I got a kick out of this article at the Daily News. It combines a smart, yet quirky California story with 5,000 years of history.
Everyone in Los Angeles (and most of California) is required to make sure brush is removed on their property by a certain date to reduce fire hazard in time for Fire Season. The Getty Museum is no exception. But it can be an expensive undertaking to hire legions of laborers to cut 750 ACRES of brush, remove the brush and haul off the brush. It's even harder when you are talking about rugged terrain in steep hills -with cliffs and, did I mention we're having a heat wave?
The Getty, of course, has found a way to solve the problem, in a simple and incredibly efficeient way. They hire a herd of goats to scramble over the hills and eat up every shred of brush. The goats are happy, and we don't have to worry about the smell of antiquities burning in a brush fire.
Dana Bartholomew does a great job combining information from the Getty Archives with help from Elizabeth Morrison, its curator of medieval manuscripts, with the dry facts of brush removal.
Getty's goats have blazing brush-clearance skills
By Dana Bartholomew, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 05/13/2008 10:33:40 PM PDT
The goat ... when grazing, it moves from high to even higher pastures. It picks out good grass from bad by the sharpness of its eyes. - Unknown author, from a 13th-century English bestiary