No, I did not buy an alpaca at auction. However…
This weekend the Boulder County Fairgrounds hosted the Alpaca Expo. You may remember from our trip to the Stock Show this year how enamoured Kelsea and I were with the alpacas. Well, even though Kelsea chose to go to the Mall on Saturday, I decided to fly solo to see the critters.
O. M. G.
There is (almost) nothing I have found that makes me smile more than alpacas. While the Expo was fairly small, I spent almost three hours there, just hangin’ with my alpaca peeps. I made friends with several of the ranchers there to exhibit and I learned a lot of little tidbits.
But mostly, I just kind of hung on the railings of the little corrals and basked in the glow of the beasts. I don’t know what it is about them, but they have amazingly soothing energy. They are calm, expressive, curious, and gentle. Kind of like me, but with more hair and bigger eyes.
I had such a wonderful time that Kelsea and I went back on Sunday. And as an extra-added bonus, we went to an antique auction that was being held next door. If you check out my Life List of Things Yet To Be Done (in Lists), you will see that buying something at auction was one of my life goals. Well, not only did I buy something at auction, I bought somethingS at auction – namely, two pocket knives, a sword, a miscellaneous box of vintage hats, purses and gloves and an amazing piece of folk art – a flying pig, who told me his name was Homer.
My auction number was 339 and I was flapping my little card along with the other pros, aka, Pierre, George, Tommy and a lady whose shop we had visited in Cheyenne last Labor Day. Anyway, the whole thing was AWESOME! And here’s a sampling of the things that I – wisely, in my opinion – didn’t bid on.
As for the alpacas, well, as I said, we learned a lot. And here are a few things we learned that I’ll bet you probably didn’t know either:
Alpacas are very social creatures. You can’t have just one.
Alpacas only have bottom teeth until they are about three years old, at which point they are ready to breed and get their fighting teeth.
When they get bored, they chew things.
Alpacas’ adorable “Hmmmm” humming noise means they are stressed. Or hungry. But I guess being hungry can make you feel stressed.
Like many animals, they like to groom each other, and can often find leftovers in their Alpaca buddies.
The Suri is the most dominant type of Alpaca, although it is the least common type outside of South America.
But there are also some interesting Vicuna-Alpaca mixes (and all alpacas (and llamas) are part of the camel family).
Alpacas chew their cud in a figure-eight shape. And when they swallow a lump of cud (what’s that called?), they immediately bring up another one. If you watch their throats, you can see the one coming down and the other coming up.
Alpacas sit on all four legs, but when it’s very cold, they raise their hindquarters slightly off the ground to increase their warmth.
Alpacas are raised for their fiber and for breeding – several people were weaving and spinning at the event.
They don’t always like being touched on the head because their mothers generally nudged them on their heads to discipline them. They prefer being touched on the neck.
And when a randy male alpaca tried to mount Perfection, he was decidedly put in his place by her spitting most firmly in his face after escaping his lascivious clutches. She is a feisty little beauty. No one can mount Perfection.
Most importantly of all, they give amazingly awesome angel baby kisses. Storm the big white alpaca kissed me several times. (No tongue.) I felt truly privileged.
So it was a lovely weekend. I even tried out Zydeco dancing on Friday night. Not well, mind you, but it was new and fun and great exercise, so I think I’ll try it again. And since the auctions happen once a month, we’ll definitely be back. It will be THE place to furnish the new house!
Have a happy week!