have completed the job and be trucked away.   Oh, and did I say 160 goats? Three frisky kids were born at PVE, so 163 will leave.


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