Monday, 10 July 2017

A little drama!

I am quite chuffed with myself for capturing this shot this
week. Usually Ian takes all the photos but this week there are
some of mine. It was a sheer fluke that I captured this shot
I have to admit.
We have drama again this week, but not due to baby alpacas fortunately. Little George is much better now and beginning to bully Frederiks about, despite his size. We are so pleased he seems to have fully recovered.
A bit of communal time around the water bucket, but those
little ones had best beware, Aggie is not in a good mood

George is a great observer of life. Our visitors loved the little
ones of course
Our crazy young friend hung around till the middle of the week before heading back off on her travels. We are so pleased she managed to make it out to us as it was good to catch up on life since we last saw each other. A lot has happened in the three years since she was last out here. From that perspective it was good that it rained, there is not much else to do than talk, so may as well do that in good company. Although we have had quite a few visitors to see us, we haven't had as many tourists turning up to see the alpacas just lately, but this weekend we had a couple from the local village. One of them we know quite well from a local shop we frequent, which was nice.
Our summer home

Best buddies! Well sometimes. 
Our young helper was also back out to help us this week, but just on her own this time. Mind you, I think we tired her out with a back to back English practice this week. She is still shy and gets a bit flustered about lunch, but we think we have sorted that out now with her mum. We might not be able to talk directly but at least we can talk via email and understand each other - or at least I hope so.
Our chicks are growing up. I do hope they are better layers
than the other ones we have. We had one egg today and we
have 12 hens. Not a good ratio really.

One of our visitors
The good thing about having someone out to help is it keeps me motivated to go out and get the weeding done. It also means of course an extra pair of hands so that my garden is almost looking neat and tidy. I say almost, the weeds still out compete the plants in places and the ants are not helping. One other reason for the tidier garden is only having the one place where I am gardening. We have now got all our planting based here out on our land instead of at our apartments. I have gradually given up those gardens over the last couple of years and it has been much easier for my own peace of mind. It is still hard work of course to make sure there is food on the table, but it is a lot easier when everything is one place.

Sofie on mouse patrol
One of our dramas was Ian waking up at just before 5am and saying he had heard sheep. Sure enough there were three sheep by the pond where there should be no sheep. We were both up and ready quickly that morning. Ian went to check on the fence and I went to make sure that they were not heading off in a direction like my gardens or the road. They were a bit skittish and I wondered is something had spooked them. Eventually I realised that the only way to make sure they didn't go off anywhere they shouldn't was to get them back in the alpaca house they had been in over winter. Fortunately despite being jumpy they still followed me into the shed for some food. There they stayed for a day, as quiet as anything.

Aggie is still keeping us waiting
Ian moved their fence, just in case they were thinking that there wasn't enough grass and I lead them to their new location the next day. Again they followed me for a bowl of food, even though they were a bit unsure of the gate arrangement at one end. By moving quickly through the gate rattling the bowl, they didn't have time to think and Ian came in behind me to close the gate. Done!

Turning the hay with the usual accompaniment of storks
The biggest drama of the week was the start of the hay cutting season. It wasn't a sudden or dramatic drama, but one of those that builds over the week. The temperatures have not been so high this year and so drying hay is taking longer, a bit like last year but at least the days are still longer. We cut hay, turned it and so far so good, then it rained, it dried and we tried to bale, but the bales were heavy and the baler broke - it was probably a good job because if that had happened on the big run when we do the ski hill that would have been a disaster. However it was still very frustrating. The baler broke on Saturday night and so no chance to get to the shops to find a fix. Then it rained. Each time it rained our hearts sank.
All turned and it looked like progress. The hay looked good
and unlike last year there was plenty of it. Then it rained
One stork explaining to another that this was his territory
and he was most certainly not welcome
Finally the rain stopped today and we had some hot sunshine. We had to cool the girls down but we neeeeeed the hay and we neeeed it dry. We ended up turning the hay by hand because the turner was just making grass rolls from the long stringy grass and the more it was turned the tighter the rolls became. We left the hay all afternoon and so I started writing this blog while waiting for them to dry. It did dry out quite a bit over the day but we are not convinced it is enough. I have put the driest ones under cover and maybe that will be enough because those places also have a good air flow and they are not stacked tightly together - that would be a fire risk. I think I will be sore tomorrow.
The broken chain

Fortunately Ian found somewhere that
sold a pin that would repair the chain.
Unfortunately they do not seem to have
robust chains if this one goes. At least
not in this place. Still it is fixed with a
bit of persuasion with an angle grinder
and lots of new oil.


  1. Glad to see the baler chain fixed. I hope Ian got some extra pins in case it breaks again.
    Praying for warmer sunny weather for Latvia & Estonia.

    1. We were glad to see it fixed too and yes Ian did get extra pins. He also reduced the amount of packing for each bale to reduce the strain. The type of grass this year means the bales are quite dense and this didn't help

  2. Ducks lay more eggs than chickens, bigger and tastier. At least they were here

    1. Not sure they would like to be cooped up like our chickens though. One thing to look at maybe if we can work it out, but not just yet :D


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