Monday, February 28, 2011

Of Juniper and Goats

The Horned Locusts are great fans of the Juniper tree. They eat berries and lower leaves (creating shade trees and preventing rodents from moving in), and clean up the litter underneath from fallen leaves, berries, branches and mistletoe.

Goats LOVE mistletoe. They mob trees, standing up tall to get at the tree parasite. On the mesa above SunStar most of the trees have mistletoe only above the goats' reach. We help the goats by pulling off more which they can chew from our horseback. 

I always know the moment when it is Juniper Allergy season because goats have a hankering for the pollen. They change over from loving primarily female trees full of berries to the males full of red pollen. Huge pollen puffs come out of the tree when the goats get to them, best to be standing upwind. 

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