Finding your alpaca rhythm

Find a rhythm that suits you and your alpacas. There are the occasional sprints such as shearing, birthing or shows, but mostly it is long-distance pace. I was going to say marathon but it sounds too much like hard work.

For most of us, most of the time, we have a steady pace, a rhythm where we can maintain that regular pace. Alpacas like it too. Though they also enjoy the occasional surprise – just look at their eyes, their body language, and their jumping and dodging and weaving like alpacas do, when you put them into a new field.

Rhythm and pace, alpaca style – what does it look like? What does it feel like? If you watch a group of alpacas–and you know you should, regularly–the pace of movement is steady and usually economical. There’s a reason for everything, even when it looks aimless. They’re watching all the time – watching you, watching each other, watching the birds, the weather. And they process all of that and make their choices.

What about you? Are you economical but intentional?

We’re living in challenging times. And I think a time of flux. It hasn’t yet been determined what next year will be like. The big thing of COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. We could yet have a challenging winter.

The even bigger thing of the climate crisis has certainly not gone away. Droughts, floods, wildfires. Hay, and pellet food, and many of the supplies we’ve taken for granted could suddenly shift to a new norm of being less available.

So how do we respond? My suggestion is we find a rhythm, a rhythm that allows for the occasional sprint, but a rhythm that we can live with that helps us thrive, and that’s also going to be good for our alpacas. And certainly, with COP26 taking place in Glasgow at the moment, we can make our own contribution to that, and need to.

So perhaps we need to be thinking, how does what I do with the alpacas, how does that affect things? What can we do that will make things better? Fewer journeys to collect food, for example. Back to my planning and other factors that will reduce our impact on the environment and on the climate.

There are things that we need to be asking questions about. Let’s not panic. Let’s find a rhythm. We do need to act, and we do need to act yesterday in fact, but at least today. And plan for tomorrow – what will we do differently? Let’s make our contribution.

Take care. And if you can, go spend some time with an alpaca.

Check out the website for some photos

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