Monday, January 21, 2013

A Sunny Winter Day with Alpacas

Today I got to make a dream come true. Its the 1st step in a much bigger dream, but for right now it was more than enough and I am so excited to have gotten to do it! Today I went to Rockville Alpaca Farm to visit Carol and her herd of Alpacas.

Now let me just start by saying that since I was in college and took fiber arts classes, I have been dreaming about one day buying a pretty farm with an old farmhouse to fix up and land to start an alpaca farm on! Why? Well because 1) I've always wanted to live in the country, I like space and land. 2)Alpaca wool is beautiful, much softer that sheeps wool and very nice to work with be it weaving, knitting or crochet. 3) Alpacas are the sweetest creatures! I mean have you seen how adorable they are! They're also relatively low maintenance to care for in terms of livestock.

So, I'm not quit to the point where that dream can become a reality. But I do have a confession. While having this dream for the last 4 years I've never actually gotten to meet and interact with Alpacas! So I finally got to meet some of these lovely gentle animals today!

Carol was so kind to allow me and my parents (who wanted to know more about this whole Alpaca business I'm about) to come out to her farm this afternoon and visit! She even waited to feed them until we got there so we could interact with them a bit more.

In addition to having these beautiful animals, Carol also has a website that is so full of information about alpacas and very helpful for people like me who hope to one day start their own alpaca farm! Rockville Alpaca Farm

As you can see, the sun was getting low in the sky so I had a beautiful back drop with long sun rays to capture images of these lovely ladies! The photo's of them in a group are all the females. 
They are kept separate from the males because the can reproduce at any time of the year and most farms like to only birth in the Spring and Fall so that babies aren't born in the harsher winter months. 
 I love these two images  (above and below). These girls knew they were being photographed and they seemed to enjoy posing for the camera! Hehe. 

What's interesting, if you've never met an alpaca in person, is that their size is decieving. All of these alpacas will be sheered in March and currently are still growing their fleeces. 
Right now that fleece is about 3-4 inches long. 
Their fleeces are very dense (which makes for very warm garments once its been spun into yarn!) so underneath all that fleece they're fairly petite. 
On average 120-150 bs. Some dogs get to be that size! 

 This is one of the babies with her mum. (Above)

They are such gentle creatures. They were friendly, but rather shy, perhaps because I wasn't familiar to them. But they would take turns coming up to me and the camera. 
They are definitely curious. And very herd oriented. 
The females especially really stuck together. Also look at how beautifully colored their fleece is! Everything from snowy white to a deep rich brown with cinnamons and grays as well. 

Here's some more of the babies! Above is the slightly older one, or at least she was larger. The littler one was shy once she left the feeding area but below is a picture I got of her while we were in there! Her fleece was soo silky soft! 

And a few more of the ladies curiously checking me and my camera out as I crouched down on their level so they wouldn't be as intimidated. 

I will definitely be visiting Carol and her sweets herd again soon! If for nothing more than to take more pictures of them! They are so cute and each have their own personality! 

Last but not least can I just say.. I love my life! Seriously! I am blessed! I get to play with clay working in an awesome pottery studio with the best owner and teacher, make art from my home studio and go visit and meet new people like Carol and her farm! Where I learned a lot more about alpacas and some upcoming fiber craft fairs! What a perfect way to spend my day off!

Be blessed!

To see more images from this shoot head over to my Facebook page! SHEDesignswithgrace- Alpacas


  1. I didn't realize you had taken so many pictures! Great job, Sarah. You are welcome anytime to visit. Really enjoyed meeting you. I am excited for you and your "dream" - don't give it up.


    1. Thank you Carol! I really enjoyed meeting you as well and I will definitely be back to visit again!