And so begins another year on the farm.  The end of last year was too much.  Blossom has not recovered and is not able to perform her job as guard any longer.  She lost her partner and has no desire to be a boss over anyone, much less protect them.  We are thinking about getting her someone to keep her company.  It is just breaking our hearts. 

Well, we got two new llamas.  They are just beautiful.  Got them from friends and folks we can trust.  One is one year old, the other is 2 year old.  Blossom is very preoccupied with them to feel sad any longer.  They are attached to her, her being the elder now, and follow her everywhere.  We are just so heartfelt at watching her teach them how to be llamas.  They are so young they need mentors.  We love watching them run all over the field chasing each other.  Awesome!!!!  

Ok, I know, we're crazy.  A great opportunity came up for us to acquire 4 Suri Alpacas.  They arrived today.  They are scared to death of course and are stuck to each other like glue.  Blossom is VERY occupied now.  LOL
We are starting to see personalities emerge here.  One of the alpacas - Sally - keeps everyone in line.  If anyone starts trouble with anyone else, Sally puts herself between the two.  She's very protective.  It's good, Blossom is starting to feel she can count on someone else again.  Blossom feels so incredibly strong to me right now.  She's definitely gotten her power back.  Then there is Tootsie and Shiraz.  They have remained bonded and stick together all the time.  They never leave each other's site.  Flo has decided she is a llama and not an alpaca any longer and sticks with the llamas almost all the time now.  Maggie and Tara are another pair but stay close to Blossom all the time.  When Blossom moves, they all move.  :O))  

Today, Wednesday, April 25th 2012 we had the shock of our life.  Maggie, the 2 year old llama, had a baby.  They are called Crias by the way.  We haven't had a cria on the farm since Bandit.  We said no more babies.  We got rid of everything.  We were not going to have any more!!!  And there was Maggie, right before our eyes, giving birth to the most beautiful cria you have ever seen.  Oh my, what a glorious day.  I had to run to the store to get iodine because we were so unprepared.  But now, we are so happy with our new baby, our cria.  Sorry, no name yet.  We are still too shocked!  :O))  She hasn't told us yet - or we can't hear her yet.  LOL This is a pic of her just hours old.  Blossom is behind Maggie.  They are all on alert because Amma and Bodhi started barking at something in their yard and all the llamas and alpacas ran to surround the cria.  I think our job is done.  Blossom is finally at peace.  The pressure is definitely off of her.  
We have finally found a name for the baby. We really wanted to name her something that had to do with surprise.  I just happened to be listening to Ellen on TV and Hugh Grant was being interviewed.  He was talking about his new baby and her Chinese mommy.  They named the baby Jingxi - it means happy surprise. That was it for me!!   Hugh butchered the pronounciation so I went on line to see if I could see the spelling or hear it from someone else.  I got the spelling.  I then went to my Chinese friend and asked him to say it for me and verify it meant that.  So, today we have a name.  Jingxi (Jin-shee) Happy Surprise. 
Jin is only 10 days old and it seems like she arrived a year ago.  Time really flies on the farm.  She's just gorgeous.  I think she's going to be the prettiest llama we have ever had grace the farm.  She has so much personality and is way more interactive than her Mommy.  Her mommy still hides from us. Jin walks right up to us and lets us touch her. 
Every day is an amazement for Jin.  Yesterday she finally discovered the goats.  She's having to learn to stay away because they will butt her.  Today she discovered the birds.  She's chasing them all over the field.  Every day at about 5 she gets really active and starts to run all over the field.  She used to make her mommy dizzy, now her mommy just lets her rip.  Her mommy knows that everyone in the herd is watching out for her.  They are also teaching her how to be in the herd.  She's gotten kicked in the head, butted by the goats, spit on by the llamas, she's learning the rules of the herd.  I hope she learns quickly and only once.  They make me nervous.  LOL  But I have to trust that they all know what they are doing.  :O))      

Jin 10 Days Old

Jin 10 Days Old

It's starting to finally feel like summer on some days.  The barn babies are staying in the barn for most of the day now, especially since Tyler turns the fans on for them in the morning.  The bugs are just really pesty and the fans really help keep them at bay.  I've also been spraying the barn with Cedarcide and it seems to be keeping the bug population down pretty good.  Jin doesn't seem to care if the sun is shining or not.  I would think being black she would want to be in the shade, but she seems to like laying in the sun.  We'll see what happens as she matures.  She decided she wanted to eat grain like everybody else.  There was nothing we could do to prevent her.  She was ready and that was that.  I tried to keep her occupied for a few days with a handful of minerals, but as soon as she saw that the alpacas were eating something different, she'd have no part of that.  So when everyone else gets fed, Tyler gives her a small handful of grain in her bowl and she just moves it around with her nose and sucks on it some.   You can just see and feel that sense of satisfaction that she has that she is just like everyone else now.  

