Thunder Alpacas: Recent Photos
Work on the house is complete, with the exception of the interior upstairs
and the basement which we hope to finish during the coming winter. The
stone facing on the lower level was the last step in completing the
exterior this past May, 2005.
Since June, when
the alpacas were gone for two months (sent off for breeding at Mary
Bell's beautiful farm in North Carolina), we've been concentrating on
the pastures, barns and fencing. Here's photos of the work in progress
(taken May through November '05).
May, '05: House is done. Now trying to get grass to grow.
Smoothing and leveling the pastures. Dragged two cross-ties (railroad
ties in non-Tennessee parlance) behind grader blade, with section of
chain-link fence between them, in order to fill in low spots.
Posts start going up for the shelters.
Finally some green. Trees and grass planted for the "traffic circle"
in front of the house. Trees include Red Bud, Blue Spruce, Dogwood,
River Birch, and (out of the frame) White Mulberry.
Bush-Hogging the pasture. Photo taken at our friend's, the Durham's,
"old" property just prior to our alpacas leaving for North
Carolina in June. Mike and Lara Durham (of Appalachian Alpacas) had
let us board our animals there for nine months (for no charge!) while
they waited for the property to sell. This is how perfect the timing
was: On THE VERY DAY that our animals were loaded up for their trip
to North Carolina, the property sale went through.
When the animals
came home in August of 2005, it was to our own property at the new house
on Jennings Lane. At long last, the animals were HOME! Took us one whole
year from the time we arrived in Tennessee to finally get them onto
our own property.
Rented this huge monster to get grass seed into the ground for the fall
planting of Orchard Grass in late October, 2005 (and a second time in
early October, 2006.) Machine works great, but is a beast to turn. Spent
more time turning than pulling. Had to rent the Ford Tractor because
our Kubota doesn't have the necessary rear hydraulic connections, as
machine's discs must be lifted at the end of each row before any turn
can be made.
Glorious Sunset from our front porch.
The alpacas of Silver Thunder finally have a home. Fences, gates and
shelters nearing completion. Photo taken late October '05, after many
months of NO RAIN.(Our pastures look like desert.)
We had a hardworking shearing day in late May of 05. We used Glen Burns
out of Blue Ridge, GA and were very happy with the results. We've signed
up with him again for next year.
May of 2005 also
brought a new addition to the herd that is very exciting: A darling
little white cria named Sarah. Her full name: Merlin's Celestial Serenade.
her mommy, Celeste, just two days before shearing. May, 05.
October, 2005 at five months of age. She's looking very good!
one year old in May 06 a few weeks before shearing. Lots of fine fleece,
but EVERYTHING sticks to that never-before-shorn baby fleece. We are
looking forward to shearing in late May.
Can we have a snack
Arriving early in December, 2005 were our LGD's: Livestock Guardian
Dogs. Remington and Kinsey are a mix of Great Pyrenees and Anatolian
Shepherd. So Cu-U-U-U-ute as puppies, they are now growing fast in both
size and experience. Eventually they'll weigh 150 pounds and will patrol
our perimeters to protect against predators such as coyotes, fox and
especially other dogs.
things that protect you: Kinsey on left (whose namesake is Kinsey Milhone,
famed fictional detective in Sue Grafton's Alphabet Mysteries), Remington
on the right. While Remy is larger, Kinsey is smarter.
at fifteen weeks old. Aww, ain't he cute?
after shoulder surgery in May of 06.
patrol from the mound, with Arrow (in full fleece). May 06.
Then came Buddy.
Also arriving in December, 2005 was a new purchase: A cute little male
with beautiful soft fleece. We've taken to calling him Buddy Black.
He brings our current herd size to a grand total of six alpacas.
Buddy meets Remington for the first time.
Racing alpacas: Buddy and Sarah in the "oats pasture". Remember
that No-Till Drill? Well now it's Spring '06, and the field that was
planted with Orchard Grass last fall is now rich and green. Oats were
planted in addition to the Orchard Grass to act as a cover crop. (Trick
learned from Ross, my tobacco-farming neighbor.) This helps the Orchard
Grass survive the winter. Soon the Orchard Grass will take over while
the one-time-only annual Oats will fade away with each bush-hogging
Celeste, Buddy, Sarah, Arrow in Late Winter 06
Newest baby arrival:
Say hello to Quest.
Coming from royal
parentage of the highest esteem (his dam is Snowmass Lady Guinevere
and his sire is Snowmass Noble Night), seeking knightly adventures almost
from the moment of his birth, and all the while carrying himself with
lordly bearing and a pure heart, he has thus been dubbed with the full
name of . . . ta,daaaa . . .
"Quest of the Noble Night"
Quest was born on Tuesday, May 29, 2006. This is him running off to
the far corner of the birthing pasture at the ripe old age of 45 minutes,
followed by an anxiously humming mommy, Lady Guinevere.
Here is Quest after he dried off a little. (Two and a half hours old).
Superb conformation, with the straightest legs we've ever seen on a
little one, and a nice flat back-line, he stands tall and proud from
the get-go. Great fleece, luscious soft, with a full blanket of true
black (great for one-color shearing) and a striking mix of white, grey,
and black exploding over all the rest of him. We think he's special.
Proud to have him in the herd.
photos taken here and there around the ranch.
Nancy greets the
'pacas from the front porch in Autumn, 05. "Good morning, girls!,
Good morning Arrow! Is all ya'all hungry this morning?"
Storm blowin' up
the valley from Knoxville (about 80 miles to our west.)
The farm in winter. Late February storm in 2006.
Foggy Spring Sunrise. ("Oats" pasture in foreground.)
Sunset after a quick afternoon storm. Barns and shelters as of May 06.
Wireless barn cam now sends pictures to the house, even in the dark.
Alpacas in the mist.
My Smoky Blue Horizon. Photo taken six miles from our house (off of
Viking Mountain Road.) The far distant ridge is the Great Smoky Mountains,
the tallest range in all of Tennessee, about 75 miles away.
Thanks again for
visiting our website,
Chuck and Nancy
great alpacas in Greeneville,
Bred and Hand Fed!
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page last updated 5/28/06