Archive for the ‘cria’ Category

Alpaca Photos! Luster and the Field

April 10, 2011
Coco demonstrates luster

Coco Demonstrates Fantastic Luster

Finally a couple of pictures! Granted they are taken with my cell phone and it has a permanently clouded lens, but there is nothing that can hide just how gorgeous Coco is–and Carmel Sundae looks pretty good for six and a half years old too. Carmel’s most recent cria is Stagedoor Johnny who is a simply stunning and promising junior herdsire.

It ‘s amazing what a few weeks of great hay, extra grain, and a huge field of verdant grass can do. Everyone is packing on the pounds. Here is a photo of the alpacas in the new field.

The alpacas love their new field.

I had to lure the alpacas into the new field with grain. Carmel is the alpha female, so most of the other alpacas followed her as she followed me to the open gate. When we reached it I heard something similar to the sound a child makes at Christmas when it sees all of the presents spread under the tree. Gone were any thoughts about the grain as she dashed 15 feet into the field before suddenly stopping to eat–she was nearly run over by the others scrambling to get in too. There is plenty of room for all. I am going to move the boys over to the vacated girls fields where the grass is now running amok since it was had rain, warmth and sunshine and no one eating it. That will give the boys’ fields time to rest a bit before formal weaning. Many of the crias are already naturally weaned but a few are not above grabbing what they can get on the side.

Amber Rose and her Cria Samantha Before the Mad Dash

A couple of the alpacas had to be haltered and brought to the field. Amber was a skeptic. The former alpaca fields for the girls were  two acres and one and one-half acres. This one is 15 acres and they love running and pronking in it. (The odd shape in the foreground is my finger.) We bring the girls into the paddocks at night, or should I say they bring themselves in and we shut the gates for added security. Now we have to get up extra early because they line up in the little one acre field by the gate just before dawn waiting to get into it. I love watching them as they graze in a herd, moving up and down the field and back and forth across it. We are all in love with the new field.


Alpacas, Rainbows and Goodbye Salt Lake City

July 11, 2010

It happened rather suddenly, really. Our house in Salt Lake City sold, Tom went there and supervised the packing and loading of our “stuff” and the rest of our Utah alpacas have hit the road for home. They (nine alpacas, five adult girls, three crias and one 14 month old boy)should arrive here shortly before midnight tonight, July 10, and the furniture should get here sometime on Tuesday.

Thus ends our Utah odyssey, a stay that only lasted long enough for us to enter the alpaca world with enough knowledge to get along and understand most of what we are doing.

Half of a double rainbow at Zena

Half of a double rainbow at Zena

At almost sunset, we seem to be in a rainbow continuum of some kind. In the past two weeks, we have seen two different sets of double rainbows. Perhaps this has a special meaning?

Stage Door Johnny and Rainbow

Stage Door Johnny and Rainbow

The only sad thing is that the second rainbow in both of these pictures, taken two weeks apart, didn’t show up very well.

Alpacas–Johnny and Cassandra

June 19, 2010

Jeepers! It’s HOT! With crias on the ground and the weather in the mid-nineties and the humidity way up, we are counting our blessings that we built where we did. There is an almost constant breeze, frequently a wind, that blows up the ridge from the trees and keeps the barn lovely and cool. The insulation under the apartment and in the overhangs doesn’t hurt either. There is another benefit to living in air-conditioning over the barn.

In the meantime, the crias are growing by leaps and bounds.

Johnny, over 30 pounds now, will be four weeks old tomorrow

Johnny is already 30 pounds and won’t be four weeks old until tomorrow. He already considers himself quite the macho guy. This is one fantastic young boy.

Cassandra is younger by far, but the two of them are starting to play under her mother’s watchful eye. Jenni doesn’t want Johnny to get too rough. She’s growing by about one-half pound every day, despite the heat. Jenni is a very good mother.

Cassandra is only a baby, after all. She looks like a little deer to me. She was born June 14.

