Saturday 29 April 2017

Small is beautiful.

How often have you wondered what your alpacas looked like from above, so you got out the step-ladders but they weren't high enough, and then you tried to climb onto the roof of the trailer, but couldn't, and then when you were on a high ladder cleaning the house guttering you discovered the alpacas had been moved to a different paddock?  Then wonder no more, because a friend of mine has a drone, and last autumn he filmed our herd from on high, and at long last I've had it edited, so here it is:

The last big event was the BAS National Show in March, and I was serving (?) as a Ring Steward in Ring One, the female alpacas, with Judges Amanda VandenBosch and Rob Bettinson. If you're not familiar with an alpaca show, well there are several stewards to assist the event, who variously, inspect the alpacas in their pens on arrival (Pen Stewards), assemble the waiting alpacas and their handlers before going into the ring (Collecting Stewards), record the results (Recording Stewards), and organize them in the ring and assist the judges (Ring Stewards).

I discovered why the required dress code is black trousers and white shirt: it was so cold that you needed the constitution of a penguin! I had three shirts, a scarf, thermal leggings and trousers, and after a couple of hours had to pull on the knitted alpaca wrist-warmers - but it was a great experience - I was able to meet every handler with a female alpaca, and look them in the eye, but of course, couldn't speak to any of them - the two judges were great to work with, I didn't get kicked, and it was the very last alpaca on the saturday afternoon that spat at my white shirt!
The weather here in Somerset has been very dry with no measurable rain in April (though it's coming tomorrow), so the paddocks are bare and cracked  - as we've rotated the groups around the paddock I've fertilized the paddocks using what I call, 'the shopping trolley' - when Joy first suggested this years ago, and went out and did the spreading, I thought she was bonkers - but with small paddocks it is very quick and simple - small is beautiful:
I've just taken delivery of a heap of fence posts and stock netting to enclose a new paddock, so that's going to keep me busy for a while, and I've also bought a chain harrow which can be pulled by the mower - again, small is beautiful:

We have our first cria due any day, from Apples, our Dovecote Jaquinto daughter, who has given us three fabulous offspring so far. We are looking forward to it very much, but we are hoping she doesn't choose monday when we will be at the North Somerset Show, our first of three shows in May.

Back soon...

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