Friday, November 4, 2011

Mystery Solved

This morning we had an alpaca mystery.

We've had to juggle around our schedules since J is in the process of transitioning to a new job (he's put in his notice at his current job, his new job starts on Nov. 14). He's been working odd hours (even more so than usual), these last couple of weeks at his job. It's going to be an even bigger transition when he starts his new job, but the good news is that he will be working 1st shift! He hasn't worked 1st shift since 2003!!! Zack was 6 months old when J quit his job to go back to school and we started down a whole new path. He's worked either 3rd or 2nd shift since that point (by choice for the most part). But, J felt it was time to start sleeping at night like a normal person, and is very happy to have found a job that he wanted and is 1st shift. It all fell into place just at the right time.

J's been on 3rd shift this week, so I have been doing the morning alpaca feedings (and once he starts his new job on 1st shift, he will have to leave earlier than I do so I will be on morning feeding then too). This week is the last week before the time change so it is especially dark in the mornings. When I went outside this morning, it was pitch black out there. We have lights but they don't shine everywhere and actually make it harder for my eyes to adjust to the dark parts, so I feed them in the dark. I only use lights in the garage to scoop out the grain.

I got outside this morning with the grain bowls, starting in the young boys area. I fed Spot first, then put out bowls for Gabe and Sig, but I couldn't find Sig. It was so dark I figured he was back in the pasture and left his bowl for him. I put out bowls for Chaska and Challenger, but still Sig had not come to his bowl. I was starting to get a bit concerned. It was too dark to look far, I couldn't figure out what would keep him from eating. I feared the worst.

I then fed the girls: Twilight, Rose, Bay and Latte. They were all right there and went to their bowls. The next area I put out bowls is the full figured girls area. I had bowls for Victoria, Miss Kitty, Snickers and Jewel. I noticed an extra alpaca came into the area, in the darkness I thought it was Tehya. Then I fed the last group back by the fence: Maddie, Sancha, but then Kateri was not there, then Tehya was there - but I thought she was in with the fully figured girls? Kateri is much darker in color than Tehya so I wasn't confusing the two of them (even if they are mother and daughter). It was all a confusing mess. I had 2 missing alpacas, Kateri and Sig, and one alpaca that I saw twice, Tehya. It was like someone swapped alpacas with me but didn't tell me.

It wasn't until I went to collect bowls and let them all back into the main pasture that I figured out the mystery. When I went into the full figured girls area there were 5 alpacas in there: Victoria, Miss Kitty, Jewel and Snickers, but there was also this smaller lighter one, but it wasn't Tehya since I could see her just over in the other area - it was Sig!!! It was so dark I couldn't tell it was Sig even when I was right there next to him, but once it occurred to me that it was him, it was clear that was what happened. Somehow overnight Sig got through the fence between the boys area and the girls area. That's why he wasn't by Gabe in the boys area and that is why we had an extra alpaca in the girls area. Thankfully he's young and not interested in breeding, so no harm done.

I never did figure out where Kateri was. J called me later in the morning to ask me why Sig was in the girls area. I explained the story of the mysterious morning and that in the dark I wasn't catching and moving Sig back to the boy's area. I asked J if Kateri was there, and she was. I must have just missed her in the darkness this morning, I was pretty distracted by the entire mystery.

Who knew alpacas were such a mystery!

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