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, 28 August 2016

Boys and gladioli

This just happens to be Fidget's laid back eating position.  When the weather gets a bit hot, or especially when the flies and midges attack his undercarriage then he just lies down and chews the grass.  He'll then lie there for ages chewing the cud, happy with his lot!
Here are the other three bandits, from the left, Fergus, Faro and Fyta.
A nice head shot of Fyta with the flowering gladioli, liatris and other flowers behind him - as well as the composting bins!
Same flowers - different 'paca!  Fidget has decided to get up on his feet and follow the other three boys.
Some hot days again this week, the hose has been in action to give them a spray and they have been making full use of the sand pit.  This long range shot was taken mid afternoon on a very hot day - Ben Wyvis in the background and topped by thunderous clouds.
The cool of the evening and the boys are in the rough paddocks.  "Come on boys" is the call and they all start walking towards their overnight paddock.
And finally.....................the gladioli this year have been stunning with a whole range of colours.  This one is a favourite.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Hot, hotter, hottest!

We've been complaining for weeks in this part of the world that summer was never going to arrive, all we were getting was rain and wind.  This week saw a real change in the weather, really hot most days and only Friday afternoon and evening were wet. The hose-reel has been in action daily, either to cool the boys, water the garden or both.  Here are Faro (top) and Fyta enjoying the sunshine.
This photo, taken at a distance shows Faro (left) dunking his chin and face in the water tray whilst Fidget lies in the grass.  Fergus and Fyta are cooling off in the shelter and keeping the flies at bay. Some days the boys spent hours in their shelter keeping out of the heat and away from the flies.
This was taken this afternoon and shows the boys reacting to yet another hot day.  Faro lies on the grass and the other three are in the sand pit. It has certainly been the best spell of weather we have seen for ages and we hope it will continue into next week.
Can't resist posting this photo of 'Cupcake', taken mid week as he tries to stay cool in the hot weather.
It wasn't all lying about in the sun for the humans however and the dry weather saw the tractor mower in operation Mon, Tues and Wed getting all the paddocks topped again.  The boys are completely at ease with the mower even though sometimes it is close to them.
Another picture I can't resist posting!  This time it's of a group of House Martins as they massed with others around the house in the early evening sunshine.  All the youngsters are flying now and the air is full of 'chirruping' birds!
And finally............. the hot weather has also caused many of the plants to flower in the garden.  This is a beautiful Oriental Lily which stands about 12 inches tall but has a huge flower.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Weather, visitors and visit.

This is what our weather has mainly been up to this week - thunderous clouds away to the west, rainbows, heavy rain, gales - and a bit of sunshine.  Not the best weather for summer.
There have been glimpses of the sun and the boys have enjoyed that and taken the opportunity of having a sunbathe occasionally. The boys have also had their monthly dose of Verm-X granules in their daily feed this week.
We had a visit from Robbie's sister Sheila, cousin Alvina with husbands Jim and Angus respectively during the week.  The boys have just had some carrots and this is Alvina deep in discussion with Fergus!
Angus tries hard to make an impression with Fergus by getting down to his level!  Fergus looks his usual well fed self - he should be nicknamed, 'Gastric!'
On Saturday we drove north to Portmahomack in Easter Ross to see Alison and Brendan at Seafield Alpacas.  Another blustery day with rain showers but good to see the 'paca boys plus dogs, hens, ducks and ducklings, all doing well. From the left the boys are Chocolate with Flynn behind him and Gully at the rear, Wee Eck and Merlin.  One of the dogs, Milo, is lying down behind us. 
I suppose the caption for this should be, "He ain't heavy, he's my brother!" Perhaps it's just a case of watching too much olympics this week for Flynn with Merlin on his back. Nice to see you both again, Alison and Brendan.
And finally...............some bright flowers, blue Cornflowers at the rear and Livingstone Daisies (Mesembryanthemum) which only open in sunlight, at the front. 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

A summer's morning

There's nothing quite like a summer's morning for the boys with the sun in the sky, the temperature just right and damp grass to lie on!  This is around 8.00am, a lovely morning and Fergus just can't get his head off the green pillow.
Faro knows that the first thing the human does in the morning is to open a gate so that he and his pals can get onto the rough paddocks, so he is always first in line.  Unfortunately his pals take a little convincing about moving from a comfortable position.
Eventually they all come through the gate but by the look of Fergus in the front, they are probably sleep walking!  Fyta (behind) dunked his feet in the water tray after this shot was taken.  Note the size of the Gunnera plant behind Faro, nearly 6 feet of growth this year so far.
Fidget also looks as if he has been dragged from his bed and stands blinking in the strong sunlight.
They stroll to the furthest paddock and lie down on the rolling spot - all except Faro of course.  Fyta is in front, Fergus in the middle (and dozing already!) and Fidget looks in the opposite direction which he often does!
Earlier in the week we visited Karen and Dave of the Tomich Farm Shop in nearby Beauly and loaded up with freshly baled hay straight off the field.  We put 28 in the trailer and two in the car so that should do the boys for the winter. There is nothing quite like the lovely smell of fresh hay - or the mess which it leaves in the back of the car!
And finally.............it's the time of year for vibrant colours.  These lilies were enjoying the early morning sunshine - just like the boys.