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, 20 August 2017

Just another week

Fyta (front) and Faro have just enjoyed their daily feed, Fergus and Fidget  are still eating, and the humans are still around!
Fergus has finished his feed and is clearly happy with life as he enjoys having his back scratched.  He is not always so accommodating!
Lots of windy, rainy weather this week and this shot shows the boys lying down avoiding the wind.  It also shows Fidget (right) keeping his own company, as he often does.
Last week I mentioned Fyta's cut above his right eye.  That appears to have healed up well and thankfully caused him no real problems.  He is back to 'dunking' his feet in the water tray.
Fergus never misses an opportunity to take a handful of hay.  It doesn't matter if he's been eating hay a lot, offer him some hay and he will always take it!
And finally.............a mixture of summer flowers including Lily, Verbascum, Sun flowers, Gladioli, Sweet Williams and Liatris

Sunday, 13 August 2017

More visitors - and Fyta's eye

The weather has been pretty good this week and Fergus took advantage of the sunshine to relax in the sandpit.
We welcomed at the beginning of the week another contingent of relatives from Norfolk who met the boys just as it started to rain.   Carrots were on offer and as usual Fergus was not shy in coming forward for some.  Hope you enjoyed your holidays folks - same time next year then?
Just before our visitors left we fed the boys and noticed that Fyta had blood around his right eye.  It didn't put him or the others off their feed - just as well as this week they are getting their Verm-X granules  mixed with their supplement. We put Fyta and Fergus in the pen and washed Fyta's eye carefully.  There was a lot of clotted blood to remove but the cut on his upper eye lid was clean so we decided to keep a check on it.
Faro and Fergus commiserate with their pal Fyta regarding his eye injury.  We don't know how he sustained the cut but probably by pushing his nose through the Ryelock fencing.  There is no barbed wire in use here.
Next day Fyta's eye was clean and has remained that way for the remainder of the week - thankfully, but we keep checking it to make sure.
Another lovely day and the boys hit the sand pit again - well, three of them do, whilst Faro keeps grazing.  The massive bulk of the Ben Wyvis plateau can be seen in the background, topped by mist.
And finally..................the Crocosmia 'Lucifer' is on display in all it's glory at present.  Yesterday, Robbie met two French tourists holidaying here and introduced them to the boys.  Unfortunately he did not have his camera with him but the couple enjoyed meeting alpacas for the first time.  Hope you are enjoying your holiday in Scotland and the Highlands in particular - haste ye back!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

The guard

Faro on guard!  He likes to make sure that his pals are quite safe if a human is around.  Normally in the open paddock he is not bothered but if the boys are in a field shelter then he gets protective and tries to get between the human and the boys!
Fergus (front) and Fidget in the shelter, trying to wake up.   We're not sure if it's just our boys but they are really slow to get going first thing in the morning.
There has been plenty of rain this week, heavy at times so the boys have spent quite a bit of time in the shelters.  Fergus has been rubbing his nose on the wet ground again!
Fyta, nearest camera loves the shelter at this time of year because after the shearing he can feel if any flies are on him, and he doesn't like that and goes inside.  Heavy rain drives all of them in at the moment since their coats have been sheared off.
In our wee orchard the apples are growing well - these are Bramleys.  Plenty of rain this summer as well as lots of warm weather have given us good crops of soft fruit.  My blackcurrant jam is particularly nice this year - according to the grumpy gardener!
I love the colour of these 'Discovery' apples although it does remind me that the best of the summer has passed and autumn is on it's way.
And finally.................the Belladrum Tartan Heart music festival took place over the weekend about a mile from here with over 15000 welly-wearing people attending.  Thursday was mixed weather, Friday and it rained most of the day but yesterday the sun shone all day.  Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders were one of the headline acts this year and when the music finished just after 1100pm yesterday, the customary fireworks display started.  The last fireworks to light up the sky are always two hearts - clever eh?