A Group of Goats posing for Monday Portraits

Balkans

I know it’s not a Group of Goats. It’s a Flock; it’s a Herd; it’s a Drove (as in the header photo); it’s a Tribe. But Group is more alliterative.

On our Balkan journey, we got used in Albania to seeing shepherds wandering along the mountainsides with their mixed herds of sheep and goats.

In Greece though, we stayed on a small island, Agios Achillios, on Lake Prespa. Semi-nomadic practices weren’t an option. Instead the goats had to put up with lush and varied pasture on hillsides overlooking the lake, which they shared with their neighbours the pigs and the dwarf cattle of the area, and who may have their moment of fame another week.

Balkan postcards 4

Balkans, farming

Off to the hills around Albanian Lake Prespa today, we got to see something of the tough life of a farmer here. Though the sight this morning of a shepherd with his small flock – fewer than 40 animals – of sheep and goats and three sheepdogs wandering slowly along as they grazed seemed idyllic, I’m sure the reality of this subsistence-level existence is rather different. We spotted several other such flocks throughout the day. Do take the time to look and listen to the grazing sheep with their melodious bells in the video I link to below. It all seems to be from a very different world.

A shepherd, his sheep and his goats

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MMPJTU9VDUUet97aA

Throughout the day, we saw solitary elderly women working alone in their narrow fields, weeding and wielding heavy mattocks. We spotted distant farmers working with ancient tractors. The thin rectangular fields set in regular grid formation in the picture below are a throw-back to communist days, but have been retained because they work.

A grid of fields, shared fairly between local farmers.