Get Off My Lawn – #WATWB

It’s spring, I think. I know the Equinox has occurred, and the days are officially longer than the nights, but spring weather is never guaranteed in early April in New England. The last few years, it hasn’t really felt like spring around here until late May. One sure sign of spring, however, is the presence of people stuffing our mailbox, filling our newspapers and (the worst) bringing to our door, offers for lawncare.

I wrote about lawncare before – we’re not interested. Our yard is not a place for a lawn. Our yard is Maddie’s playground, the Editor’s firewood storage lot, home to the Editor’s vegetable garden and a table for 6-10 squirrels, a couple of chipmunks, a bunny or two and, a cauldron of hawks, a banditry of chickadees, a murder of crows, a chattering of starlings, a herd of wrens, a bevy of doves, a colony of bees, a college of cardinals, a bunch of ‘birdy-birds’ (as I am wont to call them), and apparently, an opossum whom we named Polly.

If it were up to the Editor and our daughter, our small yard would be home to chickens, baby versions of every feline known to man, the occasional bear cub and a veritable tribe of baby goats.

I mentioned the baby goats last, because I found a great article to share for the We Are The World Blogfest (#WATWB). The article was supposed to be shared on Friday, but Friday was Good Friday and I wanted a little less screen time that day. Apparently, my observance was appreciated, because I was rewarded with a better “good news” article than the one I was planning to share. I’m not suggesting that Jesus reads my blog – I’m just saying that I chose not to post and it turned out well for me. Draw your own conclusions.

My story comes from Pittsburgh, where the City Council signed a 5-year contract with a company that provides goats to complete some tricky landscaping jobs:

“It’s a great thing having the goats do this because they are able to get into areas where it may be a problem for our workers to get into,” said Mike Gable, public works director. “It helps to get rid of a lot of invasive vegetation like poison oak and ivy.”

I don’t know about you, but if a guy came to my door offering to let a goat loose in our backyard for a few weeks to take care of the crabgrass, I might just hire him.

Typically operating between April and November, Allegheny Goatscape sends the animals to a location, fences it off and allows them to graze until it is clear. Mr. Deming said it takes anywhere between 14 and 21 days to clear an acre of vegetation.

I think we’re all set, our yard is already fenced in.


Although this story boarders on silly, I’m posting it as part of “We Are the World Blogfest.” I like the fact that members of a city government are (for the most part) putting aside fears and concerns about liability, in favor of a novel solution that may produce better results.

#WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. The blogfest is in its twelfth month of a year-long journey. Note: Late-breaking news indicates that the organizers are extending the blogfest for a second year. The goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts are: Belinda Witzenhausen, Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein Shilpa Garg, and Eric Lahti.

Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time between now and February of 2019.


71 thoughts on “Get Off My Lawn – #WATWB

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        1. Yes, the houses are close together, so some rules are required. I think you can have 2 dogs, maybe three. More than that and you need a license to operate a kennel, which means they are allowed to inspect. Unfortunately, there are some people in the neighborhood for whom common sense isn’t a very good guide.

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Haha! I love that last pic most of all. And dear Chippy… our little chipmunk is still way too afraid of humans. But I caught a glimpse of it yesterday. I imagine goats could get the job done, but the Editor’s flowers would be a delicacy for them. Then what would your greedy bees do? 😉I think that was a stellar move by your local government. 👏🏻The Carpenter bees are driving hubby nuts right now….like dive bombers. Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks (and thanks for the tweet). The Carpenter bees are the only ones we try to discourage. We haven’t sprayed anything, but we’ve filled their tunnels and covered as much as we can with vinyl and aluminum. The goats would eat the flowers the bees like, and the weeds and brush that the bunnies like, so it woun’d be a good idea. Chippy is getting pretty bold, he’s actually waiting for us to toss something to him.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love what’s happening in your yard. I love all those guys. So beautiful! Where I live you can’t even see a cat. My neighbour used to have a pet that liked to sit on the balcony. One day I gave it a sausage but it rejected, and I was very embarrassed when my neighbour came out to the balcony and saw the sausage. She looked at me questioningly. I don’t see the cat anymore. Only my landlord’s dogs are there now.
    My grandfather also used to clear his fields using animals. He would drive his cattle and goats into the fields and at the end of the day the fields would be clear for the next season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Working with nature is so much better than working against it. The alternative to the goats probably involves chemicals that would kill everything in the area. I think it’s a great idea.

      We had a neighbor who used to chain his dog outside in terrible weather. Never quite bad enough to report him to the authorities, but mean. He yelled at my wife for giving the dog a biscuit, but she still would sneak him one every now and then.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t think this is a silly post at all for #WATWB. Pittsburgh is being creative and earth friendly with the goats and I applaud them for that. I would enjoy having goats in the yard for two or three weeks, as long as they clean up after themselves ;-)

    Your wife and daughter are my kind of people. If I had the opportunity to have a farmette, there’s no telling how many or what kind of critters I would have. Piglets and baby goats in pajamas?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mary. Of course the baby goats would be in pajamas, I mean, what else would you do with them? Our town regulates what kind of animals you can have, so not baby goats here.

