Lori Patterson is now the proud owner of Dancing Elk’s Phantom. Wishes of many years of alpaca kisses!
Shearing is now completed as we played touch-and-go with the rainy weather. There’s a fine balance to that. We put the alpacas in the barn to help keep them dry in preparation for the shearing only to have them get sweaty in the there. Luckily we found that right balance but I did lay out all of the fiber blankets overhead in the garage. With 17 now naked alpacas, my attic looked like 100 teddy bears exploded everywhere.
Now that the blankets are thoroughly dried out the task of re-rolling them back up in the plastic and put in their individual bags. I’ll be sending off fiber sample for analysis and I’m already excited about the impending results.
Forty-eight hours later cria #1 arrives….
Wouldn’t you know that I’d made a quick trip to the store and Torreya, a maiden, popped him out-all 16+ pounds- with ease about 15 minutes before I returned. All was well and it wasn’t long until he was trying to stand on those long, wobbly legs. It’s day 6 and it’s not quite so easy to catch him. Slightly awkward running and purposely bumping into mom trying to engage her in play. Torreya’s a great mom but I think I recognize that look in her eye…,”Don’t you ever slow down? “
What an exciting and busy time in Denver last weekend. We were just far enough behind that crazy snowstorm (12″ snow) that the roads weren’t too bad…Up until 5 miles from from our hotel, that is! Fish-tailing with a loaded trailer is a definitely a reality check. Arrived safely, thankfully, and it got down to 6 degrees that night. The alpacas were fine but I think that broke a low temperature record.
As you know, set up for the show is fast and furious and then we exhaled. Day 2, we hit the ground running and showed 5 of the 7 alpacas so that was it’s own whirlwind. All while trying to catch up with acquaintances and meet new farm owners.
Long story short, of the 7 that we took for show 6 placed in their respective categories!
You can see more pictures in the Gallery Section!
Crey, our first cria born here three years ago. It was my plan that our first born would have a name related to believing faith as this was our huge leap of faith to begin the alpaca business with the economy changing. Creyendo Fe in spanish is a similar translation. The naming doesn’t stop there, though. My family has this quirky habit of giving crazy nicknames. Crey quickly turned into “Rodger Dude” or just “Dude” and I have no idea why but that’s the name he knows.
He has such a great demeanor being he’s the first one to meet you at the gate. Not to mention a spectacular, straight confirmation. He started out as a true black but, with his strong grey lineage, the white fibers are coming in throughout his blanket. His fiber has brightness, very nice crimp and staple length…AND he will be debuting as an official herdsire this summer. I’m very excited to breed him to my grey females. He has quite the presence and very interested in the girls.
TaaDah! We are live! And we kindly welcome you into the life of Dancing Elk Alpacas. “Oh, the places you’ll go”, as Dr. Seuss would say…Literally and figuratively!
I’m always interested in how farms chose their start-up name so I thought I’d begin with some insight to our name. We live in land of big game animals (deer, elk, bears, wolves, mountain lions, etc..) and there are times in the winter that they pass through our place, jumping fences and crossing roads.
One very cold, winter night a herd of cow elk wandered down from the hills looking for forage or possible safety from predators. On this moonlit night they gathered in our front yard each pawing through the snow to get to the winter grass below.
We noticed them and turned off all of the lights so we would not spook them and behold their graceful behaviors. Not being too different from people, some obviously became perturbed that their space was being invaded by the others. They would rear up and paw at each other out of frustration or protection of their patch of grass. It was the coolest sight and it was one that all 4 of us experienced together.
Even though this new journey was started partly in anticipation of becoming “empty nesters”, it was important the name of our farm reflected an event or memory that we experienced as a family….plus it needed to have an air of what Montana is about.