For several days now, we haven’t had any snow. Some days are still rather cold, but things have been warming up a little bit. And sunshine! Even on cold and windy days the sun is melting snow. Water is pouring down off the roofs and turning the driveway and pathway to the barn to mud. It refreezes overnight to a thick sheet of ice, and now we inch our way carefully walking down to the barn. The paddock has become a yucky-mud and ice-poopy mess of late winter thawing. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to that! Over fields of white snow, the sun can be blinding for a few moments, but most certainly a welcome sight. Oh please, Mother Nature, send Springtime soon.
Since the arrival of Henry and Cowboy in December, it brings our total number of alpacas here to nine. And lugging hot tap water for 9 alpacas is quite a bit more work than for just 5 alpacas, so we decided to hang up 2 five gallon heated water buckets. At first I wouldn’t; I was terrified of fire but have since learned they are very safe. Now the alpacas have warm water all the time, and we don’t have to worry about their water freezing. The funny thing is, the boys will drink one bucket until it’s dry, and hardly touch the other one! Silly alpacas.
With all this sunshine, the alpacas have been coming out of the barn more and more. At first they’ll be squinting, look around, and casually stroll across the paddock, and down the little path into the pasture. They’ll stroll around a bit, sometimes play a bit, and sometimes cush in the sun and nap. Almost always the first one to venture out is Julio, or North or Coty, and lots of times it’s Henry. Henry is always accompanied by Earth. They’re buddies and are inseparable. Once one or two are out, the other seven follow.
Yeah, now I can look out my window and see my little herd of alpaca boys. And what do they do when they come out? They eat snow. They’ve never done this before. Yet now that there are heated water buckets with nice warm water that never freezes, they’re eating snow. They’re all lined up in the paddock and down the path, eating snow like they’re grazing on grass. Every last one of them.
Silly, silly alpacas.