Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Things haven't improved on the snow front, in fact its just getting deeper. By this evening when we went to feed the footprints in our pathways had completely vanished from 3 hours previously!
I've had a bit of a treat today, one of our friends is currently doing a massage qualification and wanted a bit of hands on practice. I wasn't too sure about exposing all my wobbly bits, but he was fantastic, I'm glad I did. Thanks Chris, we can both thoroughly recommend your services.
After a relaxing massage it was back out into the snow to hump feed about.
This was Golden Guinea taken yesterday with my mobile, I forgot to take the proper camera with me. He has walked a pathway from his shelter to the gate where he comes to meet me. If it's snow he waits until the last minute and then makes a run for it - he has to beat you there!
And here we have Tilly walking her path
Unfortunately Tilly's path is no more, last night we had major avalanches from the roof and it is now under about 4 and a half foot of snow! Tilly wasn't in it at the time so don't worry.
Monday, 29 November 2010
On Saturday we removed the snow from the shelter roofs, today you could not tell that it had been done so it was back out with the ladders to start all over again. We don't want any collapsing under the weight of the snow.
I measured the snow on the garden table today, we are now up to 48cm's. That is not in the drifts or where Julian has gone past with the plough, places like that are past my waist. If poor little Minimus was to stand directly behind their shelter he would vanish under the snow!
We have been giving everyone extra rations which is going down well, even Freyja and Rory have begun eating hard feed. Both started eating sugar beet for a few days then decided that Camelibra was good to.
All the water is still frozen so it is back to carting it about to fill up the water troughs. Thankfully the quad is managing to get through two feet of snow and Paul is around too so I'm not having to do everything on my own.
The alpacas seem much happier than Paul and I, as long as they have something (lots) to munch on and a dry bed to sleep on they are ok. The chickens however haven't come down from their coop for days.
I was supposed to be taking the kittens to the vet this morning to be spayed but as the snow was so bad there was no chance so they have a short reprieve.
Sunday, 28 November 2010
Debbie has been keeping you all posted with the heavy snow fall here in Northumberland and there just seems to be no let up.
Jayne at Zanzibah - you thought it was bad in Scotland, we had the worst snow fall yet overnight. The wind has picked up to and the snow has started to drift in places.
It was really hard work getting down to the rented fields down the lane. They say owners take on some of the persona of their animals and we have to agree with that. In the same way that our sheep and alpacas like to tread the same path, so do we. Our route through the field sure seemed much deeper than it was yesterday.
For illustration purposes only I have put a well known London landmark next to the sides of our snow passage:
After a few minutes walking we were sure that we had crossed into the girls field but could find no sign of them. We rattled the food bucket to see if that attracted any attention and Princess Mallika (of course) just had to give the game away - her stomach always comes first!
After checking that the rest of the main herd were o.k. we set about finding the boys.
Guess what - no sign of them.
"Hey Loki, do you want a carrot?"
Up to our necks in it!
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Friday, 26 November 2010
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Thankfully we managed to get out to civilisation, however even the main roads were bad, it was well worth it though because we had the best day of knitwear sales I've ever had. I'm not sure how I am going to have enough stock to do the remaining 5 events, not to mention the on-line shop.
There were a couple of disappointed people today who passed by and had their eye on something but when they came back I'd already sold it. Most of our item are unique and one offs, so if you miss it its gone.
It has continued to snow on and off all day and we now have in excess of half a foot of snow on the ground and it is forecast to last for a week or so. I thought we'd had more than our share of the snow last year.
Morpeth made the BBCs's nattional news tonight and one of the reports featured my vets camel not looking too bothered by the white stuff.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Thankfully there was only the odd shower followed by autumn sunshine, until this afternoon that was. Paul also got the all clear from the consultant so no more excuses that he can't do this or that - I will have to get him back to the job list.
I had a very nice lady visiting today, she was looking for some very special Christmas presents to take home to LA. She has bought knitwear from us before and was very impressed with it, so wanted some for her family in the States.
She choose some very nice scarves and managed to treat herself to a lovely shoulder cowl, it is one of our latest designs. It was only labelled up yesterday and hadn't even made it into the shop!
Shortly after my visitor had left it went very black, so I decided to head out to the field to put Minimus and Rory's coats on pretty sharpish. It's a good job I did as I arrived the girls were running into the shelter which meant they too had realised it was about to pour down.
Not only did it pour there were malteaser size hail stones beating down on me whilst I was putting the coats on. Minimus is such a sweetie and stood happily whilst I fastened him in, Rory on the other hand always grumbles and wants to get back to his mum.
Monday, 22 November 2010
It has been absolutely horrible here today, wet cold and very grey all day. The mud patches are growing, in fact the boys are making a mess. Tenzing is filthy and has obviously been rolling, he has mud everywhere.
Rory is enjoying his bottle again, the novelty of the new grass has obviously worn off. I'm still wanting to weigh him but I like to do it when he's dry, so it may be a little while yet. We have rain and snow forecast fro the rest of the week.
Thankfully we had a delivery of oil today so the heating is back on, we had a slight technical hitch in that Paul forgot to order it and we ran out, so we've been without heating for a few days. Hence the lack of blog last night I didn't want to leave the log burner and venture into the cold study.
Saturday, 20 November 2010
This morning I was greeted in the chicken coop by a dead hen. It was the last of our original brown hens, she was a ripe old age and had been getting slower and slower and not venturing far for a little while now. In fact I had to put her to bed last night as she didn't seem able to climb the ladder. So it came as no surprise, poor chicken!
