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, 9 June 2013

Poor wee souls!

It's the time of year when the alpacas go from looking great in their thick fleecy coats to this image which leaves you saying, "Ah, poor wee soul!"  Yep, shearing time again and this year the weather has been with us in the north and the animals have all been done.  This is Gully looking a bit dazed and forlorn after losing his coat.
A few minutes earlier this was the scene as shearer James Dixon (right) and assistant Martin prepared to give Gully a 'short back and sides.'  James and Martin arrived at 10.00pm on Friday,  dusty and tired after a busy day's shearing in Banffshire, but a shower, cold beer and meal soon restored them!  'Up and at it' yesterday before 8.00am, our boys first then Beauly, Muir of Ord, Dingwall, Kildary then Croy before heading back to Aberdeenshire - these guys certainly put in the miles - and effort.  
Gaucho being prepared.
Faro (left) having been the first to be sheared tries to reassure his pals that it's 'easey-peasey' and nothing to be scared about - (they don't really believe him!)  So thats shearing for another year, almost as stressful for humans as it is for the animals, but thanks to James it is all over quickly.  Thanks again James!
Elsewhere in the garden things are going ballistic with the hot weather bringing on plants, grass and weeds at an astonishing rate after the extra-long winter.  'Himself' was about to give the orchard the first strimming of the season but was under strict instructions not to cut the bluebells which are growing in profusion, everywhere.  Rabbits and bunnies are making the 'Grumpy Gardener' even more tetchy as he frets over whether there will be any cauliflower plants left in the veg garden after the furry little 'b's gain entry! 
And finally..............one very good thing this year is the numbers of House Martins which have arrived with the Swallows.  There are dozens of them flying around the garden, landing on the tattie patch and picking up soil to mix with saliva to make their nests.  They've decided that our new house would be a good site for their new nests and here are two of them flying up to the apex of the window 'eyebrow', sticking on more mud then flying off for more.  


  1. Is there anyone who doesn't go 'phew that's it for another year' after shearing day. But much better for sunbathing!

  2. Great photo story. Aren't they funny after shearing, one minute dancing about free of their winter coats, next minute wondering who are these strange new alpacas in their field.

  3. Glad all wentwell with the big day !! The boys will be feeling much happier in this nice sunny weather. Fancy the Swallows bagging your new house before you Do !! Jayne

  4. I love how they all check each out after shearing, as if to check they are the same Alpacas! Glad it went well for you, glad that it is over :) Lisa