... Was yesterday, and we are NOT DEAD, and neither are any alpacas! In fact, they seemed remarkably calm as soon as the shearers left and they were allowed to return to their regularly scheduled hay. They were racing around at full speed about an hour ago, leaping and doing this amazing high-altitude skipping gait that is apparently known as "pronking." So, they must think it feels pretty good to be naked.
I expected it to be a little bit jarring to see all of these previously fluffy critters shorn down to the skin, and indeed, it was, but I'm coming to appreciate the cuteness of the shorn alpaca. What's amazing is how totally transformed some of them are. Radar, for example, ended the winter a paragon of extreme fluffiness:
... And now looks like this:
... Still totally gorgeous, but nowhere near as fluffy.
Some are even more extreme. Dobie went from poofy:
... To ......... Not at all poofy.
The most extreme, though, was Sheepie. I haven't even put Sheepie on my site yet, because I wasn't really sure if she was going to stay in my foundation herd. Having seen that first fleece, now, I think she's got a place here: it is incredibly fine. What is nuts, though, is that she was a totally different color underneath the fleece. The fleece looked fawn; Sheepie is, underneath, white, with a fawn topline. Between this color change, and the amount of fleece she lost (she isn't named "Sheepie" just to be obnoxious!), she is pretty much totally unrecognizable.
I didn't have any recent "before" pictures of Sheepie (the one provided is from December, when I first brought her home, and she grew a couple inches of staple since then); also, in between shearing and today, when the "after" picture was taken, she managed to roll in enough dirt as to change back from white to light brown. So, the transformation photos probably don't look as dramatic as it did in person, but trust me -- I literally did not recognize the animal.
... She went from "sheep" to "Muppet."
K writes this stuff, for some reason that has yet to become apparent.