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 May 2017

Early morning photos

All the photos this week were taken before 8.00am when the sun was just beginning to get itself going and aiming to be really hot for the rest of the day.  Fergus on the rolling spot here.
Faro is the most active of the 4 boys, always grazing, often when the others are at rest. We forget that at this time of the year the birds start singing just after 3.00am, it is already quite light and the boys are often grazing then, so need a bit of a lie down later.  As we get into June there will be very little darkness some nights.
Fyta boy has spotted Cupcake the cat in another paddock so decides to keep an eye on him.  The cat is not overly concerned by the boys, but they are still wary of the cat!
Fidget near the gate, has also spotted the cat.  Cupcake tends to follow Robbie around the paddocks in the morning as he does his cleaning, watering and hay duties so the boys are used to the cat being around.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings were particularly hot and the boys gathered around the hose and the water cans hoping to get sprayed. We had temperatures of 28/29 degrees on these days, very hot for this time of year in this part of the world.
This is Fidget getting his underside watered.  The boys all love this and would stand there all day getting hosed.  They have their water trays and water troughs in the paddocks but the water does tend to get warm in the sun so has to be refreshed a couple of times a day - at least!
And finally................looking like 'butter wouldn't melt' as always, Cupcake takes a break from teasing the boys and has a snooze in the sun under the Gunnera leaves.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Some rain for a change.

Four wet boys in the paddock, three grazing and Faro as usual, alert, watching everything that is going on around him.  We've had really great weather recently and the ground has been very dry but now we've had some heavy rain which was badly needed.
Fidget is a boy who often likes to be on his own.  Here he is one morning, chewing the cud and preferring to stare at the field shelter instead of being with his buddies in the next paddock.
Fyta had just had his feed and was having a lie down when this photo was taken.  He is an alpaca with a lovely nature.
Faro (top) and Fidget checking out what the photographer is up to.  This photo was also taken after their daily feed.
Fergus goes for the horizontal!  The boys are all well fleeced up now, especially the white boys and like to lie down when it gets warm.  The hose reel has been in operation a couple of times this week to give their 'under-carriages' a soaking, which they enjoy very much.
A long range shot of Faro in the paddock with our neighbour's Clematis 'Montana' climbing ever higher and spreading over the fir tree.
And finally..................this year's growth so far on the Cardiocrinum Giganteum - the Giant Himalayan Lily.  Over the last few years it has grown to nearly 8 feet in height each season and we've twice had 6 inch long Lily trumpets on top.  The flowers don't come every year - wonder if we'll get any later  this summer?

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Lovely weather, lovely card.

A week of good weather generally with some very hot days.  Fyta decided to 'hog' the water tray one day, just the business to keep the 'bits' cool!
And here is the bigger picture with Fidget lying down in the background and Faro still grazing. Fergus has decided to hit the shade!
Fergus decided that he'd had enough sun so lay down in the shadow of the field shelter.  He had obviously been in the water tray earlier because of his wet chin!
With around six weeks to go before shearing the white boys had to have a nail trim.  Our neighbour Dave gave Robbie a hand to give a pedicure to Fidget (next to Dave) and Fergus, in the background.  Fyta in front is in the pen to keep them company - and to keep an eye on Dave!
Outside of the pen and keeping an eye on what the humans were up to with his pals, is Faro whom we always keep out of the pen when dealing with the others.
The Swallows arrived back a couple of weeks ago from their winter travels and this week the House Martins arrived in numbers.  There have been plenty of arguments around last year's nest sights because the House Sparrows have decided to move in!  They are no match for the Martins though and nest building and renovations have started - a bit like 'Grand Designs' on wings!
And finally............young Julia our neighbour has done it again with another super card.  She presented me with this 'Get well' card showing the four boys (Faro in the middle!), Cupcake the cat in front and Pike the other cat on Fyta's head.  How do I know that it's Fyta - well, you can see his black legs at the rear!  Another brilliant card Julia, thank you very much.  And thank you also to everyone who has sent me 'get well' wishes after the unfortunate fall I had a week ago.

Monday, 8 May 2017

An unfortunate trip - and a visitor.

We're a little bit late with the blog this week as I tripped and fell badly down in Perth whilst we were en-route to the Scottish Alpaca Group AGM yesterday.   A few hours in A & E, an X-ray and confirmation of a fractured shoulder then a 3 hour journey back up to Inverness meant that the boys had a late feeding.  And we missed the AGM!  Fergus looks like he's saying, "This is the last straw!"
The setting sun casts some long shadows and the boys enjoy some hay before settling down for the night.

We had a lovely visit from friend Sandra earlier this week.  She's more used to looking after her donkeys but still thinks the boys are worth a photo or two.
Fidget showing the tell-tale signs that he's been lying in a water tray with the drips running down his chest - time you had a bib, my boy!  And by the way, the enquiring look is because his bowl is empty and he quite fancies some more!
We also had a very colourful character visiting the garden this week, one whom the boys took a lot of interest in as he strutted his stuff!
And finally, ..........here he is, one of two Peacocks plus another 2 Peahens which a neighbour owns and who likes to spread his wings and go visiting his neighbours.  Plenty of Peacock calling going on from early morning at this time of year and the hens have laid several eggs already.