It felt like one of my many school trips I had participated in over the years, visiting a small alpaca farm with a bunch of kids. This time, it was with only two kids and they were both mine, my daughter and grandson. At the farm there were 7 alpaca, 3 sheep, 2 goats and numerous chickens.
We were first greeted by the sheep. Granted they were expecting food, they were very polite in their greeting and then turned and ignored us.
My initial reason for going on the field trip was to photograph animals whose fibre I use in the making of some of my clothes and accessories. Telling people that the scarf they are admiring is made of Alpaca just doesn't have the same weight as seeing a picture of an Alpaca animal.
These 3 alpacas show the range of natural colours that can occur. All of the alpaca at the farm had been sheared within the last month. You can still see the clipper marks in their coats. The head, tail and lower legs are left unshorn. The hair from the legs, neck and under belly is usually not used because of poorer quality. The blanket, which is the back area is beautifully soft. The total amount of hair in the blanket is not that much so most alpaca producers buy extra hair from other farmers.
This grey guy was especially handsome. He wears his hair similar to my dog, like a muppet.
This is some of the yarn I purchased at Gn'R Alpacas. The owner, Gail used 50% grey alpaca from "Ekelon" and plied it with a colourful merino wool. I am so excited to use it.
The other animals on the farm have their roles. The 2 goats are to eat all the weeds that pop up in the alpaca pasture and the chickens are kept for their eggs. What's a farmer to do without fresh eggs?