Springtime comes early here on the Florida peninsula, and the usual first sign on our property is the arrival of the goat kids. This year, the first baby goats were born on the 8th of February, a girl and a boy by Pepe (Le Pew) and Capri. Y’all may remember Pepe as the only boy from Francis’ triplets last February. I tell ya, kids grow up so fast these days.
Francis didn’t make me wait long at all before she kidded on the 11th. Only twins this time, and both boys … and they were almost the same size as Capri’s four-day-old twins. They were also both born hungry, and the firstborn – whom I am calling Fabio because he’s just such a handsome kid – was bottling even before he figured out how to keep himself standing.
All four of these adorably cute dirt monsters chug down the bottles like they are a high school football team. I have proof right here:
This year’s crop of kids (that grow as fast as the weeds out in the pasture!) is my first group that are linebred back to Prim, who died back in early September after reigning in the pasture as herd queen and “matriarch of mayhem,” even though she only had a total of four kids in her life. She was grandmother to all three of my current milkers through her son Harry Houdini, and also great-grandmother to both Pepe and William (formerly Billy the kid).
Shortly after we found her dead, I tried to draw Prim from a photo I took of her back when we first got her in 2016. Most photos I have of her are of her hind end as she either walked out of frame or turned away from the camera, so finding a reference photo that included her face was a bit tricky. I managed to succeed in finding one, and used my tinted charcoal to try to capture the Big Girl we remember.
It isn’t exactly her, but she often did try to elude capture out in the pasture. Why would I think she would be any different when it comes to trying to capture her character on paper? It only occurred to me today that I had forgotten to post the drawing here on the blog.
I still have one more nanny to kid – the original silly spoiled bottle baby herself, Cocoa Puff. I am expecting her to also have twins, but right now that looks to be another two weeks or more in the future. Until then, enjoy the baby goats bottling on the video.
(Also note: the music on the video was composed, performed, and mastered by my musician brother. He gave it to me as my Christmas present this past December – how cool is that?)
I scheduled this month’s virtual art walk to happen this weekend, serenely convinced my nanny goats would not kid until next week at the soonest. And my goaty girls laughed at my hubris. So I thought I might sit this month out, but Jim Hughes applied a bit of arm-twisting on Facebook … so here I am scrambling to catch up on the art walk idea before the end of the weekend. There will be plenty of images for this post, because I am now up to four goat kids out back as the art walk group has grown to six this month.
New art walk participant Steve Estvanik
Another photographer named Steve joins our merry band of art bloggers with a fun post about dragons from around the world. I love some folklore, and find dragons fascinating. Also, I’ve long believed dragons to be a fanciful imagining of dinosaur fossils. This hypothesis just makes sense to me. No matter what you believe dragons were meant to be, they are a part of most cultures – except for ones from the African continent.
Photographer and arm-twister Jim Hughes
Y’all ought to know Jim Hughes by now – he’s participated in all the virtual art walks to date and when I was going to sit this one out, he cajoled me to just use a previous blog post and toss it all together. This month he takes a look at … bricks. One of the themes in art is to call attention to things people might not see as art. The only thing he missed in his post was a reference to the old song Brick House by the Commodores. He even refrained from the obvious Pink Floyd reference. I also learned photographers love a brick wall to check their lenses for any distortion.
Baby goat interlude 1: Capri’s first set of twins
Wednesdays I usually go up to Palatka, either for an appointment or for the new art group my friend Keashia has put together. This past week was an art group get-together … and I didn’t make it up there because Capri looked to be in labor. Francis was giving her plenty of space, and she was taking it. Around lunchtime, as the rest of the group was starting, I remarked to hubby that she’ll likely wait until after I would have been back home just to be a goat. That’s exactly how it happened. The first kid was born a little bit before hubby came out to feed the critters and put up chickens for the evening. The second was born as he was finishing up the evening feeding. One girl and one boy, with the girl looking just like her mother and the boy looking almost exactly like his sire, but with blue eyes.
Sharon Popek photographs Chicago
Sharon Popek took a tour of Chicago at sunset, and captured some very nice cityscape images. The last time I was in Chicago was 2017 for my son’s wedding, and the thing I remember most was it was COLD coming up from Florida in mid-March. It was also cloudy the entire weekend, so I did not get to see anything quite as nice as Sharon’s photos.
Dorothy Berry-Lound features purple
This month Dorothy Berry-Lound spotlights some of her artwork that incorporates the color purple, which is one of her favorite colors (as well as mine!). She even touches on not only the history of the color, but the associations in psychology and spirituality. Being the absolute geek that I am, I knew these, but apparently not everyone is as nerdy as I have always been. It’s a lovely collection of purple in art.
