Tuesday, 28 August 2012

It's all change!

When I was born I had a full head of wonderful dark brown hair. I know, I know. I just did. Stand by for the real shocker.
As a toddler my dark straight hair had been replaced with beautiful blonde curly locks. I know this is a real stretch of the imagination for those of you who know me, but it's true, my parents have photographic evidence. I may even post the evidence if there are too many non-believers.
With these sun like golden curls I was cooed over and generally adored. I was also, allegedly, commonly mistaken for a little girl. Ahem, all right that hasn't happened for a very long time.
But in the pictures that I have seen, in my humble opinion, I appeared to look like a baby Greek God, all pureness and general baby-godishness.

As I approached school age my golden curls changed back to the glossy straight brown hair that I kept (in various styles from No1 crew cuts to as long as I could get away with) for all my school years and in to my early twenties.

From there on in it all appeared to go a bit awry and I am now at the stage where, depending on the light, my haircut or the presence of CCTV cameras and tall people I am anything from a third to two thirds bald. But that's fine, I'm happy with that. I am content with my level of baldness. I wouldn't win any awards for hair, or even hairstyles, but I am happy, that's not why I am here, to win prizes for my hair, or fleece (can you see where I am going with this now?).

So why the follicular history? Well, we have been observing cria fleeces this year, probably more attentively than before, because of the Qjori factor.

For example, Truffle. I wish I had photographs of all this but it's been difficult this year.
Truffle was the first Qjori cria and was born in appalling weather (weren't they all?).

A slighty damp Truffle this morning.

When Truffle eventually dried out her dark fawn fleece had the tiniest tightest crimp I have ever seen, you may remember I wrote a blog about it. Well that got me excited but then no sooner was it there but - whoosh, her fleece had changed and was straight and fluffy and crimpless. I was dissapointed to say the least. But the story continues. We have just weaned Truffle at 4 months old as her mother Dee is just too thin and her condition needs to improve before winter.
As a result we gave Truffle a good inspection, so we can keep an eye on her condition as she switches from mothers milk and a bit of nibbling to full time grazing. We looked at her fleece (having paid it no attention for 6 weeks or so) and were blown away by the transformation.
The colour has changed as if it has been dyed, it is now a medium brown and the crimp has returned in bucket loads, tight, bright and gorgeous. I know you are probably saying "Well let's see some pictures then!". Sadly I am home alone and am not even going to try to 1) Catch Truffle 2) Hold Truffle 3) Open up Truffle's fleece and 4) Take pictures of Truffles fleece whilst still doing 2) and 3)!

If it is dry when Sue returns we will give it a go.

But it is not just Truffle. Young Toddy, the Toddster has changed dramatically too.

Little Toddy drying off in the sun earlier this morning.

Todd is our little pie-face. His mother is white with a white pedigree. Toddy was born brown with a white face and two white front feet. He is a little cracker and a real favourite. When the Toddster was a week or so old I looked over his fleece carefully for any sign of black or white fibre. Was he just a brown pie-face or was he rose grey? No, it was just brown, nothing else.
Well yesterday I looked at Toddy again and blow me down his fleece has changed colour completely! The first inch or so is brown but the next inch is dark grey! Not only that but his neck seems to be getting lighter. Is he turning into a grey? Goes this happen with grey alpacas? We have never had one before so don't know!

Taz has also changed dramatically. He has always been a rich chocolate brown and still is but for the first month of his life he had a fleece with no character to it at all. Yesterday when I looked, (Sue had told me to check him out as she had seen some change) his fleece is now becoming all crimpy. It is a big bold crimp but from dead straight to big bold crimp in a month is impressive. Not only that but he is now finally starting to grow into his nose!

So far all of the fleeces that I looked at that I was disappointed in are improving, they are not show-stopping stunned mullet creating fleeces, far from it, but the change has been dramatic.

The only thing is, having looked back at my own dramatic 'fleece' changes, I am dreading the bald phase!


Rosemary said...

Personally, I think bald is very attractive - Right Said Fred were always a favourite!
Cria fleece is fascinating - and we too are seeing changes (not always for the better I have to say!)
Looking forward to the fleece shots.

Barbara@beckbrowalpacas said...

It is just too tempting to assess cria fleeces all of the time isn't it,and as you say what starts off great often changes and visa versa. Although, I do think what starts off great does usually come back again at some point. I just wish I had the will power not to fleece rummage for a month or two...I struggle with a day or two!

Judi B said...

We find our grey cria fleeces fascinating! We had one boy, born almost black but now a lovely mid-grey and still changing towards rose grey at 2 years old! Another born mid-grey, now very pale grey, then little Josephine...born grey, turned "ginger" within a day and then looked like a light rose-grey but was clearly mid-grey when sheared! So..I think you'll just have to wait until shearing before you can truly see how a "grey" turns out!

Apple Vale Alpacas said...

Come on non-believers, lets campaign for the evidence on offer! Interesting fleece developments Mark.

Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Rose Grey !! Now there's me thinking you specialised in Browns !!...when will this world domination of colour take over stop !!....its just great finding those lovely changes in their fleece....and as for your micron and crimp ... there is always a spare Brillo pad ....lurking under the sink ! ....;0) for those cold winter nights .....Jayne