A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

January 26, 2008

Cossy Gets A Perm!

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Fiber, Alpacas, camelids, General, suri — Tags: , , , , , , , — alpacalady @ 7:51 am

Curly Cosmo

I wonder what goes on in the alpaca pastures overnight.  Sometimes I go out in the morning and see something in the pastures that defies explanation.  I have had the privilege of spending several nights in the pasture with the alpacas, and the most excitement I saw was the girls chasing a rabbit and alpacas deep in sleep twitching their feet as they dreamt.  Apart from that the only other thing that seems to go on in the pastures at night was eating hay.

Yesterday morning there was snow on the ground during morning chores. There was also some freezing fog and as the moisture landed on the trees they turned into beautiful white sculptures.  As cold as the air was, it was a beautiful morning, and perhaps I felt better about the cold weather as the forecast for later in the day was temperatures in the 50’s – finally a little warmer weather.

When I was feeding one of the groups of boys, Cosmo, one of our three suri alpacas came over to see what I was doing.  Cosmo (or Cossy as we usually call him) usually sports the typical suri hairdo of long twisted locks hanging over his face.  He always looks quite fetching and his stylish looks are usually only ruined by my attempts to trim his topknot when it becomes obvious that it is preventing him from seeing properly.  My hair dressing skills are slim to none (ask Ric, he will willingly verify that) and usually following my attempts to trim Cossy’s topknot he looks as if I have stuck a basin on his head and cut around it.  Fortunately Cossy’s topknot grows back quickly, so my poor attempts at trimming are not evident for long.

As I looked at Cossy yesterday morning I realized he looked different, it took me a moment to realize that his topknot had gone curly!  Cossy had a perm! 

Now I am pretty certain that the male alpacas did not sit down with a set of perm curlers and perming solution and create Cossy’s masterpiece.  I hope not anyway, or maybe I should hope they did as then we could make a fortune having them demonstrating their skills!  Rather I suspect that something to do with the moisture conditions had caused Cossy’s locks to separate more than usually, which allowed the individual hairs to curl more.   This is the first time I had ever seen this happen though, and we have owned Cossy for several years and seen him in many different weather conditions.

I am sure a suri breeder could provide an explanation of the significance of Cossy’s curly hair do.   The fact that his locks could change so overnight probably indicates something about his fleece.  

I will be interested to see how Cossy’s topknot looks this morning, most likely it will be back to normal.  Of course, if I go into the boys pasture and find Cossy sporting a mohican hairdo or anything else unnatural I guess it will be time to start putting camera’s in the pasture overnight and calling the media to have them come and film my beauty school boys!


January 20, 2008

Oh Where Oh Where Has My Show Fleece Gone?

 Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be organized.  Back in the spring when we were shearing the alpacas, I decided that with the slower pace of shearing it would be good to skirt the fleeces as they came off the alpacas.  By skirting as we sheared it would make a things a lot quicker later on when it came to sending the fleeces off for processing or showing.

One of the fleeces I had prepared was that of our white suri alpaca Christobal.  Christobal is 16 years old and his fleece is holding up well despite his years.  I thought it would be neat to show Cristobal’s fleece and have entered it in the TxOLAN Alpaca Spectacular Fleece Show, along with fleeces from TeQueely and Treasure.

With the entry paper submitted I went out to the studio to pull the three fleeces and make sure they didn’t need re-skirting before the show.  TeQueely and Treasure’s fleeces I found without a problem, but no sign of Cristobal’s fleece!

I know of at least a couple of occasions when we were pulling fleeces for other purposes and Ric had placed Cristobals fleece out for processing or display.    Ric is used to seeing show fleeces still wrapped in a sheet from shearing day, and so with Cristobal’s fleece not being in a sheet it looked to Ric as if it was ready to be processed.  I had told Ric that it was a show fleece and needed to be kept until after the show season was over.  I know we put that fleece somewhere safe to stop it from being sent off or used, but where is that somewhere safe?

The other night we both went through the fleeces in the studio with no joy.  We have searched high and low and still cannot find that fleece.  So today it is back to the studio to re-examine every bag of fleece in the hope of finding Cristobal’s show fleece.

I’ve never had this happen before, but then again this was the first time I had been so advanced in my preparations.  I think this year we will go back to “Plan A” of skirting the fleeces just before we show them – at least that we seem to be able to find them!


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