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 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.

Clicking!!

Just a reminder that clicking on (most) of the photos will show them greatly enlarged.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Fidget's feet

It's not often that we get a good photo of Fidget, he's either grinning or frowning so we were pleased to get this one with a 'busy' sky behind him.
The boys were sheared at the end of June at which time their nails were clipped, but the white boys Fergus and Fidget, now need their nails clipped again.  So yesterday, first thing, they were penned. As normal Fidget goes to ground as soon as he realises we are going to touch his feet.  We put on his head collar so he is easier handled, but he is not for getting up on his feet.  Fyta watches on.
We always let Faro out of the catch pen first because he is nervous and gets the others upset whilst we do the jobs we have to do.  Fyta (left) and Fergus watch what is going on and Faro waits outside!
Eventually we open the catch pen and allow Fidget into a bigger, enclosed area and this confuses him for a bit during which time Robbie manages to get his nails trimmed whilst he is standing!
He's a big baby really and loves having his neck stroked!  Once the nail clipping is completed he is perfectly happy and wanders off with the others.
Fergus had his nails trimmed too and resorted to the normal huffing and puffing until he got used to what was happening.  Here he and Fyta are waiting for Fidget's feet saga to be over so that they can get back into the paddock!
We've had mixture of sun and rain all week and this shot was taken on a particularly warm day earlier in the week.
And finally.................... a Red Admiral (who refused to open his wings regardless of how many photos were taken!) and two Bumble Bees enjoying the sunshine whilst feeding on a Liatris plant.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

A drizzly week.

We've had rain every day this week, sometimes torrential down-pours then sometimes heavy drizzle.  The boys take off to a field shelter when the rain gets too much, lie down and chew the cud for a bit.  Here they are under yet another threatening sky.
Fergus (front) with Fidget behind.  Our two white boys don't look quite so white when they are wet and rolling about in the mud!
Faro (left) and Fyta, never far away from each other as they are best pals.  Well almost, until feed time when Fyta tries to pinch Faro's feed and things get a bit snappy.
Earlier in the week the rain was even more persistent with everything grey and dark - like Winter - brrrrr!
We had a nice visit from Robbie's school friend Sandy (left) who always manages to pay a visit when he makes the annual pilgrimage 'home' from America.
     
And finally................these are a type of apple called 'Katy' which have deep red skins.  Unfortunately we have a couple of young deer roaming around the area during the evening and overnight - and they do like Katy apples! Nice to see the Autumn colours coming on in the garden again.  The House Martins and Swallows have left for warmer climes already and lots of geese are flying high to their wintering areas.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Apples galore - and a sad farewell.

This year the garden has produced lots of apples, soft fruit and veg.  The boys enjoy a slice of apple, so after a heavy shower of rain had moved them all back into the shelter, it was time to give them some.  You can see that Faro stands guard in front of his pals!
Fergus has just taken a piece of apple and is happily chewing it.  Faro in the background has already had a bit.
Fyta is keen to have some - whilst Fergus's nose appears from the right looking for some more.  Fidget is inside the shelter and he also enjoyed his apple.
Fyta (left) and Fergus, determined to have another slice - if there is any left! They've also enjoyed some carrots this week too - lucky boys!
The rain has stopped, the apples are finished and the human is leaving the paddock so time for the boys to go out and graze.  They have had their Verm-X granules in the food this week, another month now before the next lot.
We had to say a very sad farewell yesterday to our pal Cupcake when he was killed by a car on the nearby road.  Blog readers will know that he was owned by young Julia our neighbour and her family, but Cupcake decided to adopt us over a year ago, since when he hasn't left us.  He was a dear chap and will be greatly missed by us and all our friends who have met him.  He's now in a corner of the garden where he loved to have a snooze in the sun.
RIP Cupcake - we'll miss you and so will the boys who looked out for him wandering the paddocks every morning, looking for rabbits!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Visits, peas - and a Uni-paca!

On Monday we headed north to see Alison and Brendan of Seafield Alpacas at Portmahomack and their wee herd of lovely boys.  Merlin is in front, Flyn in the middle and Chocolate at the rear.
Merlin in front again and he is uncannily like our own boy, Fergus.  Behind are Echo (Wee Eck) and Chocolate with Flyn about to do his 'business' on the left.
Alison and Brendan's boys look really great and not phased at all by humans, dogs, ducks or cockerels!  Gully is on the right of this picture.
Chocolate is a lovely boy with a 'Colonel Blimp' style moustache and beautiful, fluffy ears (well, the fleece is fluffy - not his ears!)  Thanks for a great visit Alison & Brendan and really pleased to see the boys again.  Hope you managed to get all your hay turned and baled before the rain came!
Heading back home we called in on a private estate which homes 'rescue' llamas, alpacas and various other animals and birds.   It was a lovely day and the setting was glorious.
Llamas form the majority of the animals and with a few alpacas.  They are cared for in acres of meadows and mixed woodland, all getting on very well with each other.
And this is George!  This ostrich is huge, towering over us and giving us the 'beady eye!'  He has very long legs and huge feet, and whilst we did not see him run we are quite certain that he could 'move' if required.  It was a great visit to a lovely estate.
Back home and it was time yesterday to hit the veg garden and pick more peas.  This has been a bumper year for peas, broad beans and runner beans.  We've already blanched and packed peas for the freezer, had peas and beans every night with dinner, given neighbours a few bucketfuls, and still there are plenty more to pick.  The two bucketfuls seen here, when shelled, filled the yellow bowl to the brim.  They weighed over 9 lbs which gave us another 16 bags of peas for the freezer.
And finally............ our lovely wee neighbour Danielle came across to see us one evening and decided to leave us a drawing of an alpaca with a horn sticking out of it's forehead which she has named a Uni-paca!  There's no answer to that.  Thank you for the lovely drawing Dani but I think Fergus would only want one thing on his nose and near his mouth - and that would be food!