Monday, September 24, 2007

Hummers on the Move!!

Well it is that time of year again when the hummingbirds start leaving on their long journey South. This year in peak season I was filling my hummingbird feeders three times a day, going through 15 lbs. of sugar a week. That is a record breaker for us, last year I was going through 10 lbs. a wk.
I will continue to keep my feeders up until the end of October for any birds passing by that might need to stop in and catch a drink. Wishing them all a safe journey and I'll be looking forward to seeing them again in the Spring!

Westport Art Group visits the farm!

Last Thursday the Westport Art Group visited the farm for a morning of painting. I was impressed to see a turn out of about 25 painters. Everyone was free to roam the farm and paint anything that caught their eye. At first I was worried that they wouldn't find enough interesting things to paint but that quickly changed as everyone seemed to settle right in. At the end of the class the instructor lined all of the painting up and critiqued them. Most of the paintings were of the alpacas but the donkeys and sheep caught some of the lime light as well. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and I hope they plan another field trip next year.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Big Thank you!!

For all of you that sent me private emails on Samantha, THANK YOU. Your kind words have meant so much.

Turkeys, Turkeys, and more Turkeys!!!!

For the last couple of weeks we have had a group of hen turkeys with their young hanging at the property. This morning I went to let the dog out and when I looked they were all in the yard. My tough cat "Mercedes" was stalking them. I quickly got the camera and took some pictures. There was a total of 35 and it was quite the site. They stayed in the yard for a few hours then migrated through the female alpaca pen back to the woods.
I've talked to several people and they say they normally don't stay in one place. I'm happy they have been here as long as they have. I know we have an abundance of food for them to eat, so they probably hate to miss a meal.
For all of you that follow this blog you know in the Spring we had Tom Turkey here and we would hear him gobble. We always saw him alone, never in the company of hens. Well he certainly did his work and although we didn't see him with the hens they certainly caught up with each other.

Invasion of Wild Turkeys

Today we finally caught some photos of the wild turkeys on the prowl.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Broken Hearts!

On August 27, 07 we lost our "old gal" Samantha. Samantha was a 20 year old female alpaca that we have owned for the last 6 years. She was blind and because of her blindness we had developed a very special bond. She was the farm favorite to all that came to know her. Despite her blindness she was so trusting, always calm, and not afraid of new situations.
It all began last Sunday, I was out with the girls in the afternoon to give them a belly hose and she readily came over for her turn. She was her normal self. I went back out at 4:30 and I could tell she was in abdominal distress. She would stand and then immediately lay back down and kick her hind legs out to the side. Then to start the whole process all over again. My husband and I moved her to the barn in front of the fan. I took her temp which was normal, she was not hot to the touch. I immediately gave her some probotics to get her ruminant working. I also gave her some banamine for pain and a shot of antibiotic. I wanted to cover all the basics especially when you don't know what your dealing with. There wasn't a change in her diet, she never had loose stools, and she was always covered for meningeal worm. She seemed to settle down and very couple of hours I checked on her. She was laying in a cushed position, she was bright and alert. I went out just around 11:00 and she had moved herself out of the barn and was laying in the barnyard under the trees. She was still bright and alert. I felt confident she was feeling much better so I retired for the night. At 6:00 a.m. I found her dead. She was still in the same area and there was no signs of struggling. My heart was broken. We decided not to do a necropy on her as she had lived a very full life and their life expectancy is 20 -25 years.
She was a very special girl and I can't tell you how much I miss her. She will always hold a very special place in my heart and I'm thankful for the lessons she has taught me. She is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about my alpacas.