Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Minus 11 Fahrenheit

Nothing like another Polar vortex to get outside and sunbathe... Unfortunately -11 is the current temperature, with wind chill, and it will fall again at nightfall.
I love the snowy noses!
 While the temperatures are no picnic for animals needing to live outside, I think our alpacas are doing well and enjoying the extra portions of hay to keep their metabolisms up.

Bridge over creek near our house.
And for all the trouble they're causing, the weather and the snow do deserve a round of applause for beauty and peacefulness.

Stay warm in your hand knits!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hauling the Hay, Gentleman Farmer Style

When we were visiting my brother's farm last weekend, the topic of hay storage came up, which reminded me that I have been meaning to blog about how we do it here at Shady Grove Alpacas. By November, our constantly "starving" animals had eaten their way through 96 bales of hay since last winter so it was time to reload the stores.
Hungry, Hungry 'Pacas
 Upon arriving at the hay farm and waiting for the farmer to reappear out of some remote field, we were greeted by the most enormous hog either of us had ever seen.
Anyone want to wager a guess how many pounds this pig weighs?
The Farmer in awe (and supplied for scale) of hog.
 We begin the day by, you guessed it, renting a UHaul truck! One of these days we will upgrade our "farm" vehicles, but at this point in our small operation renting is still more economical. We backed the truck right into the hay farmer's barn to easily throw all those bales into the back. The Farmer was thrilled to learn that this hay was of the finest quality and a third cutting - ideal nutrition for the alpacas.

We fit around 75 bales in the back. There was probably a way to get a few more in, but why force the matter. We'll need to come back for more in late Spring and a few bales won't make that big a difference.

At home, there was the arduous task of unloading all those bales into the garage... Yup, our garage has extra room at the front so that we can have a car and all of the hay in one bay. Pretty convenient to not have to build another structure for storage. This revelation brought a look of incredulity to my brother's face, but...
5 rows deep, 3 rows wide, stacked 5 high...

Whatever works, right?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Yarn Along - Happy 2014!

Happy New Year to you! I was sorting my holiday travel knitting back into the drawer this morning and then decided to keep this Omelet Shawl out as a finishing goal for this month. The shawl has been hanging around for a long time (started June, 2012) and a multi-row mistake that needs tinking has been giving me anxiety. Maybe the rest of break will give me a chance to get back on track. 

As you can see, I am also catching up on my reading this New Year's. A trip to Peru in July is setting my focus on ancient cultures and new landscapes. So very excited!

If you like to knit and read, check out what all the other crafty people are doing today on Ginny's site. Enjoy!