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, 30 April 2017

Snow and Chuky Maclonglegs

Not the best start to a Monday morning for the boys this week!  We had a couple of days of rain and snow showers so the boys had to make the best of it.  Faro leads Fergus and Fidget out of the field shelter.
Fyta had been lying outside through the showers but decided that enough was enough now!
The showers kept coming but snow does not lie for long at this time of year, so the boys just got wet.
Getting wet then having a roll in the dusty shelter before settling down for some morning hay in the sunshine is what these guys like.  The human driven 'pooper scooper' can be seen on it's daily outing on the left!
Fyta (left) Faro and Fergus enjoy the view looking west whilst Fidget does his own thing in another paddock.
This Berberis  shrub is in full bloom at present and gives the area some Spring colour.  The boys can just about be seen in the adjoining paddock.
And finally ...........together with some lovely eggs, we received this lovely hand drawn card from Julia who lives across the road.  It shows Cupcake her cat (who lives the quiet life with us!) in front and the other children's two cats with one being chased at the top by alpacas Fyta (with the trousers) and Faro!  Brilliant Julia, well done. The children have named a chicken ornament in their garden - 'Chuky Maclonglegs' - no answer to that!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Visit to Seafield Alpacas

Earlier in the week we travelled north to Portmahomack, Easter Ross to visit Alison and Brendan and their boys. This lovely photo is of Merlin (left) and Flynn who are good pals within the herd.
The boys are all well fleeced up and need it at present as the temperature has dropped considerably lately.  Milo the dog is well known to the boys.
Here they all are, from the left at the front Chocolate, Flynn and Merlin with Gully (left, rear) and Echo. Plenty of land and grass is available to the boys and we were treated to a terrific 'pronking' display whilst we were there.
Alison's hat is cause for much interest from Merlin, especially the bobble on the top!  Gully and Echo are at the rear.
Chocolate is a lovely looking boy with plenty of fleece and very long eye lashes!  The boys' field shelter is in the distance although they only use it on rare occasions.  It was a lovely visit to see the boys (and the chickens, ducks and dogs!) and great to see you both again, Alison and Brendan.
Meanwhile, back home on the ranch our four boys continue to be well.  Fidget and Fergus are lying down with Fyta and Faro standing - and something on the nearby road has got their attention.
And finally.............the long time blog readers amongst you will know that each summer we are amazed by the growth of the Gunnera plant.  The Grumpy Gardener uncovered the two plants this week as they are waking from their Winter slumbers and beginning to grow.  These are the crowns of the plant which have been protected against the elements during the winter - we'll post another photo when they start growing big.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Chilly, but sunny week.

A week of sunny periods along with very cold winds - and a dusting of snow has returned to the mountain tops but at least we've been able to work in the garden.  A strange noise gets the boys looking around them........
........and here is the source of the noise.  Not heard or seen since the end of last summer, it's time to get the big mower out once again.  Once the boys know where the noise is coming from, they carry on grazing.
Fyta and Fergus keep an eye on the progress of the grass cutting whilst Fidget and Faro carry on chewing the grass.
A nice picture from later in the day, once the boys had been fed they settled down for a nap.  Looks like Fyta in the middle has already nodded off!
As always, Fidget keeps himself slightly apart from the other herd members.  He likes his own, personal space!
At the end of the week we had a lovely visit from friend Iain and his family having a couple of day's holiday in the north.  After a morning of mountain-biking they stopped off to see the boys having their carrots, then headed back to the Black Isle.  Nice to see you folks, hope you enjoyed your break - and the cold wind!
Neighbour's cat 'Pike'' has spent most of the week in one of the field shelters trying to catch a rabbit which has burrowed under the building.  He goes home for his meals then comes back to watch patiently over the rabbit hole.  The alpacas view him with a bit of suspicion however.
And finally.................. lots of colourful flowering currant bushes in the hedge, attracting bumble bees in the sunshine.  Have a very Happy Easter!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Just lying about.

Faro looks every inch the guard as he checks out the photographer.  His three pals are close by but Faro sometimes keeps himself a little distant.
And here he is, keeping an eye on his three pals who are lying about enjoying their haylage.  Faro does not eat lying down as the others do - but he does enjoy haylage!
Fergus (left), Fyta and Fidget - relaxed and enjoying the moment knowing that Faro is looking out for them.
Fidget - bless!
Faro and his three chums.  They have had a good week of weather, dry with a cold wind and they like that.
One of two old ploughs we have near the paddocks.  Time to get 'himself' to put another coat of metal paint on it for this season I think.
And finally..............a host of golden daffodils maybe?  Lovely colours anyway and great to see them in bloom.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Fleeced up boys.

Like all the boys, Fergus is well fleeced up now and will enjoy a lie down in the sun once he has finished his feed.
Fyta's fringe is now beginning to get a bit long.  It does have the advantage of keeping the sun out of his eyes and no doubt keeping flies at bay but it will start to obscure his vision a bit shortly.
Faro enjoying his feed with the other boys behind him.  It will be Verm-X time for them all next week again, the monthly dose soon comes around.
Fidget is well known for not wanting any of the other three boys to come into his 'personal space!'  If this happens, he sticks his neck out in the direction of the offender and makes plenty of camel noises.
Just like this!  None of the boys actually fight with each other but sometimes an argument will develop into a spitting match until one backs down.  Camels, eh?
A nice photo taken today of Fyta (left) and his pal Faro.  One will follow the other then Fergus and Fidget will bring up the rear.
And finally.............. these Primula are providing some lovely colour.  We have them dotted around in pots near the back door, and with the daffodils now in full bloom, there is a lot of colour around.