Darling Alpacas–Crias are Here

June 15, 2010

What would make a person who likes to travel, who has trouble sitting in one spot, who seldom worries about much, who likes to sleep in get up at 6 a.m.,  and spend three weeks waiting and watching anxiously?

Spring crias. Finally they are here and I am once again breathing deeply and relaxing.

They are wonderful and their mothers have everything under control with little or no help from us. Two were born at Fox Run Suri Alpacas. Those were the easiest since Carla and Don Llewellyn did the watching and waiting and delivering like the experienced alpaca people they are. Carla was here for our first delivery at our ranch here in Zena, Oklahoma, and all Tom and I had to do with the last two was watch in amazement.

More details about our darlings is coming soon, but here are the photos–one birth to go.

Zena's Peruvian Accoyo Topaz

Zena's Peruvian Cullinan

Zena's Peruvian Stage Door Johnny

Zena's Peruvian ZephyrZena's Peruvian Cassandra still wet, but on the ground three weeks late

Zena's Peruvian Cassandra

Welcome Zena’s Stage Door Johnny-35 alpacas now

May 26, 2010

This has been an ultra-busy week. My mentor, Carla Llewellyn flew down from Wanship, UT, to help me get ready for three births. Only one of the girls obliged and delivered while she was here–but what a nice cria and what a textbook presentation! Our beautiful color champion Caramel Sundae presented us with an 18.2 pound white-faced, red brown Aspen Ace son who we named Zena’s Stage Door Johnny.

In 1968 or so, I won big-time betting on a horse by that name in the Preakness. In case anyone is wondering, a stage door johnny is the dapper young man who waits for starlets by a theatre’s back entrance. Johnny runs everywhere like a race horse and with his already gorgeous fleece he is sure to get those starlets to go with him. We own a half-interest in his full brother, but this boy may give him a run for the money.

Advertising Alpacas

May 7, 2010
The Cria Demand Their Grain

The Cria Demand Their Grain

We are working, trying to get our ranch set up for our June 10 Grand Opening. The Grove Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. and we will be officially classified as one of Grand Lake’s official attractions. There are not the same event, but both are part of the promotion of an alpaca ranch. We plan to have a little shop with fleece, yarn, alpaca bears, and finished alpaca products. Whew! So much to do. Eventually we hope that most of the things we sell will be made from our our renewable alpaca fiber. We are biting purposely biting off more than we can chew, I think–but watch us grow.

Noah’s Ark Alpacas–two by two

May 5, 2010

We were blessed with six crias (baby alpacas) last year, a pair of white ones, a pair of brown ones, and a pair of ??? OK, that’s not a matched set. A little respite today before I go on and on about our new cria, born yesterday. Yes, the suspense is killing me too, but not all of the pictures and details are in yet so you’ll just have to wait like me.

Today, photos of last year’s crop of cuties before the onslaught of this year’s crias.

SkyKing and Cosette

SkyKing and Cosette

The black spot on King’s neck appears to be goop of some unknown origin and is not a sign of color genetics. There’s Starbuck in his genetics and Kotzebue is his sire. Mom is our multi Sonnet. Cosette is Montoyo’s daughter by our own multiple award winning Amber Rose.

Ezekiel (Zeke) and Tevilla

Ezekiel (Zeke) and Tevilla

Zeke is the son of Nomar, grandson of MacGyver and our Divinity and Tevilla is daughter of Kalvin and our own Dynasti.

Cruz and Drusilla

Cruz and Drusilla

Cruz is everyone’s favorite baby doll, personable and fond of petting. He’s a Nomar son, MacGyver grandson from our own Mindy May. Drusilla is a true black girl, also a Nomar daughter and MacGyver granddaughter. Mom is our Laguna by Brigadier.

There. I’ve finally given you a few photos to look at and enjoy. Time for me to go out and enjoy them in person. If you’re out our way, come on by.

