When You are visiting the Clabbach Gallery keep your eye out for these guys.
The Alpacas are my closest neighbour’s here on the Isle of Coll. They are cared for by Gill and Ian (my real neighbour’s 😉 ) and are quite happy lazing and chomping their days away. They are lovely animals and even get taken on regular walks down to Clabbach Bay.
This selection of photos was taken last night just before sunset. It was quite breezy and I was trying to get the windswept look, together with the lovely soft light that was cascading them.
The Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American Camelid, similar to, and often confused with, the llama. However, alpacas are often noticeably smaller than llamas. The two animals are closely related, and can successfully cross-breed. Alpacas and llamas are also closely related to the Vicuna, which is believed to be the alpaca’s wild ancestor, and to the Gaunaco. There are two breeds of alpaca: the Suri Alpaca and the Huacaya Alpaca.
Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, western Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile at an altitude of 3,500 m (11,500 ft) to 5,000 m (16,000 ft) above sea level, throughout the year. Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, they were not bred to be working animal, but were bred specifically for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, similar to wool. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters, socks, coats and bedding in other parts of the world. The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors as classified in Peru, 12 as classified in Australia and 16 as classified in the United States.
Alpacas communicate through body language. The most common is spitting when they are in distress, fearful, or mean to show dominance. Male alpacas are more aggressive than females, and tend establish dominance of their herd group. In some cases, alpha males will immobilize the head and neck of a weaker or challenging male in order to show their strength and dominance.
In textile industry, “alpaca” primarily refers to the hair of Peruvian alpacas, but more broadly it refers to a style of fabric originally made from alpaca hair, such as mohair, icelandic sheep wool, or even high-quality wool. In trade, distinctions are made between alpacas and the several styles of mohair and luster.
Come and see them…..I’m sure they would love to meet you,
Cheers for now,