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.


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

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Windy days in the garden

It's funny how the animals decide to lie down as a group sometimes.  Often they prefer to be spread around the paddock with yards between each alpaca, then at other times they gather together.  When this photo was taken there was a very strong wind blowing and we've noticed that the boys often 'go to ground' during gales, so perhaps it's a protection thing.  Certainly other animals like cows and sheep seem to do the same thing in certain weather conditions.
Fidget (left), Gully (Front) with Fergus at the rear.  We had a lovely couple visiting yesterday from Skye and Fergus was on his best 'visitor friendly' behaviour getting plenty of neck rubs.  Yesterday was the best day of the week with plenty of sunshine whilst the rest of the week has been a bit of a wash-out, so the boys got to sunbathe for a while.
Fyta with Gaucho lying next to him, Rufus's head just appearing and Wee Eck in the background.  Whilst Fyta is not into neck rubs and stroking unless he's feeling very generous, he is perfectly at ease with us and we can walk all round him when he is down like this and he does not move.
An unusual pose from Faro who, being the guard normally gets to his feet when humans are around.  His tail is up in recognition however and he watches every move we make.  He's a lovely chap and he gets plenty of neck rubs and hugs from us because he does enjoy that.  
Now to things gardening.  Here are the maturing grapes in the Keder greenhouse, just beginning to turn from green to a ruby red colour.  They are already sweet to taste.  We are not quite at the point of taking off our socks and shoes and tramping them yet though!
At the edge of one of the paddocks is this Tulip tree (Liriodendron), part of the magnolia family and seen blowing in the strong wind.  They have a distinctive leaf shape and take 25 years to produce flowers!   It is steadily growing and we were a bit concerned that it may be harmful to the boys as they can try to nibble it through the mesh fence, so we keep it trimmed.  I checked on the internet and it seems that alpacas have been known to eat it without harmful effects - but we will still keep it trimmed! 
And finally.........this strange plant is in a shaded part of our garden.  We planted it several years ago, but as usual, the name tag has gone with the wind - ages ago!   We think that it is a member of the Trillium family and this year has produced these colourful seed pods looking just like big plums.  If anyone out there knows the correct name, then please let us know.  Ta.


  1. Take a look at Podophyllum hexandrum Shirley, there are similarities. Hark at me! I'm clueless when it comes to plants, but I consulted Mrs. Smallholder, and we Googled some images.

  2. Bingo - nice one Dave & Mrs S, thats the one! We'll put a label around it now. Thanks. Shirley & Robbie

  3. Firstly, we went out by torch-light to look at ours, and, fortunately noticed it was looking rather sorry for itself, as Joys sister had brought it down from Greenock in the spring.