Watching Alpacas–TV Broken

May 5, 2010

We bought a new RCA 32″ television in November from Walmart. The plate on the back says it was made in August 2009. In early March it decided we didn’t need a picture; last week it decided we didn’t need sound either. Now you may ask why we kept it around until the sound quit. Simple, we moved and I put the receipt in a “safe” place where Tom couldn’t lose it. The television didn’t move, I just came to join it and Tom in Oklahoma.

No matter, right? Walmart stands behind the things they sell. Wrong. We tried to exchange the television for a working model and were informed: 1) It was a DirectTV problem but they would not even test the set. 2) We had had the set for 93 days and their cut-off for returns was 90 days. No problem, right? They gave us a number for RCA so we could deal with them. Small problem though, the number doesn’t work and good luck finding a real person on the internet. So now we are down to the little ancient television in my office, the one that was old five years ago that we only brought to Oklahoma because it plays VHS tapes.

Once things calm down here, I expect to suddenly discover the receipt. In the meantime, does anyone have a contact for RCA? The good news is that since we can only watch the tv in the office, we no longer seem to need the new tv as much. The bad news is that I have missed American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, The Biggest Loser, and The Amazing Race and I think I may care a bit–just not enough to check on the internet to see how everyone is doing. So for this time being, at least, we are out hundreds of dollars.

In the meantime, there’s the Alpaca Network out the windows.

Alpaca Blog Update–About Comments on “Alpaca Sadness”

May 3, 2010

Thank you to everyone who took a peek and maybe shed a tear yesterday. 111 people clicked on “Alpaca Sadness” and made it the most read blog I have written by far. After sharing it, I felt reconnected with all that is good about people.

Several people commented, saying things that had never occurred to me as I wrote. “It is about the strength of mother love and appropriate that it was written just a bit before Mother’s Day.” Jesse would not leave her cria. She had carried it for ten months and she knew it was hers, alive or dead, for better or worse, forever, eventually she went on without it because there was nothing else she could do.

“It is about friendship and how girlfriends stick with you.” Thanks to Laguna and Tika. You go girls. When I watch the alpacas out in the fields, it is as though they were joined by some kind of invisible floss. They move in groups like ladies going to the powder room (or to the poop pile), hum to each other, watch out for each other, comfort one another. I guess friends are good no matter what your species. I am delighted to see that my beloved alpacas care about each other. For additional information on this, read my earlier blog about alpaca family groups.

“It’s life and death.” What can I say to expand on that? Life on a ranch is all about life and death and a connection to land, earth and sky and water and weather. It feels good to be here with the gentle, sweet alpacas. Even in sorrow we are truly blessed. As someone told me, it’s important to not pretend that there is never a tragedy and that bad things never happen. Life continues and is affirmed. We are expecting more 16 babies this year. I hope they are all strong and healthy. We will never forget that one.

Thanks to everyone. I’m working on a giveaway for my followers. Fleece, yarn, clothing? Something alpaca. We’d like to share our bounty with you. Watch this space.

Here Kitty, Kitty–waiting for Godot Alpaca

May 2, 2010

April 14 came and went. It’s been blustery, cold, and snowy up in Utah and Kaatakilla (named for the Incan moon goddess) was just not ready. We are still awaiting the birth of her full-Accoyo suri cria. Every day I think to myself, “O. K., today’s the day.” Now it is May 2 and still nothing. The little entity moves around and kicks poor Kat from the inside but refuses to arrive no matter how hard we wait and we still don’t know what color the nursery should be.

April in Utah this year seems to have meant no spring at all. Our house is still on the market and we are trying to decide if a new realtor is the answer or if the one-two punch of bad economy and nasty weather is somehow not his fault. Spring is here in Oklahoma, but not in Utah.

I hear that alpacas can “hold off” a pregnancy and I think I’m believing that’s true about now. Please Kat, one healthy, beautiful cria at your earliest convenience–a boy or girl would be just fine.

Oh, and for those of you who thought this blog would be about cats, here’s Bristol…

Bristol samples alpaca drinking water. Is it better than cat water?

Bristol samples alpaca drinking water. Is it better than cat drinking water?