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I invited Howard up for the weekend to help me change the oil in my bike, since I suspected, correctly, that I would require manly manstrength for some of the bolts. Before the operation we rode over to Dobles, the Honda dealer in Croydon, to pick up the oil filters, and Howard ended up buying a new pair of gloves while I got a jacket. So much for saving money by changing the oil yourself.

Sunday should have been a rideout, but this was cancelled due to the weather forecast. Sure enough, it caned it down all morning. Around three it became hot and sunny, and we set out with atommickbrane to lovely local museum the Horniman, where, I had learned from Twitter, a baby alpaca had been born the previous weekend.

We hung hopefully around the alpaca enclosure, and were delighted to see the as yet nameless little one emerge alongside the two adult alpacas. It had a suckle from Mum, then, once refreshed, did some wobbly, knock-kneeed gambolling before the little family retired to their stable.

Baby alpaca

A baby alpaca is called an alpacino. No, alas, it's a cria.


I'm not a big hoofer fan, as a rule, but the legginess is appealing! (And I do love goats, of which the Horniman has 2.)
I rather like hoofed animals, myself — some of them, anyway. Llamas, alpacas, vicuñas etc. are definitely quite cute, though I wish they were happier to let themselves get petted in zoos. :)

Goats are also quite cute, I agree!
We saw two of the keepers petting the sheep - perhaps they only take it from people they know?
Quite possible. The last time I was at a zoo, I found that the llamas and alpacas mostly shied away from children who came running at them screaming with outstretched hands; if you stood at the fence and let them come to you, they generally tolerated it better.

At the same time, I got a distinct feeling they were quite fed up with being petted ALL the time by people, and they really only came over when they thought they'd get some food out of it — and even then they tended to retreat once they got it, or when they found you didn't have anything after all.

Can't say I can't understand them. Too much of a good thing and all that!
A couple of years ago I was charged by a four-horned sheep, which was terrifying even with a fence between us. I can't think of anything I was doing wrong except perhaps not handing over the food fast enough. Or maybe I was feeding his favourite ewe?
Could well be, yeah. And yeah, having animals charge at you can be quite scary. I once had a cow do so in a field, and although there was a barbed wire fence there as well, it was in... worn condition in places, shall we say. Exit Schnee...

(I think it was a cow, anyway. For all I know it could also have been a bull, but either way it was half a ton of angry pot roast, quite capable of turning me into a red spot in the landscape if so inclined.)
I was rather alarmed when I was practically *charged* by a herd of cows out for a late (as ever!) bike ride, who'd obviously concluded "Human! Must be dinner time for that tasty, tasty Mystery Nutritional Supplement, thank heavens, I'm starving out here on just this grass/Home to the byre! It's freezing out here!/Milk meeeeee!" And picking up quite a bit of speed going downhill, too. And that was on the other side of a *wall*. I'm standing there like a fool, thinking "... they are planning on *stopping* on that side, right, not just hurdling it as keeping on going?"
Twilight of the Cows. Yikes!
Or perhaps even jumping over it. Not that I've ever seen a cow jump over anything, but I'm not nearly enough of a cowpoke to know for sure that they can't do it.

(Nice icon, BTW! I rather like Hokusai's works.)
Some cows can jump over the moon!
Why, thank you! *preens icon* :)

Not seen them do it "live", but I do recall a silly season/and-finally news item some time ago about a German (I think it was) girl who wanted a showjumping horse, but whose parents wouldn't pony(!) up the cash... so she used a cow, instead.

Admittedly I don't recall the bovine showjumps being especially huge.
Interesting! And, well, why not.

but whose parents wouldn't pony(!) up the cash

Groan. :)
You don't mean "I love hoofies... but normally I'd struggle to eat a whole one!" then? :D
My flatmate had recently visited an alpaca farm and knew quite a lot about them. When she got to the bit about meat she whispered it so the alpacas we were watching wouldn't hear...