Continuing with our current 'blog theme of "Alpacas are really cute," we have here a wrestling match between two yearling males, DN and Snow.
DN and Snow are both around a year old. Both are white. Snow is one month older, and correspondingly a little bit bigger than DN, though not by much. They are best buds, currently, but their personalities could not be more different. Snow is confident, but laid-back. DN is out to take on the world. His favorite pastime, aside from eating -- any serious alpaca stud needs a good strong appetite -- is tearing ass around the paddock at full speed, jumping, and kicking. He appears to be practicing for the all-alpaca display of the Airs Above the Ground. He does a very nice capriole in particular.
Whenever they wrestle, DN is invariably the instigator. Snow usually complies, but he's always kind of half-assing it. In this picture, DN is the one on the left. He's got his whole body into it -- you can't even see his head, because he's biting Snow's legs (a stud will bite his rival's legs to try and get his rival to drop to the ground). Snow is hoping that he can get away with just kind of do a yoga stretch and be done with it.
... Yeah, he does that a lot, too -- biting his buddy. It's part of the wrestling thing. DN has plans to grow up and be a super studly stud. For now, though, he's still a baby -- and like all baby animals, he is using play as practice.
By the way, if you're wondering why DN and Snow look so completely different, it is because they are not only from two extremely different bloodlines -- DN has a more typey head, with a very short muzzle, something that I find appealing and plan to breed for -- but because they also have very different haircuts. Snow has a standard cut, with his face fiber shorn off (he previously had gigantic muttonchops) and his topknot -- the poof of fiber on his head -- left pretty much intact. DN has what is termed a bubble cut, where the face fiber is left intact and blended into the topknot. The initial bubble cut came out awful, and I had to play "alpaca barber" and trim that one down quite a bit. Next year, there will be no bubble cuts. Bubble cuts are bad.
I am of the opinion that the primary purpose of a farm 'blog is to impart cuteness to the Internet. This 'blog has been seriously shirking in that duty.
Today's bit of alpaca cuteness involves another species. In this particular photograph, the other species happens to be a chicken, but this has also happened with baby bunnies when my camera was inaccessible. Now, the alpacas have all seen chickens before, but this was no ordinary chicken; this was a young Polish chicken, a breed that has a giant, poofy ball of feathers atop its head. I have come to appreciate that alpacas are an extremely visual species, and this chicken looked VERY different from any other chicken they had previously seen.
Alpacas are also very curious -- remarkably so for an herbivore. Rather than fleeing from this new creature, they were drawn to it. I looked out the window to see the whole female herd gathered around this tiny, ridiculous chicken that was bopping casually through their pasture.
I didn't ready my camera in time to capture the whole herd assembly, but I did catch a few of the most curious.
Millie had to investigate her first.
Silverado came to investigate next. (These are two of the three alpha females of the herd -- I call the three of them the Big Girls' Club.)
They were eventually joined by Valencia. She is a shy maiden female, but she was particularly curious about the Polish.
One of these days, I'll manage to capture a photo of the whole herd investigating a New Thing. It's pretty remarkable. It's also brain-shatteringly adorable, so I have to capture it -- for the good of the Internet, you understand.
Okay, that is not at all true. The redesign was not complimentary. It took me a couple of hours. Maybe two or three. Not bad, though (gotta love Weebly!)
I redid the website because I redid the logo, and I redid the logo because I decided that the previous logo was just too obscure. A farm logo should have meaning, sure, but it should not require a minor dissertation to appreciate. Also, the trees looked like some sort of alien modern art project. Just not very ... "Farm-y."
This one requires little explanation: there are animals on a hill, and they are howling. Get it? Howling Hill. I wished I could have worked a DNA strand into this one, but you can't have everything.
I made two different color schemes for this logo. One was a blue/pink scheme that went well with the previous design of the site. The other was the one I went with, in reds and yellows (more like the colors of the animals themselves). I kind of liked the blue/pink version, but in an extensive poll that included my husband and both my parents, I was outnumbered. Warmer colors are more ... Warm, and "farm-y." Also, this particular color scheme matches our kitchen, so it works on a couple of levels, I suppose.
The reason I liked the blue and pink version so much is because it did not require redesigning the entire website. Still, the redesign is ultimately better, I think, because the blue and pink colors were a little too cool. Didn't help that all of the photographs on that version were taken in winter.
So, here it is: The new logo that drove the website redesign:
The version at the upper-lefthand corner of all of the pages is a little bit different, because I had to manipulate the text a bit to make it more legible.
Still working on a farm "slogan." It does seem that most farms have them -- some little one sentence blurb about what you make or who you are or some other marketing-type deal -- a split-second summary of your "brand," if you will -- but I suck at that sort of thing. I am working towards something that will denote the fact that we work with some unusual livestock species (and even some unusual colors within those species -- appaloosa alpacas, anyone?), but strive to produce the highest-quality examples thereof -- not just breeding something "exotic" for the sake of exotic. I am thinking of something along the lines of, "Unusual creatures. Unusual quality." Or, "Exceptional animals. Exceptional quality." Or, "Unusual animals. Exceptional quality." ... But they all sound super-dorky when you say them out loud.
K writes this stuff, for some reason that has yet to become apparent.