07 June 2006

A Lovely Day

'Twas very bright and sunny out today, with weather about as close as possible to perfect. I sat with the landladies for a while on baby watch, as one of their girls looked as though she might pop a cria out at any moment. One thing I've learned, though, is that 'pacas love to toy with you when it comes to having babies. Their gestation length is variable, and they can start acting like their going into labor a few weeks in advance.

So after we decided we'd be all day watching for a baby that wasn't going to come and after doing a little bit of yardwork, David and I drove over to the farm in New Hampshire where our 'pacas board. David hadn't had a chance to look at Millicent, our new little girl, and I wanted to put some of what I learned over the weekend into practice with Madelyn, who is generally pretty well-behaved but really hasn't been handled enough or adequately to be able to trust me or anyone else. While I was working with Maddy, Millicent came out to have a look at what was going on. David snapped this shot of the three of us.


My session with Maddy wasn't long, but I think it was a good start, and she really seemed to calm down a good bit in the few minutes I spent with her. At some point I'll start doing similar work with Millicent, but I figured I'd let her settle in a bit first.

Q & A

Ted asked, " What does it mean when an alpaca is 'kushed'?"

"Kush" is a command - presumably Arabic - used by camel handlers in North Africa & the Middle East to get the camel to kneel or lie down. It was adopted for use in South American camelids to describe when they are lying down with their legs tucked completely underneath them. Unlike camels, they're generally not taught to do this on command and will most often do this when you don't want them to - e.g., when you want to trim their toenails.

The Bird People in China

We watched this movie tonight and really enjoyed it. The director has been described as a Japanese David Lynch, but this film was quite a bit less bizarre than one of his other films we watched last week, which ended with a fairly graphic scene of a woman giving birth, as it were, to a full grown man who had died towards the beginning of the film.

The next film we have to watch is Touch the Sound, which is a documentary about percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who is deaf. She says that she experiences sound more through her sense of touch than through her hearing, and her recordings that I've heard are just stunning.


Anonymous said...

We saw her perform just a couple of weeks ago. She was performing with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and we went to the young people's concert on Saturday afternoon with Tigger. She did an amazing snare drum piece (solo snare drum, hard to imagine but amazing). I might have to see if I can find that film as Tigger likes a good documentary.

Anonymous said...

I think, oh Alpaca Guru, that it would be great if you did an anatomy lesson of an alpaca fleece. I keep hearing about this "blanket" thingy, but have no idea why it's important.