Monday, May 07, 2012

Alpacas, We Salute You

After breakfast we took a little walk in order to see a few alpacas and sheep. I don't really know much about alpacas, though I sure have been seeing a lot of them in the last few months (well, two different alpaca sightings in two months). I know that they can be guard animals for sheep. Or I think I know that. I certainly told L. and Fat T. that they were with conviction in my voice. But I don't really know what they're like. Are they like llamas, liable to spit in your face and attack you? Or are they like sheep, dumb as bricks and with very little interest in being patted? Our time with this flock barely solved any of these great mysteries (which I could easily solve by googling, but sometimes it's just as much fun not knowing). What I can surmise is that alpacas are smarter than sheep and super attentive to their surroundings, but they're not averse to eating feed directly out of your palms. That said, they're not really into cuddling...and I could never quite tell if they were at ease with our presence in their pens, or waiting for the right moment to strike us in our faces with their hooves.
That white one is super crazy eyed. Maybe blind? Dumb? Not sure.
This post could also be called 'me with alpacas trying to hide my fat face.'
This one's name was Dusty Springfield.

I imagine that that pile of gravel didn't end up there by accident. In fact I think it's there to give alpacas a higher ground position in order to better observe their surroundings and look out for predators, trouble, or silly humans who really, really want to eat them feed out of their hands. Yup. Who doesn't love a good gravel bath? Me, I swear by them. They give me a really nice bloom to my skin. Lies.

This could be entitled, 'well, I still have one good angle.'
This alpaca came and got grub from our hands and then went behind us towards the barn and popped a squat. I wasn't sure if this was a defensive or offensive move, or if it just likes the shade or expected more food. I inched closer and closer to it for a photograph but was afraid that it was going to lose its mind and attack me. It didn't. But then, I didn't end up getting any closer than three feet. Maybe five.
This tree confounded me. It looked like a red bud, but that had these other leaves that I didn't think were red bud-like at all. But my tree knowledge is severely lacking. Compared to others' so is my bird knowledge, but I did correct T. when he pointed at a turkey vulture and declared it a hawk. I don't think he quite believed me, which I was terribly offended by...I mean, if T. told me that to build a set of cabinets into a wall you must first coat the wall in jello, I would believe him because he is a master builder of things. Ok, the problem with that comparison is that I am not a master bird watcher. Whatever, they were turkey vultures. and I have no idea what the tree was.
What do you think about the options to make the photographs bigger? Should I be uniform? I love the bigger photos, especially when they're actually good pictures. But the less stellar images, I wonder if it's doing more damage than good to be so big?

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