Sunday Afternoon Naps

A lazy winter Sunday afternoon

A lazy winter Sunday afternoon

Let me make it clear right off. I’m a big fan of Sunday afternoon naps. However, I’m not the one napping here. It’s the goats.

Sunday afternoons I go over to the cheese room to pasteurize and culture the milk in preparation for making cheese Monday. It’s about a three hour job. I have a window that looks right out into the goat yard and barn so, in between steps, I can keep my eye on what they are doing.

And what they are doing, mostly, is chewing their cud and napping. Chew chew chew chew. Chewing cud is a very important job for goats and they must allocate big chunks of time during the day to doing that otherwise they won’t be fully digesting their food.

After that exhausting enterprise, they fall off into napland. Today I was watching Chester primarily. She started with her head in the air…and then …it slowly… slowly… fell down to the ground. Very much like my head while I’m reading a book. Next time I looked, she was fully splayed into the hay pack, every part of her body fully and totally relaxed. I was jealous.

But I can’t complain too much because the other thing that happens on Sunday afternoons is that All the Traditions airs on Vermont Public Radio and I get to listen to really wonderful music the whole time I’m measuring culture, labeling the caramel jars from yesterday’s production, monitoring the temperature of the milk, and setting up the room for tomorrow’s early morning cheese draining.

And then I peek out again at the goats – and they’re all up and outside! It must be getting close to 4:30, milking time, and they know it.

Steve milking the goats Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur

Steve milking the goats Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur

Gettin goat milk out of bulk tank to pasteurize for cheese Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur

Gettin goat milk out of bulk tank to pasteurize for cheese Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur

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