Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring has Sprung

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It's pretty hard for me to believe, but it seems like spring has really sprung around here. After a record-breaking warm winter, signs of spring are about 5 weeks ahead of schedule around these parts.

{We don't really say 'around these parts' around these parts, but it made me laugh to write it so there you go.}

Instead of 12" of melting snow we have 12" of new green grass.


After four months in the barn on hay, the three female herds were gathered together into one big herd and moved down the laneway and up the hill towards a newly fenced pasture stockpiled with grass.

There's always a tense moment on the part of the shepherds when moving a large group of alpacas to a new location, worrying that the leaders of the herd will miss the gate and turn around and run pell-mell past us in the opposite direction. 

{Not that that ever happens here on the Big Farm, mind you.}

But they all made it through the gate and then the real fun began.


150 girls galloped away from us to the far end of the field, then turned as one and ran down the fenceline until they had circled the entire perimeter, learning the boundaries of their new (albeit temporary) home.

Grazing together on one side of the field as I stood in the middle, the herd suddenly as if on silent command began loping towards me, the dried stalks of last year's Queen Anne's Lace plants snapping and crunching under their advance, then moving past me on either side until they gathered on the far side of the field where they resumed grazing again, only to repeat the process a few minutes later with another collective gallop past me back to side they started on.  They repeated this pattern every 5 minutes or so for the hour that I stayed watching them.

I don't exactly know if alpacas experience joy or happiness, but it certainly appeared that way to me.
I do know however that I experienced much joy and happiness standing there watching them enjoy their first tastes of spring.


As if it wasn't a perfect enough day already, the first baby of the season was born, healthy and happy.

A girl.

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