I went out to get our dairy goat the other night only to find all of the goats in our yard decimating my wife's newly planted shrubs and plants. It sure doesn't take them long.
It turns out that Deb had felt sorry for the goats in their grassless paddock and wanted to let them out in our woodlot paddock to graze on all of the tall grass there. Well, they found the weak spot in the fence. I had opened up a portion to transfer firewood to our furnace shed last year, but never got around to building a gate for it. Instead, someone had just salvaged an old piece of plywood from the scrap heap and leaned it in the opening. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side, so they say.
Each day Deb poses the following question (usually several times a day): "Isn't it about time you ___________?" It's a farm, so it isn't hard to fill in the blank(s).
So, that day it was, "Isn't it about time you built a gate for that gap?"
Sigh. "I guess."
Now to come up with the lumber for the job. A few days earlier, the question had been: "Isn't it about time you replaced those fence boards that the horses have been gnawing on?"
And I replied, "I guess" with a sigh.
I can't be certain, but I have my suspicions that the horses are attending evening seminars presented by our North Woods beavers. They seem to have the gnawing part down pat. Now if they could only learn some engineering from those rascals.
So now in the barn, I had a modest stack of old hemlock fence boards that needed to be repurposed. OK. Now how do I design a goat-proof goat stopper out of old fence boards that lives up to Deb's aesthetic sensibilities?
After some head scratching and chopping and sawing, this is what I came up with:
I'm hoping they won't fit through those holes. So I used my universal stain around the farm: Any surplus, on-sale, discontinued, outdated can of deck stain that I can buy for two or three dollars a gallon tinted with enough lampblack pigment to turn it black.
Me cheap? Only when it comes to buying fancy cameras that are so big and heavy that they won't shake in my hand.
Well, I got 'er mounted in the hole and will have to put 'er to the test as soon as I get around to herding them out of the pasture with the cows.
I have no idea how they got out there this time.
"Oh Debra, dear. Have you by any chance been feeling sorry for the goats again?"
3 hours ago