An Alpaca in Springtime and other musings
Jean · Feb. 16, 2007
Well, spring seems to officially be here. I saw a family gathering pussy willows on my way home today, I have green shoots poking through the ground from bulbs I planted last fall, and some yellow flowers in bloom in the house from bulbs I forced indoors. Charley is frisky and happy, and Martin the alpaca has decided that the fresh young tufts bright green grass are tastier than the grains I offer in the barn.
As Charley and I walked the back pasture, Martin held his own instead of coming to the barn for his feed. At first I thought it was because of the ki-yi-yi-ing of the black and yellow labs next door, but as we got closer to him he still showed no interest in either Charley or me or the barn. His head was low, munching tuft after tuft of fresh grass, washed down with long drinks of water from the steadily flowing stream. He's obviously also been looking for young growth among the blackberry bushes - a long prickly vine clings tightly to hisâ€¦umâ€¦privates. That neutering may occur sooner than I'm planning!
Other signs of spring are plentiful. Charley has started digging her way to China in search of the vole or some such ground creature who is making tunnels in the pasture; she will stand for ages with her head deep in the dirt, pawing frantically. Fresh coyote droppings abound in the field. It won't be long before the bears make their re-appearance I'm sure. Last year's three cute little cubs will be three large aggressive teens this year. Bears stay with the momma for two years, and unfortunately in year two have lots of courage and bravado and ability to do harm, but little wisdom and - just like human teens - sometimes choose not to heed mom's warnings. Charley's romps in the pasture will be curtailed as soon as the first bear scat appears.
The howls of the labs next door brought back the moment of surprise I had today when I stopped at my old house to spend some time with my other dog, Emma, a two year old yellow lab. The neighbour's dogs had sounded the alarm as I pulled into the driveway, and suddenly I heard a very loud, very deep barking from my backyard. OMG, I thought, the ex has bought a German Shepherd (one of his favourite breeds) to keep my sweet, quiet, gentle Emma company. But no - as I looked over the gate into the yard, I discovered that BIG voice was coming from none other than my Ems, telling the neighbour dogs to shut up. She's usually such a quiet girl that I hadn't heard her grown-up bark before! It is far deeper and louder than the two labs next door to my new place. She's a girl after my own heart - assertive and not afraid to speak boldly and say what she thinks!
Spring has sprung at my old place too - the back yard, and Emma, are foot deep in mud, the crocuses and snowdrops are in full bloom, and the japonica is getting ready to show off its pretty little pink blossoms. My favourite time of year - longer days, new surprises in the garden every day, new discoveries, a fresh start each day.