Ahhh, this is firefly month on the farm.  Well everywhere else too I'm sure, but here on the farm it's spectacular.  They fly amongst the trees, tall grasses, bushes, and little lights fill the sky.  It's like a natural Christmas lights decoration everywhere.  Very cool!  It starts out slow in the beginning of June normally, but this year started a little earlier.  Everyday of the month shows more and more.  By July 4th it's a breathtaking moment to be on the deck and watch the fireflies amongst all the fireworks in the background as our neighbors all around us shoot them off.  Quite a spectacle. 

Well, the little devil child is back to harassing everyone again.  She wants to play and if you're not in the mood that's just too bad.  LOL  She's braver than anyone in the herd.  We opened a new gate for them to get a little bit more grass and she was the first one in.  Jason the head goat followed her in.  The rest took forever to get up the nerve to go into this strange place.  If something new comes in the field, everyone else runs away, she has to walk slowly up to it to see what it is.  She's just a hoot.  

Jin was all over Tara today.  Tara was taking a nice quiet sunbath laying flat out on her side.  Jin thought oh boy, she's down, I can really get her now.  And get her she did.  She was flopping all over Tara, rubbing her head all over Tara's head, neck, belly.  Then she literally plopped down on top of her head, whole body plop.  This went on for many minutes and Tara never moved.  I then decided I better go see if Tara was ok because it seemed really excessive what Jin was doing and it was most unusual was Tara was letting her!  So here I go, running down the hill to check on Tara thinking oh no, what if Jin is trying to revive her or force her to get up or something and Tara is in such bad shape she's not even responsive to an annoying cria flopping and plopping all over her.  Jin jumped up seeing me run like a crazy person.  A big question mark on her face.  Tara still didn't move.  I'm panicking at this point.  Then Tara finally got wind of me running down and looked up the hill at this crazy woman, head never leaving the ground.  I kept running towards her, her head then came up.  I kept running towards her, she finally jumped up looking at me like - what's wrong? where? what? what are you doing now crazy lady?  So................. I ruined a perfectly good llama love moment.  Bummer. 

It's very hot here, like everywhere else in the country.  We are keeping vigil on the care of the animals because they have lots of fleece on them and they can easily get overheated.   We water down the alpacas every day.  They love it!  They stand there and we spray them.  Here's the fun thing.  Tara (llama)  loves it too.  She followed the alpacas in the beginning to see what they were doing and slowly slowly she creeped in to try it herself.  Now she loves it too!  And guess who else had to try it.  Jin stays really close to Tara and lets herself get sprayed a little now too.  I love that they learned to do that with the alpacas.  We've never had a llama enjoy a spray bath. Jin's mommy Maggie and Blossom are too mature to take on a new habit.  But Tara at one and Jin at 2 months can learn from the alpacas.  And learn they did.  They love the cool down now. 


My goodness I haven't written in awhile.  Nothing is happening except a certain young llama is growing and growing.  She's as big as an alpaca now and she runs after them a lot.  She want's to play.  She chases everyone, oh, not the goats though.  She's learned to stay away from many of them.  The goats no longer tolerate her nonsense.  The honeymoon is over.  Now it's time she learn her place.  Hah!  Wait til she gets 3x bigger than they.  We'll see what they do then.  She's actually eating grain now no longer pushing it around and pretending.  She's also been weaned I think.  Tyler and I never see her nursing and Maggie runs away from her.  She's sticking close to her mom now, really close, maybe she thinks she'll get a quickie.  But Maggie steers clear of her most of the time. I'm always amazed watching this completely natural process.  I don't know why.  Breeding species just seem to know what to do.  Duh. 


Tara died today from unkown causes.  The farm is in deep mourning. 


I've noticed since Tara's death, the one most affected is Jin - which certainly makes sense.  She sticks to her Mommy like glue and is no longer brave or friendly with the others in the herd.


Jason has died of old age.  Another sad moment on the farm.  Studley has been most affected.  He followed Jason everywhere and now he just sits around and looks confused.