Our original 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.


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

Sunday, 26 May 2019

We need the rain - I think!

You can tell by Fergus's appearance the type of weather we've been having over the past few days - rain and more rain! No problems for Fergus though as he likes to be a bit muddy!
It's more difficult to see the mud on Faro because of his colour, but he is just as dirty - and he loves it too!
Faro and Fyta on a very wet morning.  The boys are at their most sleepy first thing in the morning and stand around seemingly waiting to waken up.
Two more sleepy boys, Fergus (left) and Fyta deciding whether they would have some hay for breakfast - they declined the offer!
It hasn't all been about the rain however and the boys are on the rough paddock here, enjoying fresh grass - and a few wild flowers.
Thought you'd like to see the result of the Grumpy Gardener's efforts in the veg garden so far.  The plots from right to left are onions and parsnips, then peas and beans then potatoes.  There are also some greens as well as a strawberry plot behind the Keder greenhouse.  The boys are in the far paddock. The rain has been welcome for the crops, unlike the attention of nocturnal deer jumping over the fence to get at the fruit tree leaves.  Grumpy is a fair description of the gardener who has had to spend considerable time increasing the height of the fences to keep the deer off this week.
And finally................you may just need to enlarge this photo looking down on the top of the fast growing giant Himalayan Lily of the wee Ladybird inside.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Showing off for the visitors!

The start of the week saw the boys putting on one of their 'performances' for Alison & Brendan of Seafield Alpacas, Portmahomack who had come to visit.  Fyta (left) needs very little encouragement for him to get into the water tray whilst Fergus has to wait his turn.
It can sometimes be a long wait however, especially if Fyta decides he wants to 'have a dunk' in the tray!
Fergus eventually manages to get in the tray, Fyta tries to get back in whilst Faro stands aside wondering what all the excitement is about.
Fyta and Fergus both had carrots but try to get their noses into the bowl to see if there are any left, whilst Alison looks on.
Discussion time - when the humans talk alpaca, and the alpacas wonder what is being said about them!  Lovely to see you again Alison and Brendan, thanks for visiting.

And finally........ this single Iris has burst into lovely flower ahead of all the other Irises, some of which do not yet have flower heads.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Lovely weather again!

Faro (left) and Fyta taken earlier in the week with snow covered Ben Wyvis to the north, behind them.
Looking in a different direction, the same two boys but looking West to the Strathglass hills.
Faro, Fyta and Fergus enjoying some sunshine - and some carrots.  The boys have been having Verm-X granules in their feed this week, so carrots will be a bit of a relief!
Now who could resist Fergus's face looking up at you as if to say, "C'mon boss, gimme a carrot please!"
OK pal, here's some carrot for you.  Fergus is always on the look-out for anything edible!
Although there has been a thin layer of ice on the water troughs every day this week, some of the days have been really warm and sunny.  Fyta (left) and Fergus have a snooze in the sun.
And finally..............it's Bluebell time again with clusters of them all around the ranch.  Nice to see them back in bloom.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Frost damage.

It's been a drenching sort of week for the boys - either rain, sleet or hail-stones, or a combination of all of them!  We thought we were in Spring but we've returned to Winter weather this week.
Fergus looking decidedly wet, normally a white boy he is more like 'battleship grey' after the rain.
Fyta looks a bit fed up with the weather doesn't he? 
Faro has taken the opportunity of rolling about this week so usually ends up muddy and covered in straw - but I think he likes that!
A shot of the local hills taken first thing on Friday morning shows a dusting of the 'white stuff' on top after a frosty night.
And finally...........frost damage on Friday morning.  This Rodgersia was growing well and was showing plenty of new leaves, but now look at it.  The Gunnera shown in last week's blog, also suffered frost 'burn' as did several other plants but the fruit tree buds and flowers appeared to have escaped damage.  Hopefully all the plants will recover when the temperature rises.  I meant to mention last week that the first of the swallows and house martins have now arrived back for the summer - just in time for wintry weather!