Friday, March 26, 2010

winter wonderland!

Tuesday morning we tackled all the goat hooves and alpaca toenails readying for the big storm that was supposed to hit on 3/24. After trimming all those feet, we knew that we would have muscle soreness for a few days, me especially. But it is so nice to see animals with their feet well trimmed. Someone once said that if an animals feet are overgrown to almost the point of lameness, look for other signs of neglect with the animals also. I have always taken care of my animals feet, as that is always in the back of my mind, when I look at other folks stock also. Of course, mine have never been overgrown too much.
Well, anyway, enough on the ruminants feet, we ended up with only a few inches of snow, not the 8-12 inches that they were predicting. It was 30 degrees here Wednesday am. The air was so fresh and crisp, nothing to taint the smell. I breathed deeply several times to supply all of my inner cells with this life giving gift from God. We are so lucky to be far from any major metropolitan area ,and to live in an area with no pollution. I took a few pictures of the snow scene that morning. All the fence posts still had their night sleeping caps, waiting for the intense rays of the sun to free them of their encumbrances.
The storm had started out with rain and then wet snow coming down in sheets sideways, the chicken coop is seen with snow stuck to the north side, as if someone hastily tried to wrap her up and protect from the ravages of the snow and wind, but had failed miserably only halfway through the job.

DOSADO is seen here basking in the sun as only a goat can do, eyes closed, and dreaming of frolicking in the green grasses of spring. The little girls are munching their hay, in the goat world, the one who eats the fastest, gets the most, and then they go lie down and quietly chew their cud and ruminate on what the new day will bring.
Yes, this is a white alpaca! But with the dampness outside, Prize decided to take a dust bath anyway, so hence his dirty unkempt appearance. Pretty undignified for a blue ribbon, reserve champion. Most of this will dry and fall off come shearing time on May 16Th. I hope so anyway. Then his fleece will be spun up into wonderfully soft scarves and sweaters.
My female alpacas decided to bask in the warmth of the morning sun. Sara Lee is my old matriarch in the foreground,she is the black alpaca. Her and I have a long history together. She is probably 13 years old now, and is expecting a cria(baby alpaca) in about 2 weeks. I know that she does not look pregnant in this picture, but she is.
Alpaca carry their babies for a 11 1/2 month gestation. She will nurse her baby for 6 months after giving birth. I don't breed my alpacas until they are 18 months old or older, and the male is usually not able to sire an offspring until 3 years old, or older, but there are always exceptions of course.
Half way through our chores, we humans were shedding our outer layers, as the intense sun was smiling down on this winter wonderland, soon to be swallowed up by the thirsty, parched soil of the prairie!
I can still hear the lonesome call of that old Scandinavian Meadowlark,no doubt battle scarred, as he defends his territory, perched atop his favorite fencepost, perusing his small piece of the world. Occassionally stopping and cocking his head, watching for things that might swoop down and cause him harm.

Well, it is off to lefse making for me today. The potatoes are all cooked and just waiting to be riced. Will take pictures for you all if they turn out.
More later......

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