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Life Here

December 21, 2017 By Bruce Bartels

The Goats Were Here

By the time you read this, the goats will have come and gone. For those of you who were new to the attack of these hairy beasts, I will provide a little history. As most of you know, the creek that runs through Paradise Valley Estates is a protected area and we cannot alter the creek—50 feet on either side of the centerline of the creek—in any way without proper permission from “the authorities.”

Several years ago (with the proper authority), the PVE maintenance crew was sent down into the creek area to get rid of the overgrown foliage. Little did they know that the creek bed was full of poison oak. They learned it shortly thereafter when they all broke out with the red rash many of us have had at one time or another. Conclusion: Don’t send the maintenance crew into the creek area ever again.

But how do we clean out the overgrown creek bed? Answer: The goats! So began the visits by these interesting animals. The goats can eat the poison oak with no apparent problems. If you had a chance to see them during their visit this year you probably saw them eating, and eating, and eating. They seem to eat everything, including the low hanging leaves of the trees. Some goats will actually climb up into the trees to get a special meal.

This year I was told that all the goats were male. This avoids the goat keeper from having to deal with little “kids” during the goats’ stay at PVE. It looks like the boys did a pretty good job of cleaning up the creek bed and surrounding areas. Will they be back next year? That all depends on how much foliage grows back next winter and spring. Let’s hope for another rainy winter (for many reasons) and perhaps we will see the goats again next summer.

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