Owner of Cassy's baby, little black alpaquita, has not named her. (What a man!) so I am calling her "Velvet" for now. Velvet perfectly illustrates two frustrating truths about alpaca photography:
They always stick their face up into the camera when you try to photograph them.
The dark ones are practically impossible to photograph well. If the light is bright enough to see their face, the black ones end up looking brown and the reverse is also true. If you show the true color, you end up with shadowpaca.
Alpacas moping in the barn under the fans due to temperatures in the 90s and humidity. Cassy (white) is hogging one fan
while Pendragon is so close to a fan on the boys' side of the barn that his top knot hair was practically flattened on his head - the Eddie Munster hairdo for those of us old enough to have seen that show.
Yesterday was our first really hot day this spring and snakes were all out enjoying themselves - some more than others.
The kids were thrilled to watch one large black snake crawl up the brick front of the house until they realized his (her?) objective - Birdie Nest!
Snakes ARE our friends because they prevent the mice from eating through our wiring but they do love eggs and there isn't any point to yanking them off the wall by the tail and throwing them into the field. They come right back to the same spot when you are not there to guard the nest. Of course I say this from experience even though it was my husband Tom and not myself who used to be the snake thrower around here. Snakes are much smarter than they appear so it's just a good thing they don't feel as motivated to seek out the person who pulled them by the tail and bite the heck out of that person as they do to re-find that bird nest they wanted to raid. Bye bye birdies.
No more fun, I am supposed to be packing alpaca sweaters, socks, etc. for the Bare Naked Alpaca Show (for SHORN alpacas) in New Jersey this Sunday where I will judge a "Make it with Alpaca" contest. Doing inventory is not my favorite, but I like this show since most of the exhibitors are my friends. Some people objected to the words Bare Naked! so those of us running the show were forced to adopt the more politically correct, Fiber Fiesta, but we still call it the Bare Naked Show amongst ourselves because it's funnier.
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Soooooo tired of trying to do everything left handed! I thought I'd be a real pro at this having done a lot of computer mousing left handed for years due to the pain in my right wrist which took the doctors only 4 short years to diagnose. But now I am CRANKY! It hurts and it itches and it feels so heavy with this huge bandage on it wah wah. If my Mom was here she'd be smacking me on the arm and telling me to think about people who have NO right hand and she would be correct, I'm acting like a whiner. All my friends have little tiny x's on their wrists from their carpal tunnel surgery but this cut is huge and goes right up into my hand! Still, Mom is right, I will stop whining now.
But I can't spin, can't knit, can't ride my horse and using the computer is a chore; I had to order 2 computer manuals from Amazon.com to cheer myself up, PHP and MySQL respectively. I feel like I must be the only web master left in the world who is not using those 2 things yet so it's time to catch up.
New baby (black female owned by Ben and, as yet, un-named) is doing so well, Up to 23 lbs. last time we weighed her. Also heard from Susan Burkins (Apple Valley Alpacas) about Val & Campy's new crias 3 boys, all black or bay black! Susan thought my snide remark about people who can't figure out how to send you photos of the new alpaca babies was about her BUT IT WASN'T - I SWEAR SUSAN! At least she calls me and tells me who had what and how the babies are doing. But, Susan, if your website was up, I could have linked to it just then. (Me, running and ducking now. )
Maybe I will slink on over to my neighbors' for a photo of their new filly, also black. One of the perks of country living is that you get to see ALL the babies, not just your own. I love the little alpacas but the baby horses, cows (especially the little Angus ones) goats and donkeys of my neighbors are thrilling too. How lucky we are to be surrounded by all this shiney new life.
Coming soon: horse baby photo, rant about people who think they are too good to go to The Great Frederick Fair
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Well yesterday I had my gross operation for the ganglion cyst in my wrist. Typing left handed is not fun! but I had to brag about Cassy's new female cria born around 12 noon today. 20 lbs. female and all black with 1 tiny white spot behind the left front foot. What a beauty!
Mom & Baby doing fine. Cria nursed whithin 1 hour and got lot's of milk. My hand hurts from filming when I shouldn't have been but I'm so excited! A new little life on this Earth. We are so lucky to be part of it and witness it. Good news for Nickleby too. He's now produced 2 girls, a gray & a black. This ought to help him find a buyer!
These little miracles make it all worthwhile.
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Well my boy Valentino has a new cria ( alpaca baby ) on the ground as of about 9:30 this morning - Go Valentino - you are the man! The dam, Sable, belongs to my friend Helen from Red Barn Alpacas in Sykesville and she was kind enough to send me a photo right away. I HATE it when people buy alpacas or breedings and turn out not to be the type who can figure out how to e-mail a photo of the new baby! so Thank God Helen is not one of those because I do need photos of all of my "grandchildren" as soon as possible.
Sable, was a little bratty during the breeding last year and decided that she was going to go down for Valentino then breed for 10 minutes or so and then just went, "oops I did it again" and decided she didn't want to finish breeding after all, she then jumped up and said Hey, Let's just be friends." Val went bonkers and I was trying to boot him out of her pen but he wasn't budging so I tried to let Sable out instead. She wouldn't leave either! Meanwhile, another male, Campion, got in and then, while both guys were in there, Little Ms. Sable decided, "Hey, maybe I DO want to be bred after all." or maybe she's just into weird stuff but, she cushed back down instead of leaving the pen and acted ready to breed again.
Campion tried to jump right on her and HE WASN'T THE ONE WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE THE JOB!!!! So I dove onto her first before he could get in there and found myself trapped between the two of them like the meat in a sandwich. I had to do a desperate and very humiliating half wiggle, half swimming thing to get out from between them and it hurt my elbow too and my mouth was full of rock sand bedding. This is the only time I've ever gotten hurt during a breeding even if it was mostly my pride, but I learned my lesson. I yank the guy out First and then try to let the girl out. Miss Sable taught me that.
In any case, all is now forgiven because our Sable has produced a beautiful boy who looks just like Mommy and Daddy. Way to go Sable but try to work on that ambivalence thing where the men are concerned Honey.
Still waiting on a cria from Cassy.
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