While driving the kid to school yesterday, I heard a radio report warning drivers on the 405 that they might spy a herd of goats in the Sepulveda Pass. The goats (or rather, their herder) have been contracted to graze on the hillside surrounding the Getty Center. I guess it's a convenient and eco-friendly way to clear the brush, as hillside property owners are required to do each year by the LA County Fire Department.
Now, one of the reasons I'm grateful to be a work-at-home, stay-at-home mother is that I no longer have to navigate the city's freeways during rush hour -- especially the loathsome 405, which never seems to be free of traffic any longer. However, I really wanted to see those goats... so at 11:00 yesterday morning (a time I calculated was sufficiently between all the different little traffic clusters), I turned off my computer, grabbed my camera and hit the road.
Alas, there was nary a goat to be seen (at least, none from the vantage point of the 405 or on Sepulveda, the route I took back to the Valley). Perhaps they were on the other side of the hill. Or maybe I just needed to park the car and get on the shuttle that takes you up the hill to the museum complex. At any rate, the photographers at the Los Angeles Times have taken some nice shots here and here.
While checking up on the story, I discovered that the Getty has been getting goats for this task for a few years now, and I wondered if this was a service that made sense for SoCal homeowners. After all, annual brush clearance is kind of an onerous task -- and goats need to eat. It sounds like a win-win.
It turns out that the Fire Department is right on top of that thought, with a list of goat contractors on their web page here. I haven't a clue what it costs, or if it makes sense to an owner of a small lot, but it's worth checking out, don't you think?.
This has been a public service announcement from SoCal Mom...