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 8 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, 12 November 2017

Wintry - and a visit.

Fergus - he knows where to go when the weather gets a bit rough.  He can stay inside keeping dry watching the other boys  outside getting wet!
A bit of magnification needed for this shot but it shows just how the weather has been this week - snow on the hills and frequent squalls coming in.
The sun has shone too however but the next heavy shower is approaching from a threatening sky to the north west.
Fidget is quite happy with wind at this time of year because it blows plenty of leaves around and he enjoys chasing and eating them!  We've started feeding haylage to supplement the hay for the winter and the boys really enjoy this - unlike the Verm-X granules which they've had in their feed this week!
Yesterday we paid an enjoyable visit to the Black Isle to visit Wendy and Paul at Woodleighlodge Alpacas.  Here are Dottie (left) and Bonnie their two pregnant girls who are keeping a wary eye on the humans.  Wendy and Paul also have dogs, a cat, chickens, and ducks - and fish in their garden pond so they have plenty to keep them busy.
And finally..............you'll need to magnify this shot, but it's worthwhile.  Whilst most of us are happy with a variety of little garden birds, Wendy and Paul feed visiting raptors on their bird-table.  Here, a female Buzzard is eating on the table whilst a male sits on top of the straw bale behind her, waiting his turn!  As well as Buzzards, Kites are frequent visitors to the birdtable.  Well done on keeping all your beasties and birdies well fed Wendy and Paul  - as well as visiting humans!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

A dusting of snow.

Nail trimming was the order of the day for the two white boys earlier in the week. The other two boys, Faro and Fyta don't need nail trimming so regularly as the two boys, Fergus and Fidget.
Fidget does not like anyone touching his feet so will always 'cush' down when approached in the pen.  We've found that by putting on his halter and bringing him out of the small pen he is less worried.
De-sensitizing the legs by stroking seems to work too and after several minutes we were able to get his nails trimmed.
It's been a lovely day today, snow on the hills but the sun has been out all day whilst the boys enjoyed some apples.
Fyta has also been very interested in the contents of the Grumpy Gardener's best friend - his wheelbarrow!
A long range shot of the boys soaking up the sun whilst in the distance, the first dusting of snow this year appeared overnight on the mountains - this one being Ben Wyvis.
And finally............couldn't resist this shot of the seasonal colours of the beech leaves on the road near our house.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

The boys - and a pumpkin.

Two boys watching - two boys grazing!  Faro and Fyta are watching something going on up on the nearby road whilst Fergus and Fidgit carry on nibbling!
Not a very complimentary photo of Fidgit (right) as he chews on some grass.  Over the summer we've had quite a lot of rain this year so the grass is still quite lush.
The best of pals, Faro (left) and Fyta, always on the lookout for each other - where one goes, the other normally follows.
This photo proves that the Grumpy Gardener has been bending his back this week sorting out and weeding the veg plots after this year's growing season.
Taken at feeding time this afternoon and Fergus had the droopy bottom lip, so he must have been spitting.  It takes about 10 minutes before he is able to eat again and we usually give him a handful of hay which seems to help the recovery from green, dripping bottom lip to normality!
And finally................the pumpkin was grown by a friend at her croft on the Black Isle (I featured her very tall sunflowers recently on the blog!) so the Gardener used quite a bit of artistic license to produce a happy smile.  Once the little night light went inside, it was perfect!  

Sunday, 22 October 2017

An Indian summer

Despite the recent remnants of Hurricane 'Ophelia' and then Storm 'Brian' hitting some parts of UK rather badly, we've managed to escape the storms.  In fact this past week has been lovely, some overnight rain but day-times have been great.  The boys have enjoyed prolonged sunbathing sessions.  Faro is standing in front of Fergus.
A long distance shot of the autumnal garden, the boys sunbathing and the Grumpy Gardener's newly trimmed hedge!
All four of the boys enjoying the sun, from the left Fidget, Faro, Fergus and Fyta.  Of the four boys, Fyta is the one who enjoys sunbathing the most - any strong sunshine and he will lie down with his belly facing the rays!
Another view of the hedge with Fidget nibbling at some cuttings.  Fidget's diet doesn't seem to have worked does it?
It's not often that Fergus starts 'bugling' with his alarm call but when he does, all the boys pay attention to find the 'threat' that Fergus sees.  No threat this time, just our neighbour's two dogs, Tess and Lexie.  We've only ever heard Fergus 'bugling', none of the other boys have ever done it that we know of.
The dogs have gone, the threat is over so the boys can relax again - although it is obvious that they are still staying alert!
And finally.................this warm weather is making the plants grow, the flowers come out again - and the raspberry canes still producing some fruit.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Mixed weather again.

The boys have endured a mixture of weather this week - gale force winds, hot sunshine and pouring rain.  Fidget is taking advantage of the nice weather to chew the cud.

This is the extended picture showing Fidget sitting apart from his three mates as usual, but all of them were enjoying the sun.
We had a lovely visit earlier in the week from Wendy at Woodleigh Lodge Alpacas on the Black Isle near Inverness.  Fergus as always was getting stroked but the other three boys are not into all that molly-coddling!  Wendy's husband Paul was not visiting as he had to work - well somebody has to earn the alpaca feed eh?  Lovely to see you again Wendy.
He's here again, Fidget with Faro in the background, thinking that the camera may be made of an edible material!
The lovely-boy Fyta, taking it easy in the sun and helping himself to mouthfuls of hay whilst listening to the humans chattering!
And finally................the only remaining Hollyhock and it's a lovely pink colour.  The boys are in their shelter in the distance.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Need to cut the hedge!

Now that the threat from wasps is (almost) over the Grumpy Gardener has decided to make a start on cutting the long hedge.  Firstly though, before getting the hedge trimmer going, the very tall Buddleia and Elderberry which is mixed up in the hedge has to be cut down and put on the bonfire.  Three of the boys show an interest but Fidget is much more interested in the water tray!



Faro fancies a Buddleia leaf or two but might get a shock of he jabs his nose on the Monkey Puzzle tree cutting - the leaves are very sharp.
When they know they are not going to get anything to eat from the barrow they soon lose interest.  Fidget is still interested in the water tray.
Here he is, he's been drinking it, lying in it and standing in it - sometimes they just can't get enough water.
Later, Fyta enjoys his Camelid Complete Feed which the boys all enjoy.  We changed from the course mix some time ago after the boys started going off it - after eating it for about 9 years!
Plenty of rain showers again this week although it hasn't been cold.  Fyta and Faro are oblivious to the rainbow which is forming above them.
And finally...............it's Nerine time of the year again.  Always lovely to see them as they are such a vivid pink colour.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Get up - it's morning!

We've said it before - these guys don't like getting up in the mornings!  They love their shelters and like to stay in them or near them longer in the mornings.  Look at Fyta having a yawn!
Fergus is winding himself up to get going with his foot in the air but Fyta prefers a long-lie.

Watch out - here comes the boss to keep an eye on the photographer.  Note the hay buckets are empty and getting thrown about!
At long last they are on the move and the human can get in and sort out their shelter and replenish hay.  Fergus leads the way, then Fyta, Fidget is last as always.
Fyta boy taking a close look at the camera with Faro looking remarkably like ET in the background!
And finally...........we paid a visit to a friend on the Black Isle today and just look at the size of her Sunflowers - never seen any as tall before!