A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

August 14, 2009

Is the Monsoon Season Returning?

Filed under: alpaca, alpaca behavior, alpaca behaviour, Alpaca Care, Alpacas, camelids, Crias — Tags: , — alpacalady @ 6:24 am

This week has seen a monsoon weather pattern return to the dry high plains of eastern New Mexico.  It used to be that every August we would see regular afternoon storms with heavy rainfall, high winds, lightning and hail, but for several years now that pattern has been broken.

Monday saw a tremendous storm blow into the area.  Heavy rain, plentiful lighting, hail and 60 mph winds make quite a powerful combination!  At one point we could not see anything through our house windows except for a grey sheet of rain water and bits of tree that were hitting the windows.

As the storm approached it kept changing direction and the alpacas were confused as to which shelter would be the best to head for.  Eventually they decided that they needed to head for any available shelter and the whole herd took cover.

Once the rain had died down the alpacas started to venture out, which would have been fine except that the pastures now contained several inches of standing water and there was still a lot of lightning close by.  The thought of lightning hitting the pastures while the alpacas were standing in the water was not a good one.

Fortunately the lightning stayed away from the pastures and once the weather died down the alpacas were able to enjoy the new adventure of wading in the water.  The crias had a great time galloping through the new “lake” and in the junior males pen Mags and Pride amused themselves by pursuing one of the hay buckets that was bobbing around the pasture.

Chores that evening were later than usual as the storm lasted a good couple of hours.  With so much standing water it was impractical to try and put out feed bowls (although it would be interesting to see what the alpacas would think of floating feed bowls) and so all we could do was move the hay feeders to dry areas of the pasture, put out fresh hay and check that the water buckets had fresh water.  The alpacas also received a treat of the downed tree branches which they soon stripped of their leaves.

The monsoon pattern has continued through the week and Ric and I realized it has been several years since we have seen such a consistent monsoon pattern at this time of the year.  We have also realized that we need to adjust evening chore time to make sure chores are done before the storms arrive in the evening.

It would be nice if the moonsoon pattern would once again become a regular event at this time of the year, but we will have to wait until next year to see if there is a chance of that.


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