Island Grazing: Neoteny, Goats, and Spring on Martha’s Vineyard

Surely there is no cuter harbinger of spring than a baby goat. Despite the coating of snow and ice still covering all surfaces, the possibility of spring took shape yesterday morning when I had the chance to visit Island Grazing‘s goats to photograph their new kids.

The trouble with goats is that they’re goats – up for adventure.

island grazing, fine art prints martha's vineyard

Neoteny is a complex phenomenon that explains why a baby goat can both stand within the hour of its birth and also be so ridiculously cute that I want to smuggle one home and keep it a kid forever. Those big eyes! Those little noses! Those soft and fuzzy faces! That gamboling curiosity!

martha's vineyard wedding photographer, baby goats

martha's vineyard photography, springtime goats

family pictures martha's vineyard

martha's vineyard wedding photographer, goat photographer

I had no idea when I arrived that I would be in for a surprise appearance, but this doe went in to labor while I was there (here she is at the start of it).

martha's vineyard photography, rebecca brown consulting goat

And for the duration – what seemed to me to be no more than twenty minutes total of restrained huffing from the first poke of a tiny goat hoof to the emergence of the slick, bleating quiver that was a new goat.

fine art prints martha's vineyard, katama goat

martha's vineyard wedding photographer, katama farm

martha's vineyard photography, island grazing kid

Here she is, all cleaned up!

family pictures martha's vineyard, goat photography

Instinct at work, she finds food at last.

martha's vineyard family pictures, island grazing goats

When I finally pulled myself away from the magical morning, this goat was about to start labor too:

martha's vineyard wedding photographer, newborn goat

I never anticipated that my first birth shoot would be for a goat, but the experience was profound to this not-quite-city-girl, never watched a birth except my own (soundless video thereof – a surreal experience itself, for other reasons) girl. I didn’t smuggle a kid home after all, but only just.


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Vineyard Photographer, AKA Maria, Writing with Light, AKA Maria Thibodeau is a family and portrait photographer on Martha’s Vineyard.

One comment

  1. Pingback: 2015 03 01 island grazing neoteny goats and spring on marthas vineyard | vineyardphotographer.com | On Photo Directory

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