Today unexpectedly marked my first day of sunburn. May 6th. Today also marked the first day that I've been on the farm when it hasn't been wet and boggy in at least one field or paddock. No mean feat given that I started here in October 2015 - nearly 8 months ago. Some day I will tell you a little more about how and why I ended up working here, but that can wait for a rainy day.
I've been sharing my farm life adventures on Instagram for a while now under the hashtag #alpacamonday (and now #alpacafriday) but because I'm reluctant to alpaca-spam I generally restrict my posts to one or two per week, despite the many gems that I capture on my Rounds. So given the sunshine and the arrival of my new blog I thought I'd share a few more photos to see us into the weekend.
The photos below more or less document my day today. We started by moving parts of the herd around ready for weekend walks, meet and greets and general stock rotation. I then spent the remainder of the day feeding and watering the whole herd as well as clearing old hay from the fields (which ruins the grass underneath if left to get too wet and mired). Oh, and I also got knocked to the floor by the new stud, and fully expect two footprints to appear on my sunburnt back any hour now!
Transferring alpacas to adjacent acreage is exciting and exhausting in equal measures. For the English amongst you, it's akin to dancing round a maypole. Whilst some of the herd are well halter trained, others are just getting used to walking with people and like to entangle you ever decreasing circles. There's a lot of kissing, snuzzling, mounting and munching that happens as you pass other alpacas in situ and you quickly need to master the art of deflty unharnessing with one hand, whilst maintaining control of the remainders with the other.
I can honestly say that I thought I had seen All The Cute that alpacas had to offer, but missing out on the weanling shearing last weekend due to a last minute call away, I realised today that there is in fact another level of Adorable left to go: freshly shorn one year olds. But don't trust me on this, have a look for yourself.
Next week, I'll tell you a little more about the work I'm doing behind the scenes to research and develop an educational programme that explores the learning and therapeutic benefits of, what I affectionately call, Alpaca-time.