As I wrote last week, I was awaiting the arrival of 2 alpaca crias, the arrival (or not) of which would determine whether I would be able to attend the Great Lakes Fiber Show, since Sam was out of town. I was planning to leave mid-day on Friday for the show and when I went out to the maternity pasture on Wednesday morning around 6:40 am, this is what I found. Hooray! An unassisted birth of a healthy female cria. She was still flat on the ground with the fetal membranes intact when I discovered her, so I missed the event by only minutes. Within 2 hours, she was up, nursing and running around and I was able to leave for the office by 10 am confident that all was well.......yet still hoping for cria #2. My greatest hope at this point was that cria #2 would arrive by Thursday evening, or at the very latest early on Friday morning. Alas, this was not to be.
Friday dawned and no cria. I had left a message for my friend Tari on Thursday evening saying I was likely not going to make it to the show and for her to go ahead without me. She and I had discussed this on Tuesday. Being a sheep and goat farmer herself, she was more than understanding. So I did my normal chores and prepared to go to the office on Friday, all the while hoping for a cria to arrive and allow me to keep my plans to attend the festival. It did not happen. So I went to the office instead.
To make a long story short, after coming home from the office on Friday evening and seeing 3 adult alpacas and 1 cria in the pasture as usual, I began doing things around the house. An hour or so after I arrived home, I chanced to look out to the pasture, and beheld a second cria! Of course I dropped what I was doing and went to see what was going on. The cria was up, dry and attempting to nurse. The placenta was nearby and looked fairly fresh, so I determined the cria was probably about 2 hours old. She had likely been laying flat in the long grass when I drove by and did a visual assessment of her mother an hour or so earlier. So, both crias arrived, but not in time for me to go to the festival. I had already cancelled my dog sitter and besides, there was a lot of work to do around the farm anyway.
Here is Tempest's cria at 2 days old
And Dulci's cria at 6 days old
Both crias were sired by Opus One, or Opi, who is a rose grey color. Neither one really takes after daddy, do they? Grey is hard to breed for.
But I got 2 happy, Hoppy-Skippy crias and that's what matters. They are enjoying each other, racing around the pasture, kicking up their heels. Both mothers are wonderful, protective and patient. There will be other fiber festivals.
So I spent a lot of time Saturday and also Sunday working in the garden. I weeded and got all my tomatoes and peppers and squash and herbs planted. Then it rained this week and I must weed again. On Sunday I also opened up the bee hive for an inspection and found a lot of capped brood in the bottom box and saw the queen in the top box. This weekend I will put a third box on the hive as they seem to be using the space they have to its potential. Another thing I did this week, speaking of bees, is sow some buckwheat in 2 plots Sam had tilled up for me for this purpose. Buckwheat is a good ground cover that will bloom hopefully mid-summer and provide a nectar flow for the bees at that time. They will make a dark honey from it. I hope it works.
Sam arrived home very early Sunday morning and we now have a freezer full of pike and walleye. I love fish, so that is wonderful. We will be having some walleye tonight. Sam spent the first couple days home at the office and then on Wednesday he worked on laying tile in the guest house kitchen. I think about 75 to 80% of the tile is laid but as he said, he is down to where there is a lot of cutting involved, but he hopes to finish up this coming week. I think it is looking great.
The weather forecast for this weekend is about as nice as one could wish for, especially when one needs to make hay, so that is what we will be doing. Sam is home mowing today and we hope to get everything baled on Sunday. The highs are supposed to be around 80 with plenty of sunshine and low humidity, which is about perfect.
I have no new knitting, spinning or weaving I can show off this week, so here are a couple photos from evening on the farm.