A few weeks ago, we traveled up the hill to Tehachapi, to join friends and fellow homeschoolers for a tour of Field of Dreams Alpaca Farm. The farm owners are also homeschoolers, with three kids at home who help out around the farm.
They haven't been on the property long enough to build a house yet, so they live out of trailers and a barn. But the alpacas have plenty of room to roam, and beautiful weather!
The baby alpacas, or crias, were adorable, of course -- see this one tilting its head to flirt with us?
The mommies and young crias were together. They nurse for five months before weaning -- but the mothers are fertile and ready for pregnancy again when the babies are only 3 weeks old! So, some of these nursing mommies were also newly pregnant.
The farm is home to a few llamas in addition to the alpacas. This was the friendliest llama ever (below). He gave kisses to everyone who came near the fence, including my friend Mark.
This alpaca feigned indifference....
And this is Tinkerbell, a rescue horse. Apparently, she used her fairy dust to escape a very mean place.
After we saw all the animals, the farm mama generously offered to make felted soaps with all the kids! She provided dyed alpaca fiber scraps, soap, and pantyhose pieces to keep the wool snug while it felted.
I've attempted to do felting with my boys before, but they never wanted to get their hands messy! It was so funny to watch their faces while they did this project.
After all that, I had to buy some alpaca yarn, of course! I chose a beautiful red, chunky yarn. Alpaca fiber is super soft and very warm. Now I just have to find a pattern for a cute hat or scarf!