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 20 September 2020

For almost 12 years we have been posting a weekly blog about our alpacas and have enjoyed very much doing this. Recently Blogger has changed the layout and operation of posting a blog which it claims is easier. We do not appear to be alone in finding that the new layout and operation is far from easy. We have therefore reluctantly decided to stop posting a weekly blog. If we find in future that the blog operation reverts to an easier format we may start blogging again. Thanks to all our blog readers for your comments over the years and we leave you with a photo of the boys in their shelter - from the left, Fergus, Faro and Fyta. Take care of yourselves for now.

Sunday 30 August 2020

Visit to Seafield Alpacas

Midweek saw us paying a visit to Seafield Alpacas at Portmahomack where Alison and Brendan look after their lovely boys. Here they are running to greet us at the gate.
This is Flynn, a handsome chap with really long eye-lashes - magnify the photo to see their length!
The gang - Echo (Wee Eck) at the front having a nose-to-nose with Chocolate. Flynn is behind Eck, Merlin is behind Flynn and Gully is at the rear.
This is Gulliver - 'Gully' to his friends, a quiet, friendly chap who always hangs back and lets the younger boys go first!
And this special fella is Merlin, always happy to be kissing his human pals - especially 'mum' Alison!  Gully can be seen hanging back at the rear.  Thanks for the socially distanced visit, Alison and Brendan.
Back at the ranch, our three boys were in need of their daily carrots which is now mixed with chunks of Swede (turnip) from our veg garden and which they love.
A long range shot of Fyta (left), Fergus lying down and Faro at their field shelter in the early evening.
And finally..........these Ligularia flowers are just past their best but they have put on a lovely display this season.

Sunday 23 August 2020

Morning routine in the shelter

8.00am and the boys are still bedded down in the field shelter.  Fyta sees the human approaching with the camera but does not want to move.
In the shelter, Fyta still wants to lie-in but Faro has got up to keep an eye on the human. Fergus is still lying down in a corner.
All three boys are now standing up but seem very sleepy and unwilling to move whilst their hay buckets are being filled.
Our neighbours take their dogs for a walk and this creates an interest for the boys who watch them closely.
Fergus decides that it is time to move to another paddock and start grazing - if the other two boys will follow him!
No luck - Faro and Fyta have decided that it is too early to go wandering around the paddocks so Fergus re-joins them.
The sun is now shining brightly but the boys still prefer to stay in the shelter.  These boys love their field shelters and spend a lot of time in them.
And finally.................these white lilies and the red ones behind them are beautiful and give off a strong perfume.

Sunday 16 August 2020

Carrots, peas and jam!

A favourite resting place for Fergus is the sand pit, especially when it is a hot day. The boys can spend hours together in the sand pit.
Fyta joins Fergus in the sand pit and it is time for some carrots to nibble.  Fyta manages to eat his ration but Fergus is not so interested.
Nearby, Faro is enjoying his carrots too.  He never refuses carrots although he can be 'picky' with his daily feed sometimes! 
Best buddies, Faro and Fyta  in the field shelter.  This shot was taken a couple of minutes after Fyta had been rolling about, enjoying himself and upsetting all the hay buckets!
A long distance shot of the boys, taken just before 3.00pm which is around feed time so Fergus keeps a close watch on any human activity to see if food is on it's way!
This season's House Martin families have now taken to the wing and are flying around, building their strength and flying experience ready for migration in a few weeks time.  We have over 20 of these lovely, chirping birds from 5 nests around the house.
And finally............the Grumpy Gardener is a happy bunny this week as he is harvesting lots of vegetables from the garden!  So far, 5 bucket loads of peas have been shelled, blanched and now stored in the freezer, along with 2 buckets full of Broad Beans.  The Runner Beans are excellent as are the Dwarf French Beans.  Main crop potatoes are partly lifted and are a good size and it has been an excellent season for soft fruit everywhere.  Raspberry and Gooseberry jams have been made so far and we have lots of Blackberries (Brambles) coming on to add to the jam store.

Sunday 9 August 2020

Hay days

Last weekend we got the notification that the hay was cut and baled and ready for collection - the boys were not interested, they were enjoying the evening sunshine!  As always we got our hay from Karen and Dave Robertson of Tomich Farm Shop, Beauly, about 5 miles distant.  Karen and Dave are also alpaca owners and supply excellent hay.
But when the 'square bales' arrived in the trailer the boys started to take an interest - especially when one was left to the side.
Fergus (left) and Faro grab a mouthful of the new hay and Fyta waits for his chance.
Now all three boys are tucking into the hay.  We still have several bales of older hay which they will need to eat first before starting on their new rations!
Fyta (right) lies down next to the bale as he often takes up this position when he is eating.  Fergus and Faro are still munching so the new hay supplies look as if they pass the taste test.
This photo was taken about 8.00am today, a warm morning and the boys are in no mood for physical activity and all three stay in the field shelter enjoying the sunny morning.
And finally.......... the sunflowers are attracting the bees - there is a bumble bee just to the right of the dark centre.  Just a word of warning for our blog readers - Blogger is changing the layout and settings of their site and it is not nearly so easy to operate as the current one.  If our blog does not appear next Sunday, after 11 years of blogging, then we have a problem in posting - we'll get back to you as soon as possible.  Take care in the meantime wherever you are reading the blog.

Sunday 2 August 2020

Field shelters and hose reels!

Still plenty of lying about in the field shelter for the boys this week, especially on hot days.  Fergus is having a lie down with Faro looking in on him.
This was taken about 8.00am one day early in the week when the temperature was high even at this early time.
Same morning, and by now Fergus has gone to the back, Fyta is sun bathing and Faro is watching the photographer, as usual!
The boys know where the water hose and refill cans are kept and if they want to be sprayed, they stand next to the hose - as Faro is doing here.
He loves having the cold water sprayed on his nose and mouth, as well as his legs and 'undercarriage.'
It doesn't take too long for the other two 'bandits' to appear and join in the water sports - Fyta on the left, with Fergus.
All three boys can now be sprayed.  There is quite a bit of pushing and shoving amongst them for the best position nearest the hose, but all three get their fair share.
And finally...........the sunshine this week has brought out some Day Lilies (Hemerocallis) which we planted last year.  This one has a delicate colour.

Sunday 26 July 2020

Lazy, summer days.

We've had a range of weather this week, not all of it 'summery' with rain, mist and high winds.  The boys have been spending time in the shelter, either when it is very hot or when there are Midges about which they don't like.  This is Fyta having upset all the hay buckets - again -  he likes picking up the purple bucket and carrying it off!
Faro, with Fyta at the rear, just keeping an eye on the activities of the photographer - as always!
Fergus, usually quite laid back about life generally, takes time out in the sand-pit, which he loves to do.
All three boys in their shelter.
Another day, and a hot one, so the boys take to the sand pit to relax.  They look quite contented, don't they?
Taken this afternoon as they wait the arrival of the daily feed - Fergus in front, Faro behind and Fyta at the rear.
And finally.............this season's growth on the Gunnera plant.  The leaves are all as big as golf umbrellas and work perfectly to gather water when it rains.