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, 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!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Fidget's feet

It's not often that we get a good photo of Fidget, he's either grinning or frowning so we were pleased to get this one with a 'busy' sky behind him.
The boys were sheared at the end of June at which time their nails were clipped, but the white boys Fergus and Fidget, now need their nails clipped again.  So yesterday, first thing, they were penned. As normal Fidget goes to ground as soon as he realises we are going to touch his feet.  We put on his head collar so he is easier handled, but he is not for getting up on his feet.  Fyta watches on.
We always let Faro out of the catch pen first because he is nervous and gets the others upset whilst we do the jobs we have to do.  Fyta (left) and Fergus watch what is going on and Faro waits outside!
Eventually we open the catch pen and allow Fidget into a bigger, enclosed area and this confuses him for a bit during which time Robbie manages to get his nails trimmed whilst he is standing!
He's a big baby really and loves having his neck stroked!  Once the nail clipping is completed he is perfectly happy and wanders off with the others.
Fergus had his nails trimmed too and resorted to the normal huffing and puffing until he got used to what was happening.  Here he and Fyta are waiting for Fidget's feet saga to be over so that they can get back into the paddock!
We've had mixture of sun and rain all week and this shot was taken on a particularly warm day earlier in the week.
And finally.................... a Red Admiral (who refused to open his wings regardless of how many photos were taken!) and two Bumble Bees enjoying the sunshine whilst feeding on a Liatris plant.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

A drizzly week.

We've had rain every day this week, sometimes torrential down-pours then sometimes heavy drizzle.  The boys take off to a field shelter when the rain gets too much, lie down and chew the cud for a bit.  Here they are under yet another threatening sky.
Fergus (front) with Fidget behind.  Our two white boys don't look quite so white when they are wet and rolling about in the mud!
Faro (left) and Fyta, never far away from each other as they are best pals.  Well almost, until feed time when Fyta tries to pinch Faro's feed and things get a bit snappy.
Earlier in the week the rain was even more persistent with everything grey and dark - like Winter - brrrrr!
We had a nice visit from Robbie's school friend Sandy (left) who always manages to pay a visit when he makes the annual pilgrimage 'home' from America.
     
And finally................these are a type of apple called 'Katy' which have deep red skins.  Unfortunately we have a couple of young deer roaming around the area during the evening and overnight - and they do like Katy apples! Nice to see the Autumn colours coming on in the garden again.  The House Martins and Swallows have left for warmer climes already and lots of geese are flying high to their wintering areas.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Apples galore - and a sad farewell.

This year the garden has produced lots of apples, soft fruit and veg.  The boys enjoy a slice of apple, so after a heavy shower of rain had moved them all back into the shelter, it was time to give them some.  You can see that Faro stands guard in front of his pals!
Fergus has just taken a piece of apple and is happily chewing it.  Faro in the background has already had a bit.
Fyta is keen to have some - whilst Fergus's nose appears from the right looking for some more.  Fidget is inside the shelter and he also enjoyed his apple.
Fyta (left) and Fergus, determined to have another slice - if there is any left! They've also enjoyed some carrots this week too - lucky boys!
The rain has stopped, the apples are finished and the human is leaving the paddock so time for the boys to go out and graze.  They have had their Verm-X granules in the food this week, another month now before the next lot.
We had to say a very sad farewell yesterday to our pal Cupcake when he was killed by a car on the nearby road.  Blog readers will know that he was owned by young Julia our neighbour and her family, but Cupcake decided to adopt us over a year ago, since when he hasn't left us.  He was a dear chap and will be greatly missed by us and all our friends who have met him.  He's now in a corner of the garden where he loved to have a snooze in the sun.
RIP Cupcake - we'll miss you and so will the boys who looked out for him wandering the paddocks every morning, looking for rabbits!