Saturday, April 27, 2013

Astraka's Refuge

The refuge hasn't opened yet this year, and there's still quite a bit of snow for late April, but we decided to make the hike anyways. The views were well worth it, and it was our first chance to be in the snow this winter!! It took us about three hours to make the climb from Papingo with the last 45 minutes or so on snow. The climb up wasn't near as fun as the slippery slope down! It was a beautiful day, and we found good company at the top. :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Herd Mentality

Most of our time spent in Papingo has been with two different herds, one of horses, the other goats. The horse herd consists of ten semi-natural horses. One Haflinger stallion, three mares and six geldings. Usually this herd splits in two, based on the stallion's wishes and how close he wants the boys to "his" mares. All but one of the geldings are offspring, and they tend to all stick together (except for the young yearling that still sticks with his mum). Ocassionally wild(er) horses that share the grazing area cross paths with the herd and the conflict is quite amazing to watch. With all three mares pregnant and ready to give birth any day now, it will be interesting to watch how the dynamic in the herd changes in the upcoming weeks.

The goats have progessively been herded since our arrival, and are now grazing quite well. After a few frustrating days in the beginning, the goats and John now better understand the concept. They are all very smart, they were just used to grazing themselves, which proved to become a problem with the neighbors and their gardens. There are nine does, ten kids, and one lamb (who thinks she's a goat). All the kids are now born and bouncing around as if you just fed them a whole bag of coffee beans. They climb the cliffsides, nibble on the nearest things and are very precious. In a couple of weeks, a few of them will be sold for Easter...and in a couple months most will follow suit, one or two may stay. For the time being, we are really enjoying their company and giving them lots of love. :)

The first real day of being herded...hurray!

The milking stand John built out of things lying around...a generally enjoyed hangout spot, even when not being milked. :)

Leon, the Great Pyrenees

Hercules, the stallion

Big Brown and Socks

Paskavoula tired of being preggers.

A few moments old, and always smiling!


Apache, the loveable yearling.

the Twins

the brothers...Dionas, Navrahos, and Atlas.

Maya, the new Golden/Birard pup.

Sisi, lead mare

crazy little climbers

Dionas taking on the black stallion.

Karavnos takes a turn... yoga?!...

...and then Hercules comes in.

Hercules greets "his" boys...thanks buddies.

Socks hanging out.

First of many sunny spring days...

Aladdin and Dionas

Taking first steps...

Ria, aka "independent troublemaker" :)

from one moment to the next...

He seems comfortable...

sunset friend

Blanca and baby soaking up the sun.


...found the boys...

"This above all: to thine own Self be true."
- William Shakespeare