Monday, March 21, 2005

Having a new baby around is like...

Our cria has a name: Milhouse!

Yes, he is already Barto's best friend, and, typically, he runs to his mom when he's had enough of Barto's rough-housing.

When Milhouse was two hours old, he ran laps around the maternity pasture. We weren't surprised by this because he had been kicking Consuella from the inside mercilessly for about a month before he was born. This is a vigorous baby.

Milhouse, Consuella, and auntie Cabernet were confined to the maternity pasture--a smaller pasture with lots of trees and more secure fencing--for about two weeks for a couple reasons. First, we were concerned that a clumsy baby could get tangled in the New Zealand fencing we have up in the rest of the pastures. Second, Barto was too rough for a while; we wanted to make sure Milhouse could get away from him if necessary. Milhouse is actually more agile and light-footed than Barto is, so we don't have to worry anymore.

When he is out in a field, Milhouse thinks he is grazing. He takes mouthfuls of the little grass that we have, and seems to enjoy munching it. I am so new at this that I have no idea whether he is actually eating or just mimicking mommy at this point. Either way, he is awfully cute doing it. Now that he is in the big pasture with the other alpacas, the circles he runs around his momma are getting bigger and bigger. He is a very independent cria, and will often cush down 75 feet or more away from Consuella. His exploring has taken him much farther than that from her, but he makes a bee-line for her if he is ever frightened by something.

Charles and I are finding cria-watching more entertaining than TV. Alpaca watching has been a good hobby for us, but the baby has made the view out our breakfast nook window all that much cuter. Milhouse's dark eyes really stand out from his little golden head, and his ears always seem to be cocked at an adorable angle. I'd believe it if someone told me that there were cuter babies out there, but I'd need proof first.

The farm is really greening up. The "pastures" are beginning to show evidence of tiny shoots; they are far more evident outside of the alpaca pen. The cherry and apple trees are blooming and their branches have so many blossoms that they look like they've been strung with popcorn. The maples are showing signs of life, too, but so is the poison oak. This means that our stick picking will become more risky, as the new leaves of poison oak have the most oil on them.

This is spring break for WOU, so I'll try to write more this week than normal. We have the Heart of the Valley alpaca show coming up on Saturday and Sunday, so I'll fill you in on our preparations for it.


No comments: