Wednesday, February 1, 2012
A couple Mondays ago I got up and got the Bug off to school and then bundled myself up with long johns and mittens and a fuzzy scarf. I got into the car a drove a couple hours northwest even though the weather was bleak; foggy and with intermittent freezing rain falling from the sky. I love days like that though. Fog makes it possible to imagine so much more. What is or isn't beyond your little limited view. And the air always feels full of magic to me. I will admit to not loving freezing rain or the temperatures that go with it very much.
As I made my way deeper and deeper into the countryside it felt as if the magic was getting stronger. The perfect little vistas with barns and old farm houses. All cuddled in a blanket of ice covered snow. I'm not usually the kind of person to say such things but it brought tears to my eyes a couple of times seeing such picture perfect places and thinking, however briefly, of all the lives that have been lived in each home.
I found the driveway I was looking for and turned down it. It went on forever. I kept thinking, "This must be it!" and being wrong. When I finally made it to the end I knew, without a doubt that I had arrived. I went to the door and was greeted by a lovely woman named Sarah and the largest dog I have ever seen. His name is Tundra. I think his head is wider than my waist and just as tall.
After a little tea and getting to know each other we headed out to the barn. Sarah gave me some hand warmers to keep in my pockets so I would be able to use my hands and touch everything. As we came in I got some curious looks. Sarah told me if I stood still their curiosity would overcome them and they would come check me out. The barn was full of mamas and crias (babies) about 3 months old. It was here that I finally got to meet my first alpacas. They came in all colors: black, silver, brown, fawn and creamy white. Many were wet from standing outside at the trough. They were smaller than I expected. That day I learned to catch them, helped give some shots, helped mark down the weights for the crias and even got to see orgling and an attempt at mating. I got to see what the fiber looks like when it comes off in the spring. I felt the foot pads. It was a great day.
I had gone to see if the little fantasy I had always harbored of having a few alpaca for fiber was something I really thought I would like. I came away sure that if it was fun and interesting on a cold and gloomy day I would love it every other day too.
Thank you Sarah and Long Acres Alpaca Farm for spending the day with me. We are planning a return trip in March for the next batch of crias and so Senor and the Bug (and Moriah too!) can come meet all my newest friends.
Ps- I took only a few, not very good pictures. Go to the website of the farm to see how amazing it really is there.