I was out at Judy's the other day - the farm where Martin now lives. (For new readers, Martin is an alpaca who was abandoned on some property I rented before moving to the island.)
The last couple of times I went over there, the weather didn't cooperate and so the camera stayed tucked away. This Thursday started out no differently - we awoke to a blanket of large wet snowflakes with more coming down. But by midmorning the snow had stopped and the sun was coming out, and so I pulled out the camera for some pictures of the very interesting and funny assortment of critters who call Judy's place "home".
The first to greet me was Clarissa:
Clarissa is a goat who was constantly being beaten up by another goat on another farm, and has just recently been offered a safe haven at Judy's. She is a lovely, social girl who made no objections to having her toes trimmed as long as I kept holding a bucket of grain in front of her face. She didn't even object when I held her by the horns to prevent her from twisting around to see what was going on with her back feet. Such a good girl!
Then there is this beautiful sheep:
I showed the above photo to shelties Belle and Oliver and told them "This is who your ancestors were bred to herd!" - she is a Shetland Sheep. Unfortunately, I have forgotten her name.
And with Clarissa and the Shetland sheep is Lamby, an Icelandic sheep. Just look at that wool! The sheep will be sheared as soon as the weather is a little warmer.
Judy enjoys unusual varieties of ducks and chickens, who run around freely on the farm during the day. As soon as we open the nighttime pens which keep them safe from midnight marauders like racoons, one little chicken runs immediately to the manger in the llama's pen, where she likes to lay her eggs. The llama doesn't seem to mind in the least.
I love his cute little alien ears!:
The chickens and ducks are a colourful lot. I don't recall the names of the chicken breeds, nor the names Judy has given them, but I do love their colours:
There's the pretty brindle-coloured one:
And this beautiful blue-black one......
who looks even cuter from behind:
And then these new little chickies who have just arrived - they look like miniature emus!:
And the Muscovey ducks who swim on the pond are a rainbow of delight:
My favourite is this drake, who has just recently arrived here - just look at that fascinating head!
Speaking of fascinating heads, have you ever met a turkey up close? What an interesting face:
This guy obviously knew I was admiring him and primped and preened for my benefit, puffing up his feathers and strutting back and forth like a king in full regalia:
And then, of course, there are the alpacas. Martin has become the uncle to the younger boys - when the boys start fighting, Martin moseys over and quietly stands nearby watching them until they calm down and break it up. He never engages in fighting with them, just uses his older male presence to let them know it is time to quit the crap. They listen,and order is restored. He has such a lovely temperment, our Martin does, and is so diplomatic, too.
So....for those of you who remember Martin.... let's play a game! Which of the following alpacas is Martin? Post your guess in the comments below!
Is it alpaca number one:
I will tell you it is not this guy:
Or this cutie:
Or even any of these, who (unlike Martin, whose toes we wanted to trim) came running for grain when we called them. Martin received a reprieve until another day - when we will make sure he hasn't just filled his tummy with hay before I arrive to help with the pedicure!
It was a fun day, and felt great to be back with the smells and sounds and sights of a farm of well-loved happy animals living life to the fullest.
Thanks, Judy, for welcoming me once again and letting me get my much needed "farm fix".