There are the most wonderful surprises waiting around any corner here. Heading back into the house after my morning deck inspection, I caught a flutter of movement down in the oak leaves. Curious, I stopped to take a better look. This amazing, huge moth had evidently just come out of its cocoon and was drying its wings in the early morning sun. I've never seen anything like it. The wing span was as big as my open hand, close to six inches. The "eyes" (intended to scare off predators) are nearly as big as the acorn beside it. The coloring was perfect camouflage among the oak leaves. Had it not moved exactly when it did, I never would have seen it.
Starting the morning chores, the first thing always is to throw the grain for the wild birds. Hoping for a closer look while under the oak tree, I was disappointed that the moth had moved on, but then discovered it had climbed up on a foot-high weed to dry its underbelly, so I could see both sides. How amazing is that? Sure started my day on a high note.
I'd spent so much time watching the moth, I was late finishing chores. The milk wasn't yet strained when Fence Guy appeared at the door, ready to cut in the gate between the two goat pens. It was going to be a four-hands job, and I had the second pair, so off we went. He covered the abandoned open well shaft in the new section with concrete first; that was a must before the girls could be let in. They clustered on their side, supervising the cutting of the fence that would open up the gate. There were a lot of goat belly-high weeds that had to be pulled before the gate could swing, but the minute it opened, Nineteen was the first one in. The girls were a little more hesitant, but soon followed. It surprised me that they didn't head immediately to the oak leaves, but they were so happy with the new flavors of grass that they were content in the field where they were. Poppy, her leg improving every day, never quite got the hang of it, and stayed in the old pen and bawled at them to, "Come back. Don't leave me!" The water trough is in the old pen, and eventually all the goats wandered back. They were waiting at the gate in the evening, full as ticks, and waddled down to the barn for the night.