Like most, our favourite ‘alpaca seasons’ are in full swing, shearing and birthing! I adore looking at the fleeces as they come off, and we are already starting to plan all the crafty things we can get up to with them.
My other favourite thing about this time of year is looking at my paddocks. We have our normal grazing paddocks, but we also graze approximately 12 acres of stewardship scheme land which is kept with ground nesting birds in mind. Something we are very happy to accommodate! But this does mean we do have to allow some natural growth in those fields.
Some of my favourite regular plant finds are meadowsweet, pineapple weed, willowherb, yarrow and cow parsley.
I know the alpacas will love having a good graze! My older girls regularly spend more time in those paddocks, reaping all the natural benefits of the multitude of amazing plants in there. Having a sit on the grass in the sun (what a hardship) is also a good excuse to start looking for the ‘scary plants’, plants like horsetail can easily sneak up on you if you have lush grazing where it can blend in. Not to mention our old friend mr ragwort. It doesn’t hurt to just spend a moment checking out what is going on in your paddocks. We try to manage all of our paddocks, stewardship scheme or not, as naturally as possibly. Which usually involves me going ‘whose idea was this!’ a few weeks into charging into my paddocks armed with a ragfork and a wheel barrow with aching arms every evening in spring and summer. However it is always nice to have an excuse to spend some more time in the paddocks with the alpacas, even if there is always one who insists on standing in the way.
I have also been reminded these past few weeks why I am not allowed lovely nice things! I was so excited to receive one of the BAS caps, so I decided to wear it on one of the hottest days we have had so far to try it out. It was certainly ‘alpaca approved’, however I forgot to take it off to go and milk the cows…. Oops! The hat is now clean and my lesson has firmly been learnt. I think the cows were just jealous.