Sunday, April 25, 2010

What you wish for! Rain rain go away, alpaca shearing

In my last entry I was hoping for inclement weather so that I could do "girlie" things in the house. Well, be careful what you wish for, as the rains started here on Wednesday night and by the time they were over on Friday we had an accumulation of 2.78 inches of rain. The pastures were jumping for joy no doubt, now all we have to do is sit back and harvest the rain and sunshine in the form of pasture grass for the animals. The flowers and rhubarb that we received from my friend, Linda, are all doing great, we only lost one hollyhock thus far. We still have some more fencing to put up, and to put up some pallets on the north side of the garden for a windbreak and we should be almost caught up. Our to do list is becoming a done list. We still have to finish the chicken coop, which we have not worked on for over a month, and we are getting our chick and baby turkeys the middle of May, Yikes!!!
Here is a picture of the standing rain in the alpaca paddock. Not only did we get a lot of rain, but it was windy and cold to boot. Come to think of it, as I was coming in from doing chores on Friday, I did not even hear that old Scandinavian Meadowlark singing. One of these days I hope to get a picture of him for you all, he has been quite elusive when I take out the camera, just as Dennis has been.

Here is a picture of a house that I saw in Ryan's neighborhood. I just love the color combination on this house, I think that I will paint my chicken coop the same color, and when our house needs painting, I will do it the same, but hopefully that will not be for another 20 years!

I can't help it, but I most squeeze this in about Lily. Here is a picture of my dear little Lily Ann, we have only been able to see her smile a few times, but here is a beauty! She is two months old already, time goes so fast, but the nights are still long for our son and daughter in law!

Saturday we helped some friends south of here with alpaca shearing, thankfully it had stopped raining, but they still had standing water in their pens, if the alpaca fiber is wet when it is taken off the animal, you have to make sure to lie it out for a few days to fully dry or it could mold and rot for you. Her fleeces were dry, only the alpacas feet were wet. We helped with 20 alpacas being sheared yesterday, not like the 100plus per day when I used to help at the large farms in Arizona. Not too sore today, there is still some energy left in me to dig a few more post holes!
When alpaca are sheared, they are laid down flat and stretched, so they lie still and won't get cut. Here is a not so willing victim,

and here he is stretched out. You can see that the shearer is trimming his nails. The alpaca is stretched out with a rope tied to each foot and stretched taunt just to before drawn and quartering like they did in the old days(just kidding, but I bet the alpaca feels that way)I do not have a picture of the after shearing as my camera batteries died.
Dennis is helping the owner get ready a plastic bag to collect the fleece as it comes off the alpaca. My shearing date is May 16 and I will get more pictures then. Our shearing crew at this farm consisted of everyone over 50 years old. The only thing that we were requested to bring with us was our own tylenol, advil or ibuprofen. There was a lot of grey hair at this shearing!

Be careful what you wish for????? Maybe next time I will wish for the big lottery win!

More later........

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