Sunday, June 3, 2012

Of Boys and Joys

What a spring we've had.  High temperature and incredibly very little moisture.  Northern Ontario has been devastated by forest fires.  Drought is always a concern to anyone who relies on pasture and hay to feed a herd.  As I write, it has been raining steady for a couple days with promises of several more days.  A huge sigh of relief!

We were done our shearing 2-3 weeks earlier than usual because of the weather.  Then we delivered three girls sold to a farm nearby.   We also delivered two breeding males to them to use for the summer.  

 DEA Cyrano always looks impressive, with fleece or not.  He's quite the poser.

The white MHA Striker gave me some lovely studly-like poses as well, but since my filthy barn kid dressed in her Oscar-the-Grouch barn pants and her school uniform top (ahem...) was in them, I chose not to show you those.  Then, my camera batteries ran out.  So, here he is, looking less than studly. 

Back at the farm, there are less males in the male pasture.  Of course, competition runs high in the spring time.  With fewer girls to impress, there is still an abundance of shows of testosterone.
This is MHA Benecio (Ben) and MHA Awesome Carmel (Carmel) doing a little neck-wrestling.  Alpaca necks are incredibly muscular and strong.

The game continues with one guy trying to bite the other guy.  Alpacas only have bottom teeth at the front, but the males develop very sharp fighting teeth at maturity which need to be dealt with to protect the other herd members.

This game ends with one screeching male running around the pastures, with the other hot on his heel, screeching and trying to bite his butt.

In the end, you have two out of breath males, nostril-flaring and dripping green spit from their lips.  At least one will have some other guy's tail fibres stuck in his teeth.

Yep, nothing like walking by the girls area covered in green smelly slime with fibre stuck in your teeth to try to win a date.

Bolstered by the relative success of my wee 6 x 12 vegetable garden at the house, we've taken over a small pasture for our garden this year.  Our farm is on clay, so I'm not quite sure how successful this will be this year.  We tilled the soil twice before planting.  It has been fun to see the first shoots of corn and first green leaves of the potato plants coming up.  It's been a family project so far...hopefully, the excitement will continue once the weeds and harvest starts.

A mama groudhog decided to make a den and have her groundhog pups between our house and barn.  This is a picture of one of the pups staring out at me.  A couple of the other ones were running around in the sand from their main denpipe, but with the direction of the sun, the sand and their colouring the photos weren't good.  They are pretty cute, even though I know they will get into my garden.

I've seen a big rabbit hanging around my yard and a doe with a very new fawn just outside the pastures.  Nature is watching for my garden harvest!

Unfortunately, as I write this, I haven't seen the groundhog pups for several days.  They were running around the yard for a couple days and then we found a blood-covered site where one likely was attacked by a predator.  The next day, I saw the mama groundhog sitting up by her hole looking anxiously around.  She wasn't moving when she saw me.  I am hoping that she was able to save some of her pups by moving them onto a different hole, if indeed a skunk or fox has gotten a pup.  Perhaps she moved them because the rain was flooding her den.

Thanks for stopping by to read my little blog and special thanks to those who leave comments.  I love hearing from you.


Prudence Puddleduck said...

Oh how bliss filled your grange is. I see hope it would be difficult to leave and spend time away, even for an hour...your home must give you balance indeed. Thank you for the enjoyable post!

Carol Tomany said...

Love your animals

Zenitude (formerly Wooly Knits n Bits) said...

Those boys are so full of themselves...if only we could hear what the girls are saying about them!
That is quite a large garden, imagine all the produce at the end of the season!
The picture of the baby groundhog is quite special...I've never seen a nest so close. Great picture.

Azure Islands Designs said...

Hello Norma...great shots of the fellows...they do look studly! :~)

It looks as though you will be busy with your garden...that is some endeavor...hope your harvest is bountiful!


Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Debi - When my husband first convinced me to build a house in the country...I thought...okay, and we can live in it for the first 5 years ;) I guess 25 years later, I can admit that I love it.

Carol - Thanks - I love them, too.

Zenitude - Oh, Cyrano is quite the Romeo and he knows it.

Heather - Next year, my daughter wants to have enough to sell at the Farmers' Market!

Prudence Puddleduck said...

PSSSSS. nomination for Versatile Blogger.....visit for details..

Rosa Lily said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog hun :)
These sweet animals have the most beautiful faces! x