Yesterday we (me, Jimi, Gabriel, and our friend R) spent the afternoon walking around the Midwest Alpaca Festival. So. Much. FUN!!! We walked around the vendors area first, scoping out what purchases we wanted to make. I had my eyes peeled for something special for my Mom for Mother's Day (found something too!) and of course something special for me too. ; ) I didn't take any pictures up in the vendor area, although there were a couple stalls with these very lightweight sheer shawls or ponchos with fiber felted onto them in random designs - not really my taste to actually wear myself, but very very pretty. I should have taken a couple pictures of those. Oops.
What I did take lots of pictures of, was the animals. We walked all around the pens downstairs, oohing and cooing over them. Did you know alpacas hum?! And if you're petting them at the time, you can feel the vibration, kind of like a cat's purr. Totally melting over here! R and I kept saying how we'd like to bring one home with us. LOL. Someday maybe!
This one's the one I "claimed" - her name is Dr Pepper! I do love me my DP. LOL.
We got to chat a little with the owner of these two sweet sisters. The smaller fawn colored one is 8 months and the older white one is 20 months, and already being shown and bred as an adult! I laughed and said, "What do you think of that, Gabriel, she's almost the same age you are!" and the owner told us that the mama of these two had just won an award and her name was Lady Gabriel! I didn't catch what award she'd just one - there were ribbons EVERYWHERE in all different colors as people showed off their wins from all different shows, not just this one. Of course owners and breeders were making all sorts of connections, buying, selling, arranging for breeding, so all those ribbons were advertising and marketing. ; ) I didn't even try to keep track of them.
Some alpaca facts. = ) I'm so amazed about the burrs, that's just crazy! I bet you can tell pretty easy, but here's an Huacaya (pronounced wa-KI-ah, "ki" sounds like "high") -
and here is a Suri -
You can see where the names come from! Both are extremely soft, and the Suri fiber has a silky quality to it, including a bit of shine, even in the adults. Gabriel was drawn to the Suri's especially and kept pointing and reaching for them. Most of the animals were shy enough that they pulled away, though a few came up to the fences where we could pet them. And one very kind owner held one of his animals close enough to the pen for Gabriel to pet her, which just totally made his day! (We did not ask him to do this, and Gabriel is generally very good about being gentle with animals.)
By the time we walked all around all the pens (with Gabriel on my back in the mei tai the whole way, phew!), we were all tired and hungry and ready to head out. Plus we still had a walk to the car - not a terribly long walk, but we had parked a bit away from the event so we wouldn't have to pay for parking. On the walk to the car, though, we saw a whole flock of goslings. Awww.