OUR SMALL HERD

Our 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, 22 April 2018

New week - new Keder!

Faro - captivated by our neighbour's cat!  The boys are all very wary of cats - must be the way they move and makes them look like a potential predator.
A mixed week of weather, some days beautiful whilst others were cold and wet.  This was taken first thing in the morning, with the sun just rising and the drizzle falling.  The boys are lying down near the field shelter, enjoying their breakfast hay, lower middle of the picture.
Our friend Sue came north from deepest Wiltshire to visit last weekend.  Fergus, front is trying to impress the ladies by being macho and chasing away Fyta who might be stealing the carrots.
In reality, he's a big softy and will put up with large amounts of petting and cuddling when he's in the right frame of mind!
From the left Faro, Fergus, Fyta and Fidget enjoying the sun but also having to put up with a strong breeze blowing.
And finally...............the Grumpy Gardener is a happy chappie because he finished all the ground preparation in the veg garden on Thursday and the new Keder greenhouse arrived and was erected by the fitters on Friday.  He's still got some work to do around it for drainage but I'm looking forward already to some juicy tomatoes!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Getting back to normal.

Faro looks a bit fed up with the damp weather at the beginning of the week.  Thankfully all the snow of the previous week is a distant memory and the boys are able to graze.
Fyta (left) and Fergus enjoy their share of the carrots on offer.  All the boys enjoy the carrots but Fidget can take them or leave them sometimes!
All four boys are pleased to graze after the snow but the quality of the grass is at it's worst at this time of year with the new grass only now coming through.  A few more days of sunshine will do wonders for growth.
By the end of the week, temperatures had risen considerably and there was plenty of opportunity for sunbathing by the boys.
Fyta looks like he's stamping on worms in this photo! 
Is this a headless alpaca?  No, it's just Fergus with his head down but showing off a 'generous' rear end and plenty of fleece!
And finally................ a nice photo of a trio of attentive alpacas - from the left, Fyta, Fidget and Fergus.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Last week's snow!

The final picture on last week's blog showed lovely weather conditions on Easter Sunday - but overnight there was a change and this was taken on Easter Monday!  Fyta (left) and Fergus look a bit confused by the return of winter weather.
I'm not sure which one of the boys slept outside on Sunday night but there was no mistaking where he had been lying when he moved in the morning!
Back to using the snow shovel again, the Grumpy Gardener cleared some snow so that the boys can have their haylage.
Tuesday morning and more snow had fallen again during Monday night. Faro (left) and Fyta wait for the snow shovel to be used again!
Inside the field shelter and looking out onto the snow.  The boys used the shelter most of Tuesday because it snowed all day long.
Fidget  looking perfectly relaxed once the snow is cleared and quite happy because he has haylage to chew!
Wednesday morning and more snow had fallen during Tuesday night.  This created lovely wintery scenes - this one looking down onto the veg garden.  Incredibly, by Thursday most of this snow had melted and by Friday it was completely gone.  We are hoping that that really is the last of the snow and that higher temperatures will bring on the Spring growth.
And finally................Rabbitz - taken on Easter Monday, she always fancied herself as an Easter bunny but hadn't reckoned on the snow.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Frosty nights and a trip up North.

A few pics of the boys, one evening this week, just as the sun was going down.  This is Fergus in the shadows.
Faro - always keeping an eye on the humans. We've had a lot of overnight frosts during this week so the boys have mainly slept outside under the stars.
Fyta, big pal of Faro and now sporting many grey hairs amongst the black of his rear quarters!  It's an age thing!
Fidget, Fergus, Fyta and Faro just as the suns dips behind the hills. Another frosty night in store!
Midweek and we drove north to see Alison and Brendan of Seafield Alpacas, Portmahomack - and to relieve them of several bales of excellent hay which they had harvested last year.  Their boys look terrific in their fleecy coats at present, from the left: Chocolate, Flynn, Echo, Merlin and Gully.
Gully was out of the frame for this shot of Choclate (left) Merlin, Flynn and Echo at the rear.  They are a lovely bunch of boys and they enjoyed eating their carrots shortly after the photo session.  Thanks for the lovely visit Alison & Brendan - your hay is being well received by the boys at Tigh Mhor Alpacas!
And finally.................taken about 8.30am today, on a frosty Easter Sunday as the boys enjoy their breakfast haylage in the warm sunshine.  Still plenty of snow on the hills however.  We wish all blog readers a very happy and peaceful Easter.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

A 'Spring' in their step!

It's mid afternoon and feed time for the boys so there is always a race to the bowls.  As soon as a human appears walking down the track with the feed Fergus, Faro and Fyta lead the charge.
Always following at a more leisurely pace is Fidget - it's not his way to rush about the paddocks, even for food!  Sometimes he breaks into a trot - but not often!
There is always a clamour to get noses into bowls with Fergus always finishing first and Faro always finishing last.
A midweek photo of the boys in the lovely Spring sunshine but with plenty of snow still showing on Ben Wyvis to the north west of us.
This shot taken this morning as the foursome wait for the gate to be opened allowing them into other paddocks. From the left Fidget, Faro, Fyta and Fergus.
Faro and Fyta later today with Faro alert as always - and Fyta eating as always.  I've only rarely been able to get a photo of Faro eating or with his head down because he remains alert as long as anyone or anything is near the boys.
And finally..................it's lovely to see some colour returning to the garden, but still no Daffodils in flower yet.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Better weather.

A much better week for the boys this week, only snow flurries and none of it lying anywhere.  This is Fergus (left) and Faro.
Fyta, looking intently at the hedge as he suspects there is a cat or even our neighbour's dog on the other side.
This is Fergus looking suitably fleeced up against the biting, cold wind which has blown for most of the week, from the East.
Taken today, this is is Faro charging across the paddock as the human approaches with the carrots.  The other boys are close behind!
But once the carrots are finished, they are no longer interested in the human and return to grazing in the sun.
And finally......................... there is nothing quite like a variety of heathers to give some colour throughout the winter months.  They are good value.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

The last of the white stuff (again?!)

Last Sunday night's 'dump' of snow left us with a few inches to clear as we got into the new week.  They like a few channels to be cleared so that they can get at the grass.
A lovely photo of Fergus (left), Fyta (centre) and Fidget as they stare intently at the squealing pigs in our neighbour's field.

Faro looks a bit nonchalant in this photo, taking the snow in his stride and chewing on a few strands of haylage.
The snow and sunny daylight does give us an opportunity to take some nice snaps.  This one taken first thing on Wednesday morning with the boys behind the hedge eating their haylage with the hills to the west.
By the end of the week the snow had completely disappeared - again!  Lets hope that's it for this Winter and we can now expect the grass to start growing again.
And finally...............................the snow does give an opportunity to look at animal tracks everywhere. The badgers were very active last week, digging holes into the bank at the side of the track.  Here are their muddy tracks after their nocturnal activities.