Sunday, 31 January 2010

Cheery S or Dreary S!!!

There was talk on the blogs last week of the 'S' word for the weekend. Unfortunately it was the dreary 'S' that arrived on Friday night. We had a covering of Snow on Saturday morning which froze hard and everywhere was like an ice rink. The look on the Alpacas faces was one of disbelief. It has been a bitterly cold weekend but luckily the cheery 'S' was high in the sky today and thawed everything out but unfortunately the forecast for mid week is not good once again.
After the hay racks had been replenished this morning and the gator returned to the barn the chickens decided to check it out for any goodies that might be lurking.

They pecked at the bits and seemed very content and are laying very well considering the cold weather.

Hopefully it will stay above freezing for a couple of days so that we can get a small area concreted that was supposed to be done before Christmas but couldn't be done due to the extreme cold.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

A busy weekend.

The weather has been very mixed this week, we have had wind, rain and more rain, snow, more rain but it has ended with a beautiful weekend. Saturday and Sunday have stayed dry, cold and bright.

This enabled us to get a lot of outside jobs done. Nails were trimmed, injections administered and body scoring done. The Alpacas all look quite happy except perhaps poor Wellground Scriptwriter - we did 'spit offs' today and wonderful news for us was that the girls positively rejected Scriptwriter. We eagerly await his offspring in July and August. He wasn't too impressed as we did not want any December births he was not able to have his way with any of the empty girls - not just yet!

We took a wander round the permiter checking the boundary fences and it was lovely to see the catkins forming. Hopefully Spring is not too far away.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Tales from the Riverbank!

Well almost. Last week we had twelve inches of snow in the lane - yesterday we woke to at least twelve inches of water. Mr Toad managed to drive his Discovery through it but it was no easy task as we could not tell where the road ended and the ditch began.
Unfortunately we never made it to the meeting at Bristol as Sid was called out to a lorry who had a mishap on the ice so we will try to get to the one at Exeter in February. We had hoped to have a chat with the wise Badger, deep in the heart of the wild woods of Bratton!!!!!!!! I am sure we will catch up soon.
The snow has all gone and the Alpacas think it is wonderful - they obviously felt deprived and spent most of yesterday outside no matter how hard it rained. Today is a lovely morning, no rain, no snow and a hint of brightness in the sky. Hopefully it will spread northwards and bring a hint of spring to those of you who have really suffered the trials and tribulations of winter. The only up side I can think of is the wonderful array of birds we have had in the garden. With the snow gone we can see that moley has been busy in the garden, lots of little mounds all over the place.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Is the worst over?

We have been very lucky really compared to many parts of the country. It has been very cold and very icy but we have not had to endure it for very long compared to other parts of the country. Hopefully the worst is now over - the forecast for the week ahead is less harsh, indeed with temperatures set to be just below freezing at night it will be a welcome relief to many.

The Alpacas seem to have worked out that the grass is there somewhere but it is the boys who spend most time outside. They wander around and prance around at regular intervals but the girls have a look around then head back for the hay.

Breakfast was a little late this morning and they were giving anxious looks - and checking I was on the way!!!

They were quickly at the troughs as soon as the buckets were emptied into the feeders

Yet more hay and more water to transport

All very worthwhile though.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


We've only had it a short while and already it is too long. Yesterday we were snowed in, the lane was impassible so no work for me. Sid had to get out the Matbro and big bucket and do some clearing, he got so far up the lane then there was a tree down so that was the next hurdle to overcome. After a while we could at least get out if we needed to.


Today didn't start too well either - firstly no water, this time in the house!

It was minus 14 deg outside. Anyway I got ready for work and my Freelander wouldn't start so Sid took me to work and on his return set about sorting out the water problem. Unfortunately it was not at the stop tap as expected but farther along underneath the park home. He had to leave that whilst he fed and watered the animals and then came back to the water problem. Altough the pipe was well insulated an eight foot length of pipe was frozen solid so he got to work taking out the frozen piece and inserting a new piece, insulating again and again and again!!!!
It was then time to come and fetch me from work and back to do the animals again.

Luckily the Alpacas were all quite content but not very impressed with all the white stuff

So that was today gone - we await tomorrows challenge!!!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Snow has arrived

After yesterdays freezing start to the day of -9 deg today it started snowing about 10.30 whilst I was at work and within an hour we had a substantial covering. As I listened to the local radio it was obvious the local roads were soon in chaos. At midday I was told to go home because of the conditions so a journey that usually takes 20 minutes took about and hour.

I am lucky as I have a Land Rover Freelander but I met many cars going extremely slowly but then getting stuck on the slightest inclines because they were going so slowly. Unfortunately there were also accidents. The forecast for tonight is not good so only time will tell if we can get out tomorrow.

The Alpacas go into their shelters but every time it starts to snow again they come out and the majority start bronking around. I agree with them it is nice at the moment and lovely to have fun in but only for today, I feel sorry for those who have had prolonged snow - it obviously makes everything twice as hard. Good Luck to all of you.

It has now started snowing again but logs on the fire, dogs in front of it and evening meal on the go so I will shut the curtains on it for tonight!!!

Friday, 1 January 2010


We have spent a week wondering as to the safety of our Son and a friend who decided to go climbing in the Cairngorms & Ben Nevis. They went on Boxing Day for a week. They have done several climbs but not in the snow.

The first text on Boxing Day said all was well and they were quite content in their tent at minus 10deg We then heard again on Monday evening that all was going well but not entirely to plan. With the severe weather warnings in abundance and no contact again until Wednesday evening life was a little stressful but I am glad to say that he is now back in his home and we can relax.

Thank goodness the alpacas could take our minds of it. They all look well and are getting through the hay in abundance. Vitamin injections for the cria and general check over for them all tomorrow and weather permitting we may do some 'spit offs' too with 'Wellground Scriptwriter'. He has a wonderful presence - walks around his paddock looking like the king of the castle.

We hope to start work on the Alpaca barn before too long which will make life much easier, we also have to learn more about fleece sorting and producing items from it.

Best wishes to everyone for 2010 - we really enjoy the blogs from everyone, it is like catching up with one big 'Alpaca Family'. Hopefully we can meet some of you in Bristol at the meeting soon.