      I was very happy to read this. I noted that one concilwoman raised the liability issue, something that would surely derail an effort like this in CT, but it didn’t go far. I think the guy that runs the business has a great idea, and, other than in a zoo, it might be the only chance some people in this area will see a goat during any given year.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ah, gardening and Maddie photos – good start to my Monday. :-) If you ever want the goats, just let me know. I can bring Violet and Zinnia down to visit. And, if the Editor ever really thinks about chickens suggest ducks. Ducks produce big eggs all through the winter while the chickens take the cold season off. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Judy! I think our town allows 4 or 5 chickens, no roosters and I’m not sure about ducks. I’m pretty sure goats are on the uh-uh list. I think Maddie would be OK with just about anything outside, although she periodically has problems with MiMi and MuMu being inside.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I am 100% behind the idea of using goats to clear land, they’re cute too. Who gets the job of cleaning up all the goat poop? I guess that is biodegradable, eh? Just wait for the next rain?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In the wild, there’s always something that eats something else. I don’t want to think about it, but I’m guessing the area is pretty clean within weeks of the goats moving on. Apparently, goats prefer to eat the stuff nobody else wants. It’s a win-win. thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. People are allowed to keep chickens in their backyards in the city. Wonder if goats will be next? Sounds like a good thing to me. Guy next door got a lawn service “because their ad was such a good deal!” I guess he doesn’t know that once that ‘deal’ wears off they will hound him forever (forever!) to pay full price. Such a cute photo of Maddie and Sammy. Have you taught Sammy to deliver your mail yet?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m waiting for Sammy to ask for a tip before we can open the mailbox, Lois. Prior to that picture, he was hanging on the wall, looking in the windows at the top of the front door. He gave my wife quite a shock!

      The door-to-door people are persistent. I told the last one “we like the weeds!”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. LOL, thanks for the Monday smiles, Dan. Mordor is busily sapping all joy, so I needed that. I got a kick out of the critter descriptions, and what your wife and daughter would do with the yard. Daddy called me Ellie Mae Clampett because I wanted every animal I saw.
    Hugs to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The only thing that rivals cat videos on the internet is goat videos 😆
    I love an enterprising business and goat landscaping sounds perfect! I hope they succeed and do VERY well.

    Like

  9. Hooray for the ‘goatscaping’ business! What a terrific idea. Very creative. If the Editor and Fairh and I got together, you’d have to rent space from your neighbors to house all the critters! Lol.

    Super photo gallery today. So glad Polly decided to join the crew. Maddie looks so content to be outside with her friends……and you! Love that pollen covered bee.

    I must say though, you do have an odd-looking mailman. Kinda resembles a squirrel, don’cha think?
    🔹Ginger🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. Maddie was surprised to see that we moved back to snow this morning. She’s been enjoying afternoons on her cot.

      The mailman jumps onto the box, after climbing the wall – he was peeking in the window of the front door (scared my wife) and then “wham” onto the box. Of course, we come to the door to see what all the racket is about.

      Like

    1. They might be getting ready to organize, John. They’re tired of fighting each other AND the blue jays for those peanuts. I’m worried about having to contribute to a retirement plan. How long do squirrels live?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. My yard, same. Excellent description. I’m still upset I can’t have goats here. Goats are awesome! I’d like to believe the urban farming trend will swoop in and fix that, hopefully in my lifetime. And when The Mister will build me a chicken coop, I don’t know, but I try to buy the most expensive eggs I can find so that he sees what an economical choice raising chickens would be… I vacillate between thinking I should run a farm and thinking about how hard it is to get out of bed at 5am in February.
    I had zinnias in Georgia, one of two things that I enjoyed in my yard there. Every fall, tons of butterflies, too. Nice choice, Editor.
    Maddie’s nose must love this time of year, cause Sadie’s does. Won’t be long, we’ll want to open the window and she’ll want to sleep outside — or rather, spend lots of time tracking, whining, and barking!
    Of course Jesus reads your blog, at least when he’s not being called over to Facebook every five minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – thanks Joey. Maddie has been sniff-central the past week. Today we’re covered in snow (at least in the yard) but it won’t last long, and she still loves to run in the snow. The zinnias do attract the butterflies. She plants those and marigolds and tithonias (sp?) – I want to plant some sunflowers this year. The squirrels will eat them to death, but it might be fun to see.