This now leaves us with three young birds, none of which are laying, in fact we've not had an egg for weeks now.
The jury is actually out on one of them as to whether is it a hen or cockerel . This Light Sussex has never laid an egg but equally it has never cook-a-doodle-do'd. It is quite a bit bigger than the two Marans and has started to run at my legs. If there are any experts out there here 'it' is, what do you think.
Friday, 19 November 2010
Paul was away last night on business and I think he must have a web cam up somewhere because as we were dozing he rang which woke us both up with a fright! We eventually hit our beds and were up bright and early as usual; the kittens see to that.
With the hat finished and Hughie's toe nails cut this morning she headed off home after lunch. As always thanks for your help mum.
Dad was also working hard this morning before they left, he has made me a new lid for the boys hay manger. It was really funny, dad and I were working and all the boys were watching. Hughie and Loki kept sticking their head in between us to see what was going on. Unfortunately I'd not taken my camera with me.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Tilly, one of the naughty kittens didn't seem to think it was that cold though. This morning I found her wading through the dirty water in one of the water troughs in a resting field. She was soaked and filthy but purring her head off when I picked her out. These kittens certainly are mad.
My parents are still here, they go home tomorrow, although I've told mum she can't leave until she has finished the beret that she is knitting at the minute. Carol keeps calling me a slave driver so I may as well be one!
Hopefully Carol is busy knitting in Cuba as I type, she has taken a few less clothes so she ha room in her suitcase for her wool and needles. That's dedication for you don't you think.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Thankfully today I have been able to stay here with the animals, shopping is no longer the fun I remember it being. Paul had to head down to London on business so he got a few hours on the phone to play even more on his new blackberry.
I have been busy washing the latest batch of knitwear which will need labelling ready for the busy run of events we are attending in the run up to Christmas. Mum is still slaving over her needles in the lounge as I type.
The courier finally turned up today to collect some fleeces which are heading off to the mill for processing. Hopefully after Christmas I will be able to do some spinning here as the carding that Dave has been doing is mounting up.
Despite Rory not having much bottle lately he has moved into the next size cria coat which is a good sign, Minimus has also moved out onto the next set of press studs on his coat! I will be weighing them all at the weekend so watch this space for an update.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Monday, 15 November 2010
Sunday, 14 November 2010
They have now gone home and Faith is counting down until she next comes to see us at Christmas. I'm not so sure her mum and daddy are so keen :-)
The rain returned this afternoon and I had to rush down to put the two boys coats on. Mimimus was very pleased to see me and comae to meet me, he was clearly trying to tell me that he was getting wet and needed his coat on quickly. Rory was not quite so bothered and needed a little encouragement.
Saturday, 13 November 2010
Friday, 12 November 2010
Here is a photo Paul took of her earlier in the week, as you can see Minimus certainly isn't draining her condition.
Speaking of Minimus it would be a shame to miss any opportunity to share another photo of him, taken at the same time as his mums. He made us laugh at tea time, despite his small stature he takes no nonsense from anyone. He was polishing off the camelibra and Ursula came over to join him, she wasn't welcome and he started pushing his neck down on hers grunting his dissatisfaction. When she took no notice he stated spitting at her, which she still ignored! An explosion could occur at the side of Ursula mind and she wouldn't bat an eyelid!
Just to complete the family album here is Willow, Chiquita's mum and grandma to Minimus with her female cria from this year, Layla, who has also inherited the same rotund shape as Chiquita.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
At feed time this afternoon the girls obviously spotted a shower heading their way, and all charged on mass to gather round the hay hecks. They obviously provide a good wind break and food source as the shelter didn't attract any ones attention today!
I'm pleased to say that Chiquita's leg is absolutely fine again, you would never believe she was looking uncomfortable yesterday evening. It's very strange, if I only checked on them once a day I would have missed it.
As the weather has been so terrible I've been updating our online shop. It is a never ended job what with Carol, mum & I knitting at a rapid rate and the sales doing very well. I have already sold more knitwear this year than last and that is before I reached the busy time of year for it.
I have a batch of our fleeces to send off the the mill next week as I'm almost out of white yarn. Here at Barnacre we only use our own fleeces, we don't buy it in, and all our knitwear it traceable to specific alpacas so it is a very unique. Don't worry if you are reading this Dave, I've kept some back for you to card!!
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
As you can see the grass is rather long and lush so hopefully this will give everyone a bit of a boost going in to winter. Excuse the shadows on the photo I was trying to take some shots as they went running through the gate. A couple of the feeding mums are starting to loose some condition so this and some extra rations for those concerned should help them out. Their babies will also be old enough to wean very soon.
Moving from one field to another means all the hay hecks and feed troughs need moving which takes ages so I didn't get time to clean the field so that will have to be added to the job list for later in the week; in the rain by the sounds of the forecast.
Loki was getting very excited at the girls moving, there is a big empty field in between the boys and the girls but Loki was keeping a very close eye on proceedings. Paul took this shot on 80 times zoom, not bad eh!
This evening when we went to feed Chiquita was limping on her back left leg. She did the same thing about 10 days ago, I couldn't feel anything and within a couple of hours she was walking normally so I thought maybe she had just twisted it. I will see how she is in the morning but I have the Finadyne on standby.