Saturday, March 14, 2009

This means Ewe!


Yesterday, Robb went shopping. Now, that shouldn't be anything worth mentioning, except that he was going to a couple of big stores, and knew that he would run out of energy if he tried to walk. He took his wheelchair, and because he spent so much time sitting down, his back was in agony most of yesterday afternoon and night.

This just doesn't seem fair. If the man can't walk, at least he should be able to sit comfortably in his wheelchair, right?

Wrong. Robb's "sitting tolerance" is still miserably short. He is only able to manage a few minutes of sitting at a time.

Luckily, the position he uses for cycling (combined with the rhythmic movement of the pedaling) is actually comfortable for Robb. So, we took advantage of the non-rainy weather and packed my bike and his trike off the Coyote Hills Regional Park.

Like many California parks, Coyote Hills has a problem with non-native plants. These invasive species crowd out the native plants and often provide poor food an habitat for wildlife.

Californians are a problem-solving creative people. We're the ones who use goats for fire suppression. Goats have many advantages over tractors or controlled burns. Goats don't burn fossils fuels, or pollute the air. Goats can be safely used on steep hills. Goats don't tear up the soil. Goats provide fertilizer. The sight of fire suppression goats always makes me smile.

So when Robb finally convinced me that the pale brown blobs we were seeing in the distance were sheep and not bushes, I was utterly delighted.

It turns out that these sheep are being used to cut down the invasive plants. Where else but California would ewes and lambs develop a taste for organic fennel?

In my ideal world, I would own a tiny flock of sheep and goats whose fleece I would make into sweaters.

Just because I live in the middle of a huge city doesn't mean that I'm totally irrational, does it?


Christie said...

I live very near Tulare Hill in San Jose. Tulare Hill is a habitat for the endangered bay checkerspotted butterfly. However, the butterfly has not been seen in a few years on the hill. It is believed that the non-native plants are crowding out the native plants that the butterflies normally thrive on. To solve the problem, cows were brought in who only eat the non-native plants and leave the native plants alone. It's pretty cool having cows in our backyard.
SJ Honey Bunny

terri said...

How brilliant! I definitely need a sheep in my front yard. I would get wool and also have more knitting time because I'd never have to mow the lawn again. Do you think they ward off tornadoes too?

Anonymous said...

I heard Old Blue chuckling this morning. Reading your blog about the sheep reminded him of an experience he has never let me live down. When we were first married and on one of our 'galavants', I commented on the lovely symmetry of the two-toned rocks on the grassy hill in the distance. "What sort of boulders are those" I asked my geologically-interested husband. Big smile. Chuckle. "I believe they are of the 'bovine' variety, dear". It was obvious I was due for a visit to the optometrist. . .

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

In my case, I wouldn't let myself believe the "bushes" were sheep, because I was savoring the surprise I would experience when the "bushes" grew legs, started bleating and walking around.

Robb totally called me on this one.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I've BEEN in your apartment! You totally have a tiny bit of a roof you can put a few sheep on, right? Let your windows open and put some beloved houseplants in the window sill, and let those sheep graze their hearts out. You can shear them and let them provide you with lots and lots of wool to spin and weave!

I still have a large heavy bag of "crap wool" alpaca wool in the barn, still waiting to be washed, spun, etc.. whatever needs to be done to the wool to make it knit-worthy. Any suggestions?

Please tell me when those inventive Californianians invent a goat that will eat its way thru piles of old papers, cause I certainly have my share of that sitting around.

By the way, we are about 1 hour out of Baltimore, and many people bought up rural land in our area, built a house, fenced in the rest of it, and bought animals to "wander around and look pastoral". When it comes time to actually look after the animals they have NO CLUE. Hence the local papers are full of jobs for local stable hands, for an assortment of horses, cows, goats, sheep, alpacas, lamas, AND buffalo, believe it or not. Eveny once in awhile there is a large assortment of "free" animals listed in the paper, from those who bought Baby peeps (chickens) or bunnies, or lambs who thought they would be a nice gift for the Easter holidays.


Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa, if you are in SF soon check out 32 new baby goats (fire suppressing ones!) at Pier 96.

I am sorry for Robb being in pain, but I am glad you two work around it and still find thrills from life.
Happy Spring!

TaylorM said...

The sign. I love it.


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