30 April 2013

Seri loves Al–and me!!

Sounds like an episode of Jerry Springer, does it not? But it’s true, Seri now loves Al, Mr. Al Paca no less…..and frankly who can blame her.

Alpaca Show - Stoneleigh Park

Click the pic for images.

We visited the Alpaca Show at Stoneleigh Park, here in Warwickshire a few days ago, and what a great event it is. Absolutely nothing going on per se, at least not when we were there :-) but loads of these Peruvian imports standing around in their respective pens looks just utterly adorable.

These animals look like Ewok from the old Star Wars movie franchise, very very cute. Unfortunately they are also exceptionally nervous creatures and spent most of their time trying to hide from the camera – they tended to turn their back on you, issue a mewling sound, which we took to be a stress indicator and folded their ears back. Of course every time we saw such behaviour we moved off to another area to reduce their discomfort.

As experienced wildlife photographers – not good ones, just experienced LOL, we have picked up a number of tricks over the years. Vocal clicks and squeaks usually serve to gain the attention of your subject – they prick their ears up and come to see what all the noise is about – works particularly well with birds (apart from the ears bit of course :-)) but alas not with these hyper sensitive types.

Eventually I found that getting down below their eye level seems to have similar effect – and only then did we start getting shots of them showing interest in what we were up to…….

Speaking with a couple of the owners was quite interesting, lots of interesting info about their lifespan, where they come from, what they do and why and so on. One owner was more hobbyist then the other – he told us how he hand raised one of the youngsters in his charge – and that his were effectively pets.

The other owner was a more hard nosed farmer – asking him about the purpose for keeping these animals we learned that most of their wool was exported, and that surprisingly a couple of his went to a local butcher for Salami…..big surprise, but not a problem for us as such – we eat meat and it has to come from animals of some sort……

Interesting day, shame that the event was held in a large shed, as opposed to outside where the sun was shining, and our cameras would have worked properly. We did ask why they were indoors – the reason was to keep them from getting wet – it was a competitive show after all……

Handsome animals, nice hour or so wandering around, learning as we go :-).

Photos associate with this posting are of a lower quality than I would like – it was very difficult in the shed……

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