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, 28 January 2018

Green again - at last!

Fyta, like all the boys is delighted that the snow has gone and everything looks green again.  Hay and haylage is fine to eat but grass remains the main diet.
Fidget (left), Fergus and Fyta ignore the frost patches on the grass and keep nibbling!  Fyta at the rear is chewing but he looks like he is pulling a face!
The two white boys, Fergus and Fidget with Faro.  Snow is still lying on the mountains (behind the Monkey Puzzle tree!) and the mist has been rising on the cold mornings.
Faro with his pal Fyta.  They often go charging around the paddocks together, 'pronking' and obviously enjoying themselves.  The other two white boys don't do pronking - ever!
Fidget - 'bovver boy' of the herd, always ready to chase the others and make camel noises if they get into his space, but a lovely boy none the less.  To see him running across the paddock when his name is called at feeding time is wonderful - because he doesn't otherwise 'do' running or anything energetic!
The Grumpy Gardener was dodging the showers yesterday down in the veg garden as he gets the site levelled for the Keder greenhouse (behind the wheelbarrow!)   This double rainbow appeared in the sky minutes before the horizontal rain and gales started!  The boys are in a paddock on the right - you might need to magnify the picture to see them.
And finally..................this is 'Rabbitz', the human-friendly bunny who lives under the field shelter.  No doubt she will be 'producing' shortly in Spring - more aggro for the Grumpy Gardener!

Sunday, 21 January 2018

And still more snow!

A lovely picture of Faro in the Tuesday afternoon sunshine waiting for his feed and no doubt contemplating another very cold night.
Conditions were not so sparkling earlier on Tuesday morning - this was taken just after 8.00am before the sun was properly up with the boys obviously wondering where the green grass had gone - again!
And within minutes the first of many snow showers had started so the boys quickly started to chew on their haylage.
Like all of the boys, Fidget went around for most of the day with snow on his back until the afternoon sun melted it.
As normal when we get heavy snow, the Grumpy Shoveller does his best to create a few pathways to help the boys, and the humans to get around the paddocks.
On Thursday it was obvious that the snow would not melt any time soon, so once again grass was bared so that the boys could have a nibble.  Days of hay and haylage make the boys very keen to smell and taste grass again.
A long range shot of all four boys lying down in their shelter looking out on very snowy paddocks.  These scenes attracted the attention of at least two different amateur photographers from the nearby road.  Click on the photo to magnify.
And finally...................even Boris the Bear looks disgruntled in the snow which is still with us as I type this.  The overnight temperatures have consistently been at minus five degrees and early yesterday evening they were at minus seven!  We are hoping that this will be the last photos of snow for a while on the blog.  Keep warm!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Sparkling days and frosty nights.

Mid afternoon and the boys start gathering in one paddock and look out for the humans coming down the track with the feed bowls!  From the left, Faro, Fergus and Fyta.
The fourth member of the group, Fidget, gets in the picture.  The only time that Fidget ever runs is when he sees the human with the bowls - he knows that it's feeding time!  It's been Verm-X granule time again this week, mixed daily into their feed.
And here he is, looking pretty scruffy (as always) but certainly nice and warm in his fleecy coat.
This shot was taken on Thursday morning about 8.30 when the hard overnight frost was still covering everything - including Fidget.  It was minus 5 degrees on several nights this week but it didn't seem to bother the boys.
Whilst Fidget lies outside in the frost, the other boys are tucking into their hay buckets in the shelter.  They are eating a lot of hay and haylage at the moment, probably because the grass is either frozen completely or very cold to eat.
Morning after morning this week the water troughs have been frozen solid.  The ice is knocked out, fresh water poured in, then a couple of hours later it is frozen again!  Winter weather makes more work for sure.
And finally...................things are stirring in the veg garden, despite the frozen soil.  The Grumpy Gardener has decided that we should buy a Keder greenhouse - we had one with our last house and found it very useful.  A level site is required so a certain amount of digging and leveling is required to get it prepared.  The top 3 inches of soil is frozen solid but underneath that the soil is loose. It will not be erected until March so he'll do his level best to get the site organised before then...........!

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Another week, another year.

A happy New Year to all blog readers!  We've entered this year in the same condition as we left last year with plenty of frost and ice around.  The boys continue to enjoy their bowls of sugar beet.
Faro looks suitably scruffy having got soaking wet in pouring rain then thoroughly enjoying a rolling session in the dust of his shelter.
Every last drop counts for Fyta who makes a habit of going around the empty bowls to check if any morsels remain!
There is a look of disappointment from Fidget as he is presented with an empty bowl.  "What good is that?" you can almost hear him ask!
And so he ambles off, looking a bit like the man on the KFC adverts with the goatee beard.  Fidget always likes to make a mess when he eats his sugar beet.
These are the crowns of the two Gunnera plants, covered over by their dead leaves at the end of Autumn.  The boys are in the adjoining paddock.
And finally........................the veg garden looks a forlorn and chilly place at this time of year with only some leeks in place.  The composting bins are all full and in a few months the contents will be used once again on the garden.