The newest member of the herd (I shall call him Brutus until he has an official name) reached the one week mark last Thursday so we released he and his mama, Firenze, into the pasture with the females and Asterius. They were all curious about him and Firenze was very protective, air spitting at anyone who got too near the little one. Brutus, however, rapidly became accustomed to the others, particularly Asterius. It didn't take him long before he was romping with Asterius in the pasture.
Since then Rich and I have made a point to slip outside to the back deck every evening at sundown to watch the nightly ritual of Asterius and Brutus. As soon as the sun sinks below the horizon, when it's too dark for pictures but still light enough for us to see, the two little ones race madly around the pasture. They do laps and get going so fast until they are pronking. Pronking is a term particular to alpacas. To best describe it one has to know about the old cartoon featuring the skunk, Pepe LePew. Pepe moves in a bouncing motion with all four feet off the ground at once. That's what the alpacas do. They run and work up to a speed where they start bouncing on all fours as if they had springs in their legs. It's so amazing and we laugh hysterically at the little guys. Asterius gets so worked up that he often lets loose with a string of high-pitched screeches that echo across the fields. Nikko, in his adjoining pasture, often joins them and runs along the two sides of the fence that separate them. The other night our little brown Leezza was running with them. She is still a maiden and young enough that she enjoys a good pronk now and then.
The picture above is of our three boys. Nikko often pokes his head through the fence longingly, clearly wanting to join the playing. You can see the difference between one week old, Brutus; one month old, Asterius; and one year old, Nikko. It's amazing how fast they grow that first year. Rich and I have quickly learned to observe and enjoy each stage of their development much like parents do with their human kids because it passes so quickly.