Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Building Blocks

Once in awhile there is a cria born who looks like it should have wings and a halo.  Meet Noah by Neon Lights.  He is an Angel Baby from the word go.  Glistening white, Torbio curls all over, and the perfect face.  He made my week!

After almost 2 weeks of no babies we've had several crias in the last 10 days.  All colors and styles.  Crias are the "building blocks" of our breeding program.  We hope to build on their genetics in future generations. 😀

Tracy went out to see how Sea Gull was doing in her labor.  The head and legs were already out, so she paused to receive a kiss from Gully.  This is a normal time for labor to take a pause before mom goes back into hard labor to deliver the shoulders and rib cage.  Some moms are so relieved to get a break in the contractions that they go back to the feeder for a snack.  Gullie was no exception.

Some alpaca mamas really get into kissing their babies, and then transfer that to human helpers.  I'm told they are really transferring rumen-- stomach contents--to the baby, but it's really cute to see moms kissing their tiny babies.  Our new vet, Dr. Nenn, brought her able-bodied assistant out last week to help with a couple of chores, and Lilac kissed her too.  💗

One of our wonderful volunteer families joined us this week.  Their alpaca is named Thor, and he has beautiful shiny brown fleece.  Here you see him returning a hug with Linnea.  He's a real sweetie, just like his mommy.  And his owners.

After acquiring my new bike, it was pointed out to me that I am no longer young and could fall.... so I got a bike helmet.  I promise to go slowly most of the time, and be very, very careful.

Last winter was not our heaviest winter recently, but for some reason all of our flowering trees ad bushed are going crazy with blossoms this summer.  Not that I'm complaining.  It makes the ranch look beautiful and colorful.  We're all very grateful.

While driving through Camarillo I happened by a local park where I saw something colorful on a tree trunk.  I actually parked and went into the park to get a better view.  Look what I found!  This tree has officially been "yarn bombed"!  Isn't it fun?  Some anonymous person(s) did a lovely job!

Speaking of building blocks, one organization that has done a great job over the years of training young men to be men and giving them life skills, is the Boy Scouts (pardon my old-fashioned name for them).  A few months ago Jonathan approached me about doing his Eagle Scout Project out here at the ranch.  We talked about quite a few ideas and finally settled on raised planter boxes.

When the alpaca mamas reach the last few weeks of their gestation we give them herbs that help them produce milk.  Like most things, the cost of buying those herbs adds up, so we thought we would try growing our own.  The beds are raised because we have an OVER-POPULATION of pesky squirrels that eat everything in sight.    The tops of the beds are even made safer with a chicken-wire dome.

Jonathan and his dad and troop designed the boxes and figured out how to construct the cage on top so it can be tipped back when we want to work in them.  They are built of redwood to withstand the weather, and placed on pavers for footing so they won't sink in the mud.  It took a whole day Saturday and part of Sunday to get everything finished, but they look terrific!  I can't wait to get them planted!

The ravens often have the last word on any given day out here.  They are pests, and hover near the barn hoping to talk Zeke and Molly out of their dog food.    Here is one of our fine feathered friends finishing off something he sneaked when I wasn't looking-- a placenta!  I didn't catch him until he had had his fill.  The only thing he left was the umbilical tube.  They are such thieves and robbers.  This was one time they actually did me a favor by cleaning up.

Have an outstanding week!  More later!

PS:  Remember that we are having a 
Fiber Play Day on August 15 
and you are invited!
9 am to 3 pm-- Open House style
$10 per person
Bring your own lunch/snacks/drinks.
Bring your favorite fiber toys to play with.  
Many of us will have extra supplies if you want to try something new.
It will be a really fun day.  We hope you can come.
Bring some old yarn you don't want anymore and we can yarn bomb a tree!

Cindy Harris ~ Alpacas at Windy Hill 
7660 Bradley Rd. Somis CA 93066 ~ 805-907-5162  cindy@alpacalink.com

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