Hey Herd o' Sheep!I am beginning to question my ability to identify the wild or not so wild life in Saba these days! Let’s take a look at my track record: I thought a cattle egret was a heron and I thought a soldier crab was a hermit crab – and I can’t count the number of my fish identifications gone wrong. But really, I though for SURE I had this one in the bag. It seemed like a no-brainer! I’ve walked by these guys a million times in the 2 years we’ve been coming to Saba. I’ve stopped to feed them, to talk to them – even watched the babies grow over the past 4 months. You’d think I’d know what they were.

If It Looks Like A Goat…
They look like goats, don’t you think? Honest mistake maybe? Yesterday, I was walking along the trail and noticed that the “goats” had moved from their usual trailside pen. Wondering where they had gone, I continued my walk until I came to a section of the trail that has two houses on either side. Here is where they were, possibly doing the homeowners the favor of munching their grass. Mowing their yards would have taken equipment not found in Saba, so it seemed a very efficient trade – kind of a “we’ll work for food” arrangement.

Farming In Saba
Along came Reed, the owner of the “goats,” in the mood to talk after a long day in on the trails. Like most Sabans, he was friendly and upbeat, telling me stories about his family and the history of farming in Saba. It’s not easy for livestock farmers – the terrain is challenging, you have to keep moving your animals because of the lack of grass and moving water to where they are is a challenge as well. Remember that water comes only from nature here, so the more water livestock requires, the trickier it gets.

They’re What?
So I tell Reed how much I like seeing his goats on the trails every day. This is when I learn that his “goats” are actually sheep (????). Hmmm, they look like goats, sound like goats – and they don’t resemble the typically white, puffy, dark-faced little lambs that Mary had. Reed told me that if they were goats, they would not be staying in one spot, but would run for the hills in different directions. Apparently, sheep are easier to train and they stay together in a pack.

More Island Lessons
I think I mentioned in a previous post that part of the reason I came to this island is because I felt it had many things to teach me. Things like slowing down & living on island time, simplifying my life, living in smaller spaces, not panicking because I can’t do online ordering of products – and – learning that, even on a remote island, I have everything I could ever need. So this thing about wildlife and livestock is just one more lesson. Maybe the lesson here is that I will be learning things in unexpected areas, that I can still be surprised – and in fact, I am still far from knowing it all (well, Joel could have told you that one on any given day :)!)

Food In Saba – Vegetarians, Close Your Eyes!
At least those of you who are carnivores can appreciate that the lamb in the local restaurants are grass-fed and hormone/injection free. These are all natural, free range, well-treated animals. They have nice lives roaming the mountainside of Saba, looking at the ocean while munching on chemical-free grass. Reed loves his sheep and is a responsible farmer. The restaurants at Scout’s and Queens Gardens tend to be his big customers. Okay, I know the vegetarians have read this far — there is a lot of organic produce in the stores that is not marked organic. I’ll talk about that in another post.