OUR SMALL HERD

Our original four boys came from Ardo Alpacas in Aberdeenshire. We are not alpaca breeders and have our boys purely as pets. Our experience is that you don't need to be a breeder and that a 'batchelor herd' can give much pleasure to the owner. We have 5 acres including our big garden and grazing for the boys, 15 miles north of Inverness, Scotland. I spin, knit, felt and crochet with the fleece from the boys.

Clicking!!

Just a reminder that clicking on (most) of the photos will show them greatly enlarged.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Showing off for the visitors!

The start of the week saw the boys putting on one of their 'performances' for Alison & Brendan of Seafield Alpacas, Portmahomack who had come to visit.  Fyta (left) needs very little encouragement for him to get into the water tray whilst Fergus has to wait his turn.
It can sometimes be a long wait however, especially if Fyta decides he wants to 'have a dunk' in the tray!
Fergus eventually manages to get in the tray, Fyta tries to get back in whilst Faro stands aside wondering what all the excitement is about.
Fyta and Fergus both had carrots but try to get their noses into the bowl to see if there are any left, whilst Alison looks on.
Discussion time - when the humans talk alpaca, and the alpacas wonder what is being said about them!  Lovely to see you again Alison and Brendan, thanks for visiting.

And finally........ this single Iris has burst into lovely flower ahead of all the other Irises, some of which do not yet have flower heads.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Lovely weather again!

Faro (left) and Fyta taken earlier in the week with snow covered Ben Wyvis to the north, behind them.
Looking in a different direction, the same two boys but looking West to the Strathglass hills.
Faro, Fyta and Fergus enjoying some sunshine - and some carrots.  The boys have been having Verm-X granules in their feed this week, so carrots will be a bit of a relief!
Now who could resist Fergus's face looking up at you as if to say, "C'mon boss, gimme a carrot please!"
OK pal, here's some carrot for you.  Fergus is always on the look-out for anything edible!
Although there has been a thin layer of ice on the water troughs every day this week, some of the days have been really warm and sunny.  Fyta (left) and Fergus have a snooze in the sun.
And finally..............it's Bluebell time again with clusters of them all around the ranch.  Nice to see them back in bloom.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Frost damage.

It's been a drenching sort of week for the boys - either rain, sleet or hail-stones, or a combination of all of them!  We thought we were in Spring but we've returned to Winter weather this week.
Fergus looking decidedly wet, normally a white boy he is more like 'battleship grey' after the rain.
Fyta looks a bit fed up with the weather doesn't he? 
Faro has taken the opportunity of rolling about this week so usually ends up muddy and covered in straw - but I think he likes that!
A shot of the local hills taken first thing on Friday morning shows a dusting of the 'white stuff' on top after a frosty night.
And finally...........frost damage on Friday morning.  This Rodgersia was growing well and was showing plenty of new leaves, but now look at it.  The Gunnera shown in last week's blog, also suffered frost 'burn' as did several other plants but the fruit tree buds and flowers appeared to have escaped damage.  Hopefully all the plants will recover when the temperature rises.  I meant to mention last week that the first of the swallows and house martins have now arrived back for the summer - just in time for wintry weather!

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Spring clean.

Two old buddies - Fyta (front) and Faro.  These guys are never very far apart, where one goes - the other will follow.
The warm temperatures earlier in the week reduced Fergus to posing like a beached whale!  At one point he was sound asleep and only awoke after repeated name calling from close quarters.
Time for a change of field shelter again after a couple of months so that it can have a 'Spring clean!'  This is Faro looking into the newly re-opened shelter and considering a roll.
Now there are two as Fergus arrives to join Faro in the hope of a dusty roll.
And now there are three - and we all know what happens next..........
Mayhem!  Fergus and Fyta get rolling about whilst Faro gets his head into the hay bucket and throws that around! Soon there is dust everywhere and the boys are clearly loving it.
And finally.............the Gunnera was uncovered a couple of weeks ago following the winter after the worst frosts had passed.  The brown coloured 'crowns' are now beginning to sprout their leaves again and soon they will be bigger than golf umbrellas!

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Happy Easter.

Fergus is always 'up' for having his photo taken, just to show off - perhaps he knows that he's a good looking boy!
Faro between the paddocks suspecting that it's food time as the humans are approaching with a basket of goodies!
We just missed a great photo opportunity when Fyta picked up his bowl and threw it.  He does this with his bowl and with the hay baskets - rascal that he is!
And when feeding is over, the boys just walk away.  They have very little interest in hanging about with humans, if there is no food they walk away!
Plenty of lying around in the sand pit this week in the mild temperatures.  This long range shot shows Fyta lying down in the pit, standing in and Faro lying a short distance away.
And finally.........we still have plenty of daffodils around, some have passed now but the later varieties are only just coming into flower.  Have a very happy Easter wherever you may be reading this.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Water trays and visitors.

We had to get out one of the water trays this week for the first time since last Autumn as the current good weather was causing the boys to start standing in their water troughs to cool themselves.  This is Fergus in the sandpit, soaking wet down his front having been in the tray.
There is nothing fancy about these trays - they are builder's cement mixing trays, but the boys love going in them when they get hot.  Fyta starts his preparations to lie down in the water, watched over by his pal, Faro.
"Ah, that's better!" you can almost hear Fyta say as the water hits the spot!  Faro is behind him and Fergus is in the sandpit at the top of the picture. The normal procedure is that after several minutes in the tray, Fyta will run over to the sand pit for a roll - just like Fergus has done!
Another day, another paddock and this time the photo is taken looking south along Glen Convinth and showing some of the paddocks, the veg garden and Keder greenhouse with our house, top left.  The boys attention is drawn to our neighbour's dog which is nearby so they all check her out to make sure she is not a threat............she's not!
Fergus is always keen to have his photograph taken and will stand still for some time staring into the camera.  Fyta is looking on.
At the beginning of the week, on a bitterly cold day, young Dexter brought his mum Sarah-Anne, dad David, and big sister Sadie to meet the boys.  After a wee bit of hesitation Dexter soon had Fergus eating carrots out of his hand whilst Sadie coaxed Faro to try some.  It was lovely meeting you folks, thank you for coming and glad you enjoyed it.
And finally...............I couldn't finish without putting up another photo of Fyta, looking cool and contented in the water tray!

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Winter's not finished yet.

Fyta's not impressed!   We all thought that winter might be behind us now, but no such luck this week.  Rain, sleet and snow for most of the week which soaked the boys.
Fergus looks a little uncertain about his carrots - but it didn't take him long to scoff the lot and look for more!
The three boys were soaked for most of three days although they went into the shelters at night they were out in the rain and sleet during the days.
The snow didn't do a lot for these daffodils, but they recovered after the snow melted and were soon upright again.
There may be cold weather about but that didn't stop Faro from charging around the paddocks - maybe he was keeping warm in the cold wind!
It wasn't all bad this week though and Fyta and his pals soon dried out in the combination of sun and wind.
And finally.........for a change one day the boys were up in the rough paddock, close to the garage and taking it easy in the sun.