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Thursday, November 1, 2012

What a Change a Week Can Bring!

Time to snuggle up with a warm friend.
 We have gone from 80 degrees and sunny to day #6 of grey cold drizzly wet weather.  I really should not complain, after all we were well under normal rainfall amounts for most of the year and many, many people are suffering much much more  from Hurricane Sandy.  Our forecast kept changing.  It called for snow, then rain, then high winds.  We have really only gotten the rain and it has not even been that heavy, except for periods Monday night.  Being on the Ohio West Virginia border, we were in kind of a flux area where no one really knew what to expect from Sandy.  It started to rain on Saturday and has not stopped since.  At least our pond has come up about 8" according to Sam.  When I was up there Monday, it was still down almost 2 feet.  With the rain has come the cold.  We even had a dusting of thick, wet snow on Tuesday morning, but it did not last.  I am very thankful that we were not affected very much by this storm and my heart goes out to those who have lost so much.

I spent the weekend in Dayton with my mother (who was supposed to fly to Italy via JFK on Tuesday....needless to say, she is still in Ohio) and had a wonderful time.  Had dinner Friday night with some high school friends and crashed a fundraiser on Saturday where my younger brother was performing with the Pink Flamingos, a band he as been with for 15 years and which I have never been to see.  All the performances are private gigs and most are not local to us.  He even performed in Paris in April this year.  This gig was in Covington, KY and I attended with my mom and my sister-in-law, Jill.  It really was great fun.

Before I left, I was able to get some photos of our fall crias in the sunshine. They are really doing well.





Here is the first born, a female.  Her dam is SHR Tunita and her sire is Sancha's White Lightning.  She was born 9-14-12 and looked like she was a week old already.  She is still the largest by far.  I have yet to come up with a name for her.








Next is the only male we had this fall.  His dam is Straightfork Margarita and he is also sired by Sancha's White Lightning.  You may remember him as the cria who was licked by Buck, the Great Pyrenees, until his back end was raw before I found him.  He was born 9-21-12.  He is a very nice looking cria.  Nicer fleece-wise than the little female above.  He also still needs a name.









This is Miraculous Mayhem.  She was born 9-29-12 and her dam is Straightfork Miracle.  She was sired by a male from another farm, CCNF Electric Mayhem.  She is much darker in color than both her parents and is just a lovely little girl.  We will be calling her Mayhem.




And the last to come along on 10-5-12 is beautiful little Caley.  Her dam is 3BR Peg, who has been part of our herd and a personal favorite of mine since 1999.  This is Peg's 10th cria, I believe.  Caley's sire is also Sancha's White Lightning.  Caley is not actually white.  She has some very faint color to her fleece.  I am extremely pleased with this cria and will likely retire her mama now that I have a daughter of hers to keep.
 So those are our babies for this year.  Nice looking bunch.  

And of course, that leads to thinking about next year's crias.  I have chosen to breed only 6 females this fall. That means we will have many females who are being left "open" or unbred.

If you look at this photo, you can see Lightning breeding a female on the other side of the fence.  Remember, alpacas breed in a sitting position.  There are 3 females sitting on this side of the fence patiently waiting their turn.  You can also see Peg standing around the corner watching and waiting.   All of these females are responding to hormones in their bodies that are telling them it is time to breed.  Otherwise, they would be as far from this scene as possible.  None of these 4 females are on the breeding schedule for this fall.  The 6 I have chosen to breed, B'Nita, Miracle, Aurora, Dulcinea, Tempest and Michelina have all been bred and will be behavior-tested tomorrow.

I am in the midst of warping my loom at the office for 3 rugs.  By this time next week, they will be well under way.  I will have a booth at our local Christmas festival again this year (Dec 8) so am trying to get some things ready for that.

I have been knitting on nothing lately but Christmas gifts, so I really can't post any photos right now.  All the gifts I am working on are small and don't take much time.  I have finished 2 and have 3 to go.  My plan is to do one per week and so far I am right on schedule.  I still have my shawl on the needles, but it is waiting for me to have time to get to it and I have a pair of socks that I have been working on as well.  I usually don't have so many things going at once!




I'm not sure what these 2 girls were arguing about out in the pasture, but they had a nice spit fight while I was out taking cria photos!


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