Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Summer is here!! (And a new cria!)

Well the semester is finally over, so I can get back to my life!  Luckily I get to spend the summer back home on the farm, so I promise there will be lots of llama and fiber-related posts!

First, results from the Hillsdale Hobo show, our 2012 show season opener!  T and Ralph both did very well for hardly being worked with all winter (my fault, I know!).  T was really freaked out in showmanship for some reason, and I forgot a vital part of the showmanship "pattern" (I forgot to smooth down T's wool after the judge pet him), so we didn't place.  The class was competitive though.  I guess we both need some practice before the state fair!  Halter was awesome though.  T won his class (of 4)- Yearling Non-Breeder.  He didn't get Grand or Reserve, but he didn't behave very well either.  He did compete in Get of Sire for his previous owners though, and they placed second in a very competitive class.  Both boys did great in performance (for them!), doing obstacles I never thought they'd do.  And Ralph finally decided the dreaded stuffed moose wouldn't kill him!  Took 4 years!  Oh, and Ralph got his haircut!

Can you say curls?  I can't wait to shear T!

T modeling his 1st place ribbon!

Such a handsome boy.  I'm really getting attached!

Ralph modeling his new haircut.  His head definitely needs work, and I haven't decided if I should try to trim his legs more or not.  Though after how Bluff's shear job turned out this weekend I probably shouldn't bother!

And next, a puppy update.  Abby has been spoiled the past couple of weeks, and we've gone on some cool hikes.  One up in Lansing, and another in Indianapolis.

The first hike was at an old brick factory!

Hiking down the trail. 
Abby modeling her new Easy Walk harness.  She reacts to it a lot better than the Halti or Gentle Leader head halters, and it works almost as well.

I have a feeling this is an old quarry.

Abby was getting rather pooped!

Turtle!  One jumped into the river just before I took the picture.

The trails follow the Grand River in Grand Ledge, MI.

The second walk was at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis.  Kaya (Australian Shepherd) got to join Abby for this one!

My sister and I are planning on taking our two dogs (she has a rescued German Shepherd/Border Collie (?) mix) on a bunch of hikes this summer to get them both socialized.  Abby is definitely over-socialized and needs to calm down around people, while my sister's dog Cerro needs to realize people aren't scary.  Hopefully they can both find a happy medium!

I ended up going home over the weekend, and quickly became knee-deep in llama stuff!  Bluff finally had her cria on the 29th of April, a beautiful little girl my sister delivered and named Autumn Hill's Karakoram (aka Kara).  Apparently Kara's legs were twisted around her head, and my sister calmly figured out the situation and straightened her out.  She's doing great now, and gaining over 1.5 lbs daily thanks to Bluff's amazing milk supply!

Newborn Kara.  She started out at 30 lbs!

Kara at 1 week of age.  Up to 40 lbs already!

Since the cria was delivered and the weather was back in the high 80s, we decided Bluff needed a haircut.  So we carefully groomed her out and gave her a bath Saturday morning, and then started shearing her later that night.  I'm having some clipper problems, so we had to finish up on Sunday.  I knew Bluff would be nervous being in the chute (away from her cria), so we groomed her in the creep feeder with Kara at her side.  We then let Kara loose in the front yard while I washed Bluff, and then they both spent the afternoon in a pen under the barn overhang.  I even sheared 90% of Bluff in the creep feeder, just tied loosely to the fence!  I did eventually have to put her in the chute to finish her belly and legs, but by Sunday Kara nor Bluff were nervous about being separated.  That bodes well for showing them at the state fair in August!

Bluff getting her toenails trimmed before we started grooming.

Gotta love a calm momma llama...Kara was nursing on and off the whole time we were grooming Bluff!  And Bluff was never tied up.

The *before* shot.

The *after* shot- part 1.  She still looks a bit rough here (Saturday night).  She looks better now (I evened her up Sunday), but I still have to finish her back legs.
In fiber news, I finally finished my llama show vest!  It needs buttons and a band in the back to cinch it in a bit, but otherwise I'm very happy with how it turned out.

Hopefully it won't look as frumpy in person!

Close-up of the cable pattern and button band on the front of the vest.  I love the tweedy look of this yarn.
So that's about it for now.  Abby and I are back in Michigan for one last week, then home until late August!  I have lots planned for Kara, T, and Ralph!  And of course tons of state fair projects to work on.  Should be a great summer!

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