Thursday, March 6, 2014

Warm Fuzzies.

I happen to know the owner of an alpaca farm located right around the corner from a reported skunk cabbage spot I went to check out last weekend, so I added the little llamas/mini-camels to my errands for the day. Alas, I remembered my shopping list but not the extra bag of carrots I happened to have and figured would make suitable rewards for beasties one hopes to cajole into being good models. Luckily the owner was well-supplied with crunchy munchies. Too bad the beasties weren't happy unless I was stuffing carrots into their mouths. Fair dues, most animals don't like to be petted by strangers and really don't like a great big eye being pointed at them, and herbivores tend to be jumpier than most. But other than twitching just as I got the camera aimed and focused, we managed.

And yes, they spit.

(Teeth of a grazer: serious teeth on the bottom, none to speak of on top. And just like some pet bunnies, one might even need a little Dremel-ing to help with an underbite every now and then.)

Interesting animals. Lots of body language and surprisingly verbal, as well. They look a bit like a cross between a camel and a sheep. And those eyes! Must be a grazer thing, those big brown orbs: Horses, cattle, deer, alpacas all have them…

Cloven hooves for nimble dancing. (Of course she stopped when I turned on the video!) And those long necks are great for wrestling.

Went back the next day because I realized I hadn't taken photos of the end product! While lovely in the natural colors and able to be dyed just about any shade, the real beauty of alpaca fiber is the feel--like silk...