11.02.2005

Tree-range goats.

A black goat bleated from his perch high atop a tree here, lost his footing and tumbled to the barren earth below, landing with a thud. His fellows, munching absentmindedly in different parts of the tree like oversized crows, did not seem to notice. Their Berber shepherd smiled.

For centuries, the Berbers in this stark coastal corner of North Africa have followed the goats around as they climbed the spiny, evergreen argan trees to eat their leaves and leathery olive-sized fruit. They collect the undigested pits that the goats spit up or excrete and split them to extract the bitter kernels inside, which they grind and press to make a nutty oil used in cooking and cosmetics...
As Joe at ScienceBuzz, where you can find another image, says, "I wonder how the goats feel about the whole thing."

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1 comment:

Morgan said...

Sturdy tree. Awesome image. The novelty ends for me, however, at the thought of collecting goat poop.