In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

adventures in milking

Greg and I are alternating the milking duties so that we each can learn how to do it. So every other day I lie cozily in bed while Greg stumbles out into the misty dawn with his milking pail in hand. And then, vice versa. It's August, the days have been clear so far, it's the best of all possible worlds for milking a goat in the early hours of the day.

So, let's see. The first day I milked, I got nada. Both Molly's owner Mary and Elaine, a reader who has kept goats, told me to nudge her hard with my hand, like a kid bumping up against her stomach and udder. That worked. So then the second day I was doing pretty well until Molly knocked over the pail. I kept milking just to get her milked, but it was strictly a practice session after that. The third day, I got my full complement of 3 and 1/2 cups.

So I approached my duties this morning with some degree of confidence. I was getting better every day. But the learning curve is seldom smooth. I had almost finished when Molly somehow performed a Houdini-like move and escaped from the milking stand. O magical goat! Perhaps tomorrow she will begin to float about in the sky, like one of those goats in a Chagall painting.

But I was able to grab the pail and save the milk. She and I were both having to contend with mosquitoes who were taking advantage of our captive positions. I had decided to just endure them, but Molly was more stubbornly opposed. More goat-like, come to think of it. Next time I will make sure the latch on top of the milking stand is properly fastened before I start. There are several small things to remember when milking a goat, and they are all of equal importance.


Janet said...

You certainly haven't been idle and I love your stories of chickens and milking. Nice to acquire new skills!!
Love your pictures - that goes without saying. Isn't this just the most idyllic summer ever?

The Happy Wanderer said...

I love reading your blog. It is so homey, comfortable and peaceful. I read it "cover to cover" and look forward to keeping up with life on the island. Thanks for the beautiful posts.