I was reminded the other day that I had not 'blogged' for a couple of weeks. What was wrong? Had we done a runner? Had we been abducted by the Galactic Fairies? Had we been swallowed up by a giant wall of raspberry blancmange? No, just been busy and lacking in inspiration.
I have tried to blog a Patou cria update and have been out with the camera, but recently I have been suffering from a bad case of weatheritis. When I am at work, at the day job, the sun shines. Conversely when I am at home it is generally raining, windy, cold or just dismal. It should definitely be the other way round. As a result getting out with the camera opportunities have been minimal. Yesterday the weather was okay, so I went out.
The problem is that when it is raining the mother and cria herd tend to stick themselves together in a group under some sort of shelter. The same can be said when it is sunny, stuck together like glue they take cover. In short they don't make it easy. My plan was to photograph each cria with it's mother. The plan (one should never have a plan when dealing with animals) was doomed from the start. The sun came out and like iron filings being attracted to a magnet they shuffled into the shade. In fact the Patou herd is more like a shoal of fish than a herd of alpacas. Except they don't scatter when I walk into them, they just look at me, ears twitching to keep the flies fit, the odd hum, the odd comic fart, but to get them to move I have to physically push them and who wants that?
So this was the initial cria and mother picture.
The cria on the right is Talisker, his mother is nowhere in sight. The little cria in the shade is Tsar, his mother, Millie, is behind Talisker. With me so far?
Having given up I plonked a chair in the field and sat waiting to see if anyone would venture out into the sunshine. Gradually things picked up. First to come over to investigate was the incredibly cute Todd, Toddy, The Toddster. His mother though, was nowhere to be seen.
Next to wander past was Troy, now he has a seriously interesting fleece. His mother, Patou Penny, is a Canchones Witness girl, she is one of our top brownies and Troy has a dense, soft, bright, and crimpy fleece. One to watch, definitely.
And before you say, "Hang on a minute, he's fawn!",............. he isn't........... well alright he might be, but.............. he might not be................ just leave it! Once again his mother was nowhere in sight.
Then one of the darlings of the herd wandered past, with her bat like ears, little Tabitha. She is utterly gorgeous and definitely not fawn! I don't recall where her mother was at the time.
I then returned to the shed as the mother cria combo I really wanted to show you was Millie and Tsar. They wouldn't come out of the shade so here they are resting in the cool. Tsar is our little bottle boy. He was losing weight in his first few days and we just didn't know why. Millie had (and still has) masses of milk and we had seen him with very milky chops on day one but for some reason he stopped feeding well and started faffing about under there and not getting stuck in.
We started bottle feeding him and he took to it well.
The problem is, as you all probably know, there is a very fine line between over bottling and therefore getting them reliant on it and under bottling, meaning that hunger will keep them trying to feed naturally. Thankfully we seem to have got it about right and he is taking less from us and more from Millie. Hopefully in a week or so we will be able to withdraw completely. He is a little cracker.
Lastly, a photograph of Tarquin, The Mighty Quin, who is never far away when the camera is about. What is it about these light coloured show-offs?
And that's not the only photograph I took of him yesterday, I have enough for a whole portfolio. one from every conceivable angle. Bloody show-off.