This place gets my goat

I was hanging out in my apartment one morning when I heard what I swore was a baaing.

That’s right: a baaing.

At first I thought I must be hearing things, but then I heard it again. And again. Finally I looked out my window. That’s when I saw them: dozens of sheep and goats grazing on the hillside across from my building.

Some blurry sheep and goats.

For the past 15 years, goats and sheep have been used to prevent wildfires in the Oakland hills (it’s a high-risk for fires, as I found out via my fire alarm debacle). They eat the “tall grass and shrubs that provide lethal fuel to wildfires,” says Oakland North, and are environmentally friendly. Unlike lawnmowers and other equipment, they don’t use gasoline. Plus they’re way cuter.

On another day, I caught a closer look at the noisy grazers:

Goats and sheep aren’t the only wildlife I see in my complex. There’s also a family of wild turkeys:

The turkeys kind of fly! Or at least they glide, as one did out of tree right in front of me, giving me a good scare.

They’re mostly skittish, but the male can be aggressive. Some days he’ll come out and challenge cars. He’ll stand in their way and refuse to move, feathers all puffed and gobbling up a storm. Some drivers come out and try to wave him away, but the best method seems to be to keep driving, albeit slowly. Inevitably Tom Turkey will jump out of the way, and perhaps get in a couple of pecks in the meantime.

For a while there were also warnings about coyotes in the complex. It seems, because of the drought, they’re drawn to the pool as well as the food people leave out for the feral cats.

Yup: feral cats too.

California, you so crazy.

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