Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Alpaca Weather Predictors at Hum Sweet Hum

My Handsome Herdsire Bad to The Bone and a rainbow's end. 

My first year on my farm in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, I had to get used to rainier weather.  We sure didn't get the quantity in Southern California as we do here in Oregon.  I enjoy the weather here.  I was curious to see how the alpacas would adapt to it.  They didn't seem to mind it too much that first year although Jamilah came to me shivering a few times in the beginning.  We all acclimated pretty quickly.  They also learned to appreciate their shelters.  I'd laugh at them as we would get a little sprinkling and they'd run like mad to their shelters.  I'd think what wimps as I was out there raking away.  It wasn't quite yet teasing them about what wimps they were about getting a little damp when the rain would start falling more rapidly and I'd get soaked.  This two-legger turns out not to be the sharpest one of the herd because it took me awhile to stop teasing them and listen.  It took quite a few soakings before I realized that they were sensing when heavier rain was coming. 

After observing them for a few years now, when the herd meanders in with a light rain, I know I have a little time to get done what I'm doing.  If I see them running for shelter, I know I better hurry and get myself in real quick because it is going to pour.  They are rarely wrong.  Once in awhile, their predictor is off but more times than not, it is as accurate as can be.  They must sense the difference in pressure.  I have no idea how they do that but I have gotten a lot smarter about listening to them.  The last laugh was on me for teasing them. 

Alpaca weather predicting was another example of us two-leggers (me) thinking I was so much smarter than the alpacas.  We can learn so much from our animal friends if we check our egos at the gate and just listen and observe.  Some days I don't have a choice and need to stay out and get rained on.  That is what rain gear is made for.  But on days where I really don't feel like getting soaked to the bone and being poured upon, I listen to my alpacas.  Maybe a few meteorologists could get a pointer or two as well! 

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