Sunday 30 June 2013

Green and Black

We finished this years shearing yesterday, with our black matriarch, Moira - Moira is head of the herd - she fends off challenges from Ambrosia, and in rough weather she will sit out in the rain, while the others fill the shelter - she's tough - but when it comes to shearing, she squeals like a baby, drowning-out the sound of the clippers, drools the green stuff, and wees on the mat - towels for mopping-up are an essential part of Moiras shearing equipment - the rest of the herd gathered in dis-belief to witness this - none of the others make this fuss - after the event, she shows off a beautiful jet-black fleece, and at twelve years old it is as fine as the best - sadly she cannot reproduce, and it takes two years to grow a decent length.
For the first time in fourteen years, I've not gone to Glastonbury Festival as we have cria due (...), so last night I tried to recreate it, with me on the Main Stage and alpacas as audience - well, it was an experiment in testing the hearing of the current herd - I think indifference would sum it up best:
"can you play the panpipes?"
Shortly after this, after sunset, I popped out to check them before the Rolling Stones came on - Pelachuta had her ears pricked, her neck stretched high, and she was heading up the hill, Bramley was following, her tail 'cocked', and they had clearly spotted something - I raced up behind them to the brow of the hill, and spotted a fox slinking away through the long grass, as it stopped and looked back before deciding that alpacas should not be messed with. Only two days earlier we had two young hens taken, when their hut had been broken into, with the plywood roof shredded piece by piece!

This weekend was warm enough for the trough and tray to be filled, and a joyful group gathered around the hosepipe for the grand filling ceremony:


  1. Do the alpacas humm along to your music??!! There's nothing better than sitting in the paddock and... if only I could play then a guitar seems like a super addition!!

  2. Judi I'm pleased to say they didn't hum - perhaps they didn't recognize the tunes...I'll try again.