The alpacas were a little upset that I didn't include them in the last post of the farm with all the pretty Fall colors. So I went back later that day and took some more pictures. They clearly didn't want to pose for nice pretty Fall pictures. But I took pictures anyway.
See them over there on the left?
This is the old barn. The alpacas don't go in there. It is storage for farm equipment, hay and tons of memories. Back when my Uncle Mayo was alive his work shop was in there. He made lots of wonderful things. I have a little rocking chair in my living room that he made that I used as a child and now my kids use. Yup it was made right in there.
The barn is on the list of things to get fixed up. But for now it works great at keeping the farm equipment dry and works as a great backdrop for photographing hand knits and family portraits.
The Apple Tree herd.
You gotta love Ox. He did want his picture taken. Also I have to give him a congrats for his fiber earning 2nd place at the NJAC spin off last weekend. His fleece is my favorite to spin (well at least out of the fleeces I've spun so far).
Kal gave me the I-kinda-want-you to take my picture pose, but then went back to eating grass.
I was trying to get a picture of Blue, but Awan and Kigo thought it was a better idea to block him out of the shot.
There's my Blue.
Smoke couldn't figure out what I was trying to do. I was getting down low to get the tree behind him. He wasn't sure what to make of me laying on the ground. So instead I got a puzzled alpaca and a pretty backdrop.
I feel like the girls get left out of the pictures so I went over to visit them.
Wdamo reminded me why the girls are usually left out of the photo shoots.
Hee Hee. They are too funny. The sign of a pregnant girl is her ears back and they tend to be in bad moods. Sound right? Wdamo (above) was bred to Smoke Ring back in the Spring. So she will be expecting one of his first crias next Spring! Very exciting.
Francesca on the other hand was bred this Fall to Smoke Ring.
See her ears back! That is a good sign. She was bred a few weeks ago (or so I don't know the weeks seem to blur on the farm, but don't fret my mom has the dates all written down). If you aren't familiar with alpaca breeding stuff here is how it goes. We get the female in a pen and then we bring the male into the pen. If the girl spits, runs, kicks, says she has a headache, you know the drill. We take the girl out of the pen. She is not receptive and we try again another day.
For example breeding of Annaschae & Francesca.
So it was a typical morning of doing chores (aka picking up alpaca poop, feeding, cleaning water, etc), but my mom wanted to breed Annaschea to Smoke Ring. Anna is a BEAST. She came from a large farm where they don't always halter train all their alpacas. She was not halter trained. So anytime we need to halter her oh dear brace yourself she is a BEAST. She is also one of my favorite alpacas. I can honestly tell you she has such a huge part of my heart. I have the softest spot for her. In my mind it isn't her fault she is a beast, it is just how she grew up. If she grew up on our farm she would probably still be a beast, but a more controllable beast. But she is a happy alpaca she wasn't mistreated in anyway from where she came from. It was just a larger farm. She wasn't pampered and given carrots like the rest of the spoiled alpacas on my parents farm. But in her defense she makes a great member of the herd. I know if a predator ever came near any of the alpacas she would do everything in her power to protect everyone in the herd. It is a good quality to have and I appreciate her for that.
So breeding day was here and we decided to bring Smoke Ring to her instead of her to him. We had her in the pen. We haltered Smoke Ring (who is halter trained and so gentle) and started walking to her field. The path we were taking was between the alpaca field and my parents back yard. There is a shoot with fence on each side. On the right were alpacas on the left was Harper. My parent's 100 lb chocolate lab who came charging the fence. Oh dear! Smoke Ring was jumping and kicking. My mom held onto him for dear life and I leaped over the fence faster than I even knew I was capable of. I grabbed Harper and got him into the house. Disaster averted. Well until we saw Smoke Ring limping. He had managed to hurt himself in the ordeal and was a sorry sight. My mom was leading him up the shoot hobbling along and we couldn't decided what to do with him. Is the beast going to eat him alive in his weakened condition???? What if she isn't in the mood and doesn't want him in her pen????
We decided to press forward and bring him in and at least see how she reacted. When we got him into her pen he was still hobbling. Since we didn't manage to filter out all the alpacas we now how Smoke Ring, Anna, Wdamo (pregnant), Francesca (pregnant?), and Swag (he was there to learn). Well Anna wanted nothing to do with Smoke Ring. Francesca seemed to like the big guy. But she was supposed to be pregnant and spitting at him. Wdamo was in the corner trying to stay far away from everyone (clearly pregnant a good sign). Swag was just in the way. We decided we weren't making any progress and decided to take Smoke Ring back to his field. But then Anna jumped up on Smoke Ring. Oh dear this is all wrong. She was mounting him, he was hurt and Francesca we was supposed to be pregnant was flirting. We got everyone back to where they were supposed to be and went back to chores.
A few days later we tried it again, but this time we went to the regular breeding spot and kept Harper (the dog) in the house. (Also I should note that Smoke Ring was all over his ordeal with is soar foot. He was putting full pressure back on his foot the next day.) We put Annaschea in the pen and brought in Smoke Ring. She wasn't too happy to see him and was trying to get out. Francesca however was on the other side of the gate cushed showing signs that she wanted to be bred. So after a few minutes of Anna trying to get out of the pen, but at least not mounting Smoke Ring this time we decided to let Anna out and Francesca in. They were more than happy to let themselves in and out of the pen. So that day we bred Francesca.
For the next round a few days (or maybe a week I don't know I just follow orders and forget what days) later we brought both girls into the pen and then brought Smoke Ring back in. Francesca greeted Smoke Ring with a HUGE green spit right in his face. Horray!!! That is a good sign. Then Smoke headed over to Anna and she dropped like a rock. This time she was in the mood.
A few days ago we brought both girls back into the pen with Smoke Ring and unfortunately for Smokey all he got that day was a lot of spit.
So as of now Annaschea and Francesca are pregnant!
Well that was a little detour. You see what happens when I take pictures of the girls. Way too much info I am sure you could live without, but well I have a lot more stories like that about daily farming nonsense that I don't share so feel lucky you've been spared.
Okay back to the cute guys.
Bo is so stinking adorable. If you are ever sad I recommend coming over to see Bo. He will greet you with a kiss and then go run around and do something funny to make you laugh.
Stone thinks he is so tough looking with that gray face, but he is so gentle and sweet. So don't let him fool you.
I was trying to get the four little guys together to get them in one picture.
Arrow didn't want to participate and kept back at the barn.
Wait get back here! I want to take your picture.
Ono the little black guy is the youngest of the bunch.
He is getting braver about playing with the other boys and he runs around the field so fast.
In person he is so dark it is hard to see his eyes.
He is one handsome alpaca.
I'll be back tomorrow with a game of king of the hill with the alpacas.