Monday, 27 February 2017

Now where shall I begin?

Herkules
For anyone expecting some outstanding news with a title like that, sorry! A fairly mundane week this week really. I have been mainly writing an academic paper, but the end is in sight, partly because the deadline happens to be the middle of this week. No sweat! Well maybe a bit. I just need to cull about a hundred words and then we are set. It has taken up much of the week and into the evenings on a few occasions as it has also had to go to a proofreader and my supervisor for revisions. I did manage to fit in a little bit of cutting out for some sewing projects and learning to macrame with the alpaca wool while waiting for replies though.
Herkules in a moody shot

Rather early signs of spring - well early for here
It has been a week of snow showers and so Ian took the drum carder out to the land to card Veronica's fleece. Normally he is out and about and does the carding at home, but since he was stuck in the caravan he decided to make use of his time instead. Carding the fleece, basically means combing it ready for spinning and the drum carder is basically a big comb on a roller that is operated by turning a handle (you can see it here)

Nearly a year to the day since Ian first
started taking Brencis out for a walk.
He has grown a lot in the meantime.
You can see him in the first year here
Ian has at least managed to take the alpacas out for walks in between the snow showers. He even started taking Mari and she has been doing very well. Last year he took her out once and then she refused, but this year she has been much better. This will be helpful as it is one of our advertised activities and the more animals we have available the better. It is also useful that they are trained as it makes it easier for Ian if there is something he needs to do to them while I'm away.

Here is our little fella who we nursed for the first few days
of his life. He needs no extra bottles now, although he is
the smallest of them all
The lambs got a taste of freedom this week as the weather was better than expected at the beginning of the week. There has been one day they were kept locked up all day, as were the alpacas but the rest of the time they have been allowed out. Ian has been locking them up at night because we know there has been a lynx prowling about and a lamb will make a tasty little morsel for them. It also means that they get used to Ian and being moved, unlike the lambs last year, who would go every direction except the one we wanted them to go in. We have also decided to castrate the youngest lamb. He is quite friendly and we think we will keep him after all, as long as he behaves when he gets bigger. I'm sure there are a few of you who are sighing with relief now.
He has a very cute face

While I skied in the snow, the alpaca girls love to roll in it
I did get the chance to ski a bit this week. Although it snowed quite heavily yesterday it is unlikely I will get skiing again as it is turning quite slushy. We'll see. I only went for a couple of rounds on our land, as the snow was quite icy and the cross-country skis are very narrow and not very responsive on the packed snow. In fact in places I barely left a mark it was that icy. I'm not a confident skier at the best of times but still I made it round without falling over. Probably helped that I decided to side-step down the steeper parts. After all the type of skis I have are more designed for a sort of Nordic Walk type action, not swishing down the hilly bits - although the more accomplished ones do without any bother of course. The frozen ground on that particular day did mean that we could get the tractor out and shift hay out of the barn. Most days it has been slushy. At least we know we have at least a month's worth of hay close to the boys and the sheep. The girls are closer to the barn, so that is easier.
The two females having a good chase about

Aggie is not in pain really! She is actually also enjoying a
good roll around
Aggie got her last injection of antibiotic this week and now we have to just wait and see how it turns out. She seems well enough in herself and the lump has certainly not got any bigger, so we are hoping she has recovered If it turns out she hasn't fully recovered, it will probably mean Ian taking her up to Tartu to get her seen by the vets at the university hospital up there. We are hoping it doesn't come to that as I am going to the UK to see grandchildren soon.
The little male looks quite scrawny and not as robust as the
females though

At least someone behaves themselves, sticking close to
Mum
Sometimes at this time of the year the animals start getting into fights, like Brencis and Mr. P. a couple of weeks ago. The cats have also been scrapping and they have had some right ding-dong battles. Mainly it is Eyre trying to boss Sofie the older cat around. Up to this week she has been getting the upper hand, but finally Sofie had had enough and put her in her place in no uncertain terms and so they have now quietened down a bit. Sofie is quite a gentle soul really and will tolerate quite a bit, but once her boundaries are crossed you don't mess with her.
Growing up fast on mother's milk

Tellus along with Herkules and Turbjørn were our first
alpacas. Tellus and Herkules are gentle souls and easy to
look after. Tubjørn not so laid back and too intelligent for
his own good. 
Ian had a surprise phone call today from the gentleman in Sweden who sold us our first alpacas. He is still in the process of selling up, so if you want some alpacas we know a guy who has some and that is not as dodgy as it sounds, he does have some good quality as well as pet quality ones. Anyway, Ian and he chatted away for three-quarters of an hour, catching up on the goings on on the farm about the highs and the lows. He told him about all the things we have been planning to do with the alpacas and how far we have got, which is sort of far and sort of not. 

Brencis is a gentle soul like his father, Tellus. He is also
very sociable and likes a good neck rub.
It is sort of far because we now at least have more concrete plans but sort of not because we are having a bit of a frustrating time trying to sort out applications for EU subsidies and applying for grants. We thought we had some help, but either she has been too busy, or she has been dealing with a sick child or maybe we are too much hard work. Not sure really. I'm sure we will sort it out one way or another. Every little helps as the saying goes.

They are all getting quite fluffy now and so we are hoping
for some good long fleece on them all
We are not sure if our apartments might be quite busy with folks coming and going over the summer this year or not. We've had a few enquiries about staying but nothing concrete yet. If everyone comes who wants to then we are going to have to make a booking chart to keep up-to-date. I would hate to double-book someone. So if you want to pay a visit over the summer, get your booking in quick. We will be out in the caravan at least.

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