Thursday, June 3, 2010

Imaginary Boundaries

I came home yesterday to find all the animals exactly where they're supposed to be.  I had been worried about the goats because no power was flowing through their fence, and they knew it.  I guess the powerless fence worked.  It got me to thinking that sometimes imaginary boundaries are the strongest ones of all.

I noticed that parts of my yard hadn't been mowed at all this season, and since I have a guest coming this weekend and another guest coming next week, I hopped to it!  Wouldn't want guests thinking I've turned into a complete hillbilly!  I couldn't really get to the entire 2 mowable acres in the short time I had, but I hit the worst spots.  One of those bad spots was around the apple tree I'm standing under for this picture.  The tree is on a hill, a few feet away from the goat fence.

I knew I had to be careful between the tree and the goat fence, but managed to get stuck anyway.  So I put the goats to bed early, took the entire front side of the fence down, moved it back and mowed this area.  When I went to get the fence to put it back up, I found the missing ground connection, about 15 feet away from the battery.  I have NO idea how it got there, but I'm amazed I found it.  It's black, and pretty much invisible unless you're looking straight at it - and I was.  For the umpteenth time - luck.

Of course, it's supposed to rain on Saturday when my friend Linda will be here.  I may be second-guessing my choice to cut the grass instead of vaccuming the house when we're inside playing Parcheesi.  Although ... Linda's an outdoorsy type - we may do outdoor stuff anyway!  She may be the one I finally entice to visit the corners of my property.  After 1-1/2 years here, I've never seen them.


  1. You've never seen the boundaries of your property?

    Do you have something in common with your goats?


    I hope you have a good time exploring with Linda.

  2. Exploring? Hell yeah! Rain or shine.

  3. Have a great time! I learned to appreciate all weather when I joined a diehard band of hikers in the Adirondack High Peaks. Hiking through any weather changed my city life forever.

    Check back and tell how you found the boundaries. My place in VT has some blue paint (not easy to find) from the man who lived here 20 years and bought and added more acreage, but there are other past owner markings from a horse ranch (very rusty barbed wire). I bet you find some stone walls.

  4. The behavior mod people say that the best reinforcement is random. At first, the dog gets a treat every time he does the trick; but after he's made the connection between the command and the behavior, he gets a treat randomly. His brain says, "Maybe this time I'll get a treat!!!" And that hope is much more powerful than the certainty of getting a treat every time.

    I imagine it works the same way with fear, "Maybe this time the fence will hurt!"

  5. I've always found that my goats hang around when they get loose. In fact, we had two that we just left free, and they stayed near the barn. The only warning I have is to make sure that the grain is inaccessible to them, so they don't break in and overeat. That and pray they don't find the garden!