Topic-Changing Thursdays: A Visit from the Goats

In my neighborhood, there are tons of hills. Seattle is a pretty hilly place in general (First Hill, Capitol Hill, and so on), so it should not surprise anyone that the nearby areas are also full of slopes. Our neighborhood itself is fairly high up, although not on a mountain. It is on a plateau, which is not a geographic term I knew before moving here. Basically, you can think of it as a flat-ish place where they can build houses. Some plateaus are higher than others. As a result of all of these hills, yards can be tricky. Essentially, homes in my neighborhood either have a view (of Seattle, mountains, etc.), or they have a slightly larger yard. If you have a view, you’re usually on the edge of a cliff or some steep slope. This gives you a narrow patch of land, often located under a deck. Many of those homes also have basements because they are on a hill. My home is on a flatter part of land, so we have a decent-sized yard, but no fancy view.

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The picture above is our view from the front of our house (upstairs). On a clear day, we can see the mountains a bit, and a bit of another local city to the left.

What we do have is a greenbelt behind us, which is on a hill. Our yard looks like it includes the hill, but really the hill belongs to the community. We don’t have to take care of it, thankfully, because it would be a bit tricky. Instead, the community uses goats, complete with goat herders and dogs. They set up electric fences to contain the goats to the designated areas, and then they let them loose. Occasionally they escape, but not too often. We were really excited when we moved here last year because we thought we would get them. Apparently they only use them for our hill every other year or so.

We do get lots of deer.

We do get lots of deer.

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These pictures give you a sense of what the hill looked like before the goats. Of course, in summer, we have really dry weather, so the grass tends to be more brown.

Three days before the arrival of the Fudgelet, we were able to see the goats behind us. They were only there for one full day (they slept on the hill at night), but they certainly completed their task of trimming back the grasses.

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Tons of goats, and you can see how they go right up to the border, which means you could get pretty close to them. They are a bit noisy, especially the baby goats. I even got to see two goats facing off with their horns. That was our excitement right before the baby’s arrival!

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