Any day with Victoria is a GREAT DAY and today we took her to her first “shearing day” at our friend’s Alpaca Farm, Bellepaca, in Oak Hill. The last time I took her down there she was less than impressed clinging to my neck while their dog ran around our feet, but we decided to try again!
The overcast skies with threat/promise of rain moderated our 90 degree temperatures and the wind was blowing about 15 kts so it wasn’t a bad day at all! Bellepaca Farm is located about two-three miles from the ICW in Oak Hill and Ann Diepersloot has a studio behind her home for spinning, knitting and all kinds of fiber crafts.
They also have a booth at the NSB Farmer’s Market where they sell goats milk soap in 23 essential oil scents from Simply Caprine and Cypress Point Creamery cheese from Jersey cows.
Each spring Bellepaca gathers their ever growing alpaca herd as well as hosting other local alpaca farms to have their wonderful fur sheared and their teeth and toes drilled down and annual vaccinations.
Whadda ya lookin’ at??
ALPACAS resemble small llamas and are bred for their fiber. They are very gentle animals. The farm also has a Llama among the herd as protection from predators.
Although Alpacas herds come from South America, Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador and northern Chile at 11,500’; Bellepaca Farm sits in Oak Hill at about 3’ about sea level!
Members of FFA (Future Farmers of America) at NSB High School come out to the farm and assist with the animals.
The amount of fur removed from the Alpacas is amazing. Under all that fluff, they are not very large.
Alpaca fleece is lustrous and silky. It is warmer than sheep’s wool, has no lanolin makng it hypoallergenic however it does not repel water.
The fibers are bagged into large bags. Seems as though one Alpaca can fill a bag. This fur is so light, soft and fluffy!
This little guy is done. Sheared, teeth and toes drilled and vaccinated. Now he’s ready to join his buddies.
Lady V wasn’t too impressed by the animals, still shy around large groups; she enjoyed the morning strolling among the trees and eating black olives, tomatoes and fruit!
Playing in the tree is so much more fun as is burying your toes in the mulch.
Barnaby, the Australian Shepherd, kept a sharp eye on Lady V seeing opportunities to gather up any dropped food!
The shearing was complete by 11:30. The Alpacas were happily running around in the field, rolling around in the pond with their new new bodies! Lady V climbed into her seat and we drove through the fields exiting Bellepaca, passing other pastures with grazing cows. She was quite excited with the “MOO’s”. However, by the time we reached the main road, Lady V was fast asleep in her seat taking an early-day’s nap!