It is crazy!! We are rained on by ash, and are breathing this stuff every day and we are about 35 miles away from it..... Yucko. And, it is creeping closer every day. Poor folks in the middle of it!Now it is almost to Highway 33, and our mountain communities are on alert. It is only 75% contained, and is burning about 20,000 acres a day. 100% containment is not expected until the end of next month- perhaps.
God bless the firefighters who are battling this!!
And now, an alpaca who needs no introduction - Osita!
Osita- Aka: Dancing Girl - is my favorite alpaca. You might remember her from this post: http://pasturemusings.blogspot.com/2006/12/twas-night-before-christmas.html Where she was featured as the 'wise' alpaca. This is my very favorite post ever, because I got the chance to write from my Osita's perspective. I know she loves me! She is the one paca who runs to greet me every time I go out to the pens. She is the only paca to give every visitor a 'paca kiss' and she herds over her newest cria to meet me every year.
Osita is one of my best friends. She is sweet, gentle and kind. She is laid back, and yet spunky- the perfect alpaca. In fact, when we were investigating buying alpacas way back in 1999- we had already picked out who we were going to buy, and Osita wasn't on the list. After meeting her, we just had to buy her, so we scrimped and plotted until we could. And Osita is the one alpaca I will never sell, no matter what. Osita is a very easy keeper- a fatty (I can totally relate!) and is very content eating and sleeping :))
Here is Osita's first girl- Lady Galadriel - and her big (and I do mean BIG) entrance into the world! Lady G was huge- really. When I saw this head, I knew we were in for a big one- and she weighed in at a hair over 20 lb. Very big for an alpaca! Osita won't deliver unless I am outside with her. I am serious, she will wait for me. Out of seven crias, I have only missed one birth of Osita's. She lays right at my feet while in labor, and because of this I was able to help this giant get out while Osita lay calmly and let me do what was necessary to help her.
Here is Lady G at about 3 weeks old. Osita's crias have all been bouncy from day one- momma has plenty of milk, enough for three I think, and births without any trouble. Lady G is now three years old and pregnant with her first cria, due the end of September. Her girl cria already has a name- Narya! (I am thinking pink here.... LOL) She is much like her momma, but not as comfortable as Osita with humans. However, she is easily handled and likes us well enough.
Osita loves water!! She is a total water hog, and as you can see, between her and Hally (and now Hally's cria Rosie Cotton) there isn't any room at the watering hole until Osita is done- you can see the line! That is Lady G BTW in white there, can you see the family resemblance?
Whenever I am feeling down, I can go out to visit with my homegirl Osita, and I always feel better. She stands with me, blowing her cud breath in my face, and if I am sitting her favorite chair, she will sometimes stand behind me and put her chin on my head. If she could, she would climb in my lap. She also plays with me. I click and clap and run, and she leaps and clicks and runs too! I don't know what I would do without her. She loves scratches, on her chest, back and rump. I often take the grass rake out and she runs up, so excited when she sees it, knowing she is going to get a good scratch! She stands still and I run the rake over her. We also have a street sweeper brush mounted upright that everyone scratches on. Osita practically knocks it over!
We fully realize that Osita is one of a kind, and feel blessed to have stewardship over her. This year, Osita lost her cria. Whenever we have a loss, it is devastating. But to see my lovely Osita lose her baby, it is like a knife in my gut. She is such a good momma, and loves her crias so much- it was heartbreaking to have her go through this. She and I grieved together, and she showed me how to forgive myself.
While Osita is easy going most of the time, she is easily stressed when confronted with unusual situations like shearing in late term pregnancy, and heat, traveling off the ranch, etc. We are always mindful of that. This year she got too hot during a weird weather week we had early in May, and before we caught it- it was too late. She is being kept open and won't be rebred until the fall, so she won't have to deal with that again. I don't send her off the ranch for breeding, she stays here to minimize her stress. She really loves us so much, she does very poorly when away from home.
I hope you enjoyed meeting Osita, she would love to meet all of you I know, and give you kisses I am sure! I will go outside now and give her a scratch on all her favorite spots, just for you!Slainte~