Wednesday 19 August 2009

"Hay hay, my my" *

On monday we celebrated** as it was one year since Moira and Minnie arrived -that was an exciting day -one year on, and we have five beautiful girls in the field - what started as a more sustainable and interesting way of keeping the grass cut - I find I am spending more time cutting docks and nettles than I would have if we had no alpacas - there's irony - not only that, it turns out to be a totally absorbing and fulfilling occupation/hobby/responsibility.

I've ordered some hay which I hope will see us through the winter.

Coincidentally, on monday two gentlemen alpacas arrived for a date with Minnie and Pela, and spent twenty minutes orgling, while cria looked on awkwardly...Spinster of this parish, Moira, can be seen in the distance, pondering on what might have been had nature had other plans for her...

Posting this blog now, as our daughters wedding is on the 29th, and we have a champagne reception twixt wedding and main reception, here in the garden, so slowly going into meltdown... I was preparing my speech, but got side-tracked by alpaca blogs...

Currently enjoying listening to U2 - having to miss their gig at Cardiff on saturday due to wedding preparations. However, tomorrow I'm going to try and get tickets for Muse who are playing two nights in Teignmouth soon, their home town - rock 'n roll that big (and good) doesn't visit the West Country very often (Glastonbury Festival excepted), so it's worth a try.

** we didn't actually celebrate - far too busy for that...
*Hey hey, my my - Neil Young

Sunday 16 August 2009

Charge of the white brigade.

Most evenings, Ambrosia and Autumn Gold have a funny five minutes of charging around the field - anyone who has a dog will know they have their moments of running hell-for-leather around their garden (or house if it's wet!), working off the growing pains.
Tomorrow, their mums have got a couple of fellas coming on a date - how exciting, Apple Vale Alpacas first attempt at breeding from the very first act... watch this space.

Sunday 9 August 2009

Chicken chaser.

Autumn Golds growing pains get the better of her in the evening, and she just loves to chase a chicken - don't worry, the chicken got away!

What a lovely weekend - hot and sunny here. Trimmed the hedge between garden and field.

Thoughts turning to land management regarding herd development - we only have an acre and a bit, and five girls now. If we mate Pela and Minnie now, and get another two next summer, and then mate the four girls we currently have which should be capable next summer, then next summer/autumn we may be over-using our resources with seven animals. Need to look into what agistment involves - it's a word I've seen bandied about alot, but without any clarification.

Monday 3 August 2009

A midwifes tale.

They need help coming out it seems every time,
Their mamas are distressed and nothings going fine.
I put on my gloves and wade into the fray,
That baby's coming out and it's coming out today.

She keeps humming a song for her baby to hear,
Come out my baby while the weather is clear.
I put on my gloves and wade into the fray,
Come on little baby, it's a lovely day.

She strains and she wanders while the others all graze.
She rolls in the dirt it's just another phase,
I put on my gloves and wade into the fray,
Give a little pull, and baby's on its way;

It's another birth, both are doing fine,
Baby's standing up, it's a very good sign.
She nuzzles close to Mama, looking for a teat,
Her tail drops down, and the bonding's complete.

by Mrs. Smallholder.

Sunday 2 August 2009

When you gotta go, you gotta go!

Autumn (below) has been putting on weight steadily - last night at dusk, as the moon was rising they were chasing around, even 'Auntie' Moira. A welcome bit of warm sunshine most of today.

We realised how much Ambrosia (top) has grown when Autumn arrived, and we had a comparison - she is twice the size.

Can you take too many photos of your 'pacas? As with your children, their constantly changing poses, positions, interactions with each other and their surroundings provides an infinite range of possibilities - only the time you have available to watch them limits the moments you can capture...