Thursday, September 6, 2018

And Then There Were Two

If you read last month's blog then you were introduced to Asteria, Mango's little girl who was born while we were working at the Farmer's Market. Surprise! She has grown so much in the past month and has been very entertaining for us as we've been watching her discover and develop her talents for running and pronking, which is an action closely resembling the bouncing gait of the cartoon creature, Pepe LePew, a skunk! Rich likes to go out into the pasture after evening feeding and sit in an old rickety chair watching her play. She has become very friendly with him, sniffing his hands and legs up close while she makes her little curious humming sound.

During this past month while we've been observing the antics of Asteria we have also been on baby watch with our lovely brown Leezza. She had been bred to Arte, the herdsire of our neighbors, the Wurm family, at Windfall Farm. Since Artie was a newbie at this breeding thing we weren't sure if it actually "took" the first time so we had to rebreed Leezza to him a few weeks later. So we had two separate due dates a couple of weeks apart. Leezza seemed to be getting bigger and more miserable each week since Mango delivered Asteria. On several different days I was sure that it was going to be "The Day" only to be disappointed. Then on August 28th when I went into the barn shortly after 7 a.m. I didn't see Leezza waiting with the others for her morning grain supplement. A quick peek into the barnyard revealed Leezza laying down humming and clicking. At first I didn't see the new cria hidden behind her heaving body. Then I stepped out to see a perfect little baby struggling to sit up with the membrane still clinging to her.

This tiny little thing was struggling to her feet within a few minutes of my towel drying her and very shortly was zeroing in on her breakfast. None of the usual fumbling around under mommy looking for the tap. She was ravenous and knew exactly what she was after and where to find it. A patient Leezza stood there until the little one was through even though I suspect she was hungry for her own breakfast that was waiting in the barn.

Rich is now outnumbered by all of the females on the farm. We have our dog, DeeDee, five female alpacas and me. Rich only has four male alpacas on his team, but he seems to be a happy man!

In keeping with our Greek mythology theme, we have named the new little one Artemis. Artemis is the goddess of the hunt and wild creatures, and nocturnal beings. That's fitting since Asteria, her month older cousin, was named for the goddess of shooting stars and celestial beings. 

It's only been a little over a week since Artemis entered the world and the two girls are fast becoming besties. They both love to speed around the pasture in a merry chase and quite often it is the little one who is in the lead! She seems to enjoy starting the chase and Asteria always takes the bait and takes off after her smaller cousin. On these balmy evenings we love to sit on the deck sipping wine and watching their joyful antics. These are some of my favorite times on the farm; pure serenity and happiness.

That should be the end of my blog but I couldn't resist this bonus picture of the doggie female in the family. DeeDee is almost two years old now and you would think she would have left her puppy habits behind. We thought so, too. The other evening when we went to the store we left Dee inside because it was so hot outside. One of the pillows that we use when laying on the floor was left out  instead of being propped up against the wall out of the way, like we usually do. When we returned from the grocery store an hour and a half later this is what we found:

DeeDee wasn't the least bit ashamed of what she had done. In fact she just continued to lay there in the fluff gazing innocently at us as if to say, "I didn't do it!"