Is it me or has February been a strange month of weather?
In our part of New Hampshire, most of the month has been dry with mild temperatures in the 40's, and a couple of times we reached the mid 50's.
The alpacas, now in their thick winter coats, take the warmer days in stride and seek the shade of the barn and their outdoor shelter -- they especially enjoy the latter since we've lifted the wind panel to allow the breeze to pass through.
Lifting the wind panel also allows more light to the shelter, and (amusingly) the alpacas immediately took advantage of having another way to access their hayracks.
Thea and Ace enjoying the brighter space, shade, and cool breeze blowing through the shelter
But as I write this, Old Man Winter seems to have realized that Spring is coming soon and has decided that he's been delinquent in dumping snow on us this season.
Next week's weather report shows a lot of snow activity.
Hopefully, this will be winter's last hurrah this season! (fingers crossed)
The herd won't be bothered at all by the change in weather or the snow because, heck, they are dressed for it.
Since the alpacas have the freedom to go in and out of the barn and shelter at will, some prefer to be inside and some prefer to be outside and coated in a blanket of white.
If you are wondering why they would choose to be outside in the snow and cold, it's because alpacas' coats are made of individual hollow fibers that trap and hold heat that becomes a warm and protective layer to their bodies.
So just because you see a layer of snow on their backs doesn't mean that the cold is penetrating through their coats and down to their skin; in fact, much like a house with snow on the roof is an indicator that the home is well insulated, the same is true for an alpaca with snow on their backs.
This feature is just one of the primary reasons why people love wearing alpaca.
Works in progress
These cold winter days are the only time I don't feel guilty for spending my time indoors. Is this true for you too?
It gives me a great opportunity to work on a handful of projects.
Currently, I have tufts of Stormy's fiber waiting to be hand-felted into dryer balls.
There is a scarf on my weaving loom that I am designing.
I have three hats that I just completed that are in the final stages of blocking.
I also have several bags of raw fiber in the barn that still need to be skirted, graded, and sorted for processing for the fiber mill to make into yarn and batting.
These projects are so therapeutic, enjoyable, beautiful, and satisfying to make -- especially when I know which individual alpaca(s) contributed to the construction of each finished piece.
And I love seeing a person's face light up when they discover that the hat they just bought came from Summer, Raspberry, Thea or one of the other alpacas' yarn.
farm tours are back!
It's finally here!
Opening day for 2023 farm tours begins on March 11.
Come alone or bring a friend or two or three or eight.
See for yourself how big Baxter and Ace are growing.
Feed our pregnant girls, Stormy and Thea, treats (they're eating for two!)
Feel their soft mouths as the alpacas eat from your hands
Plan ahead and schedule a visit this summer when you, friends, and/or family are vacationing in the area;
we're very convenient to area attractions or a great place to take a break while on a long road trip to your final destination
5 minutes from Applecrest Orchards & The Orchard Grille
7 minutes from Smuttynose Brewery's Hayseed Restaurant
10 minutes from downtown Exeter
15 minutes from Cider Hill Farm & downtown Amesbury
15 minutes from Hampton Beach & Salisbury Beach
20 minutes from Portsmouth
60 minutes from Portland & Boston
Granite State Alpacas
Alpaca farm news from Joe, Sandy and the herd