Francis has twin boys
After agreeing to just toss in a link on Friday, I went out yesterday to milk Capri in between thunderstorms. To my surprise, Francis did not come running up to greet me, even when I went over the electronet with the bucket of hay pellets they love so much. Hubby remarked, “I bet I know why …” and I was thinking the same. We walked up just after the first kid was born, and hubby went back inside the house to grab some old towels. If course Francis was on the far side of the pasture. We managed to move both Mama and newborn to the grassy spot of the kids’ pen as the thunder started rumbling again. After the second kid was born and both dried off, then it was time to bottle them. The firstborn boy, with the flashy white markings, immediately understood the bottle. The mostly-black boy wanted a better delivery system, but decided he could handle drinking his milk from a bottle. Both of these boys are larger than normal newborns, so it’s a good thing Francis didn’t have triplets again.
Steve Heap’s photos of West Virginia and Hawai’i
Steve Heap is a familiar name for our virtual art walks, and once again he spotlights his artistic photography that has sold since the last time. His fans seem to divided between buying photos of West Virginia and photos of Hawaii. Funny but true: my mom called me the day before Capri kidded from her cruise of the Hawai’ian islands that she is on for her birthday. She called for one reason, to ask if I had baby goats yet. She did tell me a little about how much she is enjoying her trip, but mostly wanted to know if I had baby goats yet. My pick for this month’s image to feature from Steve is this panoramic image of Tunnels Beach on the island of Kauai.
My watercolor Red Rose 2
Finally, the post I put in for this month’s virtual art walk is my watercolor Red Rose 2, where I used my line drawing as the basis for a line and wash. This is actually my first time using ink with my watercolor, and people on various sites seem to like it. Also, if you like the line drawing, sign up for my email list, as it is my free gift to subscribers this month. I will change the line drawing on the 15th of the each month for the entire year, to go along with the theme of 2023 being “A year for art.”
That wraps things up for this month! Since I am bottle feeding baby goats for the next eight weeks, I recommend subscribing to the email list. Not only will you get line drawings you can print out and color at home, but you’ll have new posts emailed to you when I publish them. With my usual springtime activities, I won’t be able to keep any kind of schedule until all the kids are weaned and chicks have hatched.
So when I posted on Friday, apparently some of y’all expected to see a snapshot or two of my new goat, and two even left comments saying about as much (though politely phrased). When I read the second one Saturday morning, I decided to go through some quick photos hubby had taken with his phone of our new girl, whom I have named Capri. While looking through the folder on my PC, hubby calls me on the phone to inform me I need to bring a towel out to the goat pen because, “You have a new baby out here.”
And that kicked off a couple days of the two of us (nonphotographer types, one each) attempting to get decent photos of the new goat kid and his mama, who was not handled much at her previous home and is therefore skittish and jumpy. This is the best I can get at present:
I am sure y’all remember when the triplets were born in mid-February. Well, we kept the boy to be our junior herd sire (because his sire is ten this spring) and call him Pepe. Later this summer, we will start using his full name, Pepe Le Pew. He has certainly grown.
Just a quick post about not doing as much art right now. It’s the best of reasons: Francis kidded Tuesday around sunset, and this year she had triplets! She has given me the little billy I was hoping for, with two future milking nannies. All three are now on the bottle, which is the fastest I have been able to get an entire sibling group to accept the bottle. At only three days old, their little stomachs cannot hold much per feeding, so right now I am going out every three hours to feed. Now, for the obligatory baby goat photo – these three are not posing for me, so this is the best I can do right now (after more than two days of trying – I have quite the collection of photos of their rears).
While I will likely be sketching these cute little dirt monsters soon, and even the out of focus photos help with that, I just wanted an excuse to post the goat kid photo, because I know a few of y’all love to see them and aren’t on Facebook. Enjoy!
I meant to post this last week, but then I was distracted. I am running a giveaway on my Facebook art page of not only this frame, but a 5 by 7 inch watercolor painting or dry media (charcoal, colored pencil, or pastel) drawing to go in it. It is open to folks here in the USA, with the only exception being my husband. The frame needs to travel farther than just across the room. I will draw the winning name out of a hat on New Year’s Eve, and then spend New Year’s Day painting or drawing, with it getting mailed out before my birthday on January 9th.
While you will need a Facebook account to enter this giveaway, I do have more frames and the inclination do some more giveaways. I’ll be taking notes to work out how to do this outside of FB, because truth be told I am just not impressed with the platform.
Meanwhile, my husband threw down the gauntlet today and asked me to paint him a picture this month of his D&D character. He has sketches he’s done over the past couple years, but he wants to see what I can do with it. I have accepted the challenge, even though I haven’t done much figurative art since picking it back up in September of 2019.