      I think we are allowed ot have chickens. I hope I’m correct thinking that we aren’t allow goats. I don’t think we have nearly enough room for goats.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you do plant some sunflowers! They are so happy! It’s so cheerful to see them when you come home from the day, like they’re just smiling at you in all their glory :D

        Liked by 1 person

  11. The worst thing about owning a house, I think, is having a lawn that needs to be cared for. Mary and I really should have gotten a condo or townhouse. I would have gone the goat route, myself, and I think Mary would want to go with sheep, who are also ruminants and have the advantage of producing fleece that can be spun into yarn.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You sure you want goats?? I have a personal opinion that the only thing good from a goat is the milk. And hand lotion from my hometown goat herder/entrepreneur. Be cautious because they Do Eat Any Thing! Just concerned ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Good article… I used gaots to clear some blackberry bushes years ago… They are also hilarious to boot!
    I’ve nto had much time due to what I am walking through with my mom but I do try to read YOU. I completely forgot about WATWB this month. Pfft! Oh well, I was trying to be a good daughter so I guess that is my contribution — trying to talk my mom out of being afraid of the next steps in her life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trying to help someone not be afraid is more than enough of a good story, Kate. I wish you both luck. Reading about what you’re going through makes me sad for you. I hope you find a way to make it work.

      Like

  14. In several of our East Bay Regional parks they have cows grazing freely to keep the vegetation down. Goats eating Poison Oak would be brilliant! It’s prolific here. I’m not allergic to it, but avoid it anyway. I hear the natural immunity can wear off if exposed to it too often. So many people are though and having it well off the trail would be really nice.

    I love the flowers in the yard, and saw all those rain/dew drops on the fencing and thought MACRO OPS!!! :)

    The bees are lovely, as are Maddie, the squirrels, and chippy! Your yard sounds pretty great to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish someone that understood how to turn a macro op into a decent picture would be out with me and Maddie. My camera has a close-up feature that continues to boggle my mind. I have so many “this would have been great if I knew what I was doing” photos, it isn’t funny.

      I am highly allergic to poison ivy. I have a space by my garage that has to be cleared. I don’t know if there’s any in there, but I’ll be wearing a Tyvek jumpsuit the day I clean it out – just in case. I need a goat.

      Have a great day, Deborah.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What are you talking about? Your pollen covered bee is wonderful!
        I have a feeling you might be having the same issue I have with my little Bridge Camera and macro mode. It doesn’t do true 1:1 macro and I can’t get close enough. It takes filters so I bought a set of close up lenses for it, but still prefer my DSLR for macro work.

        He-Man is highly allergic to Poison Oak so I keep an eye out and alert him to it when I see it. With all the rain we’ve had lately it’ll be spewing out all over and into the trails. :(
        Goats can eat Poison Oak and Poison Ivy. Who knew!

        Thanks I hope you have a great day too!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you. But, the pollen covered bee was taken with my iPhone 🙁

          I think I actually need to read the instructions again on my point & shoot. It takes really nice photos in every other mode but it has two ways of doing close ups. And, of course I always want to figure it out in the moment.

          Goats can eat that stuff and opossums aren’t affected by snake venom. Go Polly!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You’re doing great work with your iphone and close up!
            …but who wants to read the bloody manual! :)
            I am a bit frustrated with mine at the moment. I’ve been trying to summon a histogram while in Live View and can’t do it consistently and my manual isn’t any help at. all! I’m turning to YouTube.

            Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve read about this goat lawn service before. I’d love it, if only because I’d enjoy the havoc it’d cause with our HOA. These people worry about everything in triplicate. Can’t imagine what they’d have to say about goats. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh wow. I want a Goatscape service!! Hm. I have a friend in landscaping. I might drop hints.
    Loved your collective noun collection, by the way. (Is there a collective noun for collective nouns?) A murder of crows is probably my favourite. I loved a meme that had a photo of two crows and the title “Attempted Murder”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Audrey. We try to keep things simple for the critters and the plants. I tend to agree with the approach, not that it would matter much if I didn’t. We tried an “organic” “pet friendly” fertilizer once, and our (previous) dog got very sick from it. It’s not worth it.

      Like

  17. Hi Dan – what a fun and useful post … goats are amazing creatures. In England they put sheep in to graze the cemeteries … saves the mowing – some parishes have done that. But the goats keep the coastlines clear in places too … sounds like you and the Editor are well organised – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hilary. “Organized” is not a word we use all that often around here. I think what I like about the goats, is knowing that the alternative probably involved sprying a bunch of chemicals all over the place.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. SUCCESS!! I made it over here! Awesome about the goats! Now that is smart thinking! Cut back on chemicals … hey way to go! Loved your gallery as usual. And the way you name the Critters … Birdy Bird? Chippy? I’m laughing out loud as I type this. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. I’m glad you made it. I need a name to use when walking Maddie, as in “don’t bother the birdy birds” when she wants to flush a bunch of birds out of one of our bushes.

      Cutting back on chemicals is a very good idea!

      Liked by 1 person

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