Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Field Trip | Alpaca Farm

As of late last month, we have become members of our local home school group. That means that we have a whole host of activities that we can become involved in..... but if we did them all, there would be no time for schooling! It is so nice to have the ability to pick and chose the activities that we want to participate in.

Yesterday, we went to visit the largest alpaca farm in our state. Before we could tour the farm, we went into the "classroom" where the farm owner showed how the alpaca's fleece goes from the alpaca into a ball of yarn. We also learned that the alpaca's fleece or fiber (as it is called) is water resistant.

For me, as a believer in Christ and Creation, it was amazing to me that these animals that are native to South America have the perfect, water-resistant covering for that environment. It was no accident, folks!

We then went outside for a demonstration on how the fleece is turned into yarn. Wow! It is such a  super-simple process, but because they do it by hand on this farm, it is quite time consuming. A good lesson in patience. (Excuse Bud sticking out his tongue, please :)

I ended up having to leave the umbrella stroller because of the sand. Notes to self: Addie can wear jeans and a t-shirt to our next field trip. She looked beautiful but was completely over dressed even though she was wearing a play dress. Bring the baby carrier next time and avoid having to create a Plan B on the spot. And for me, don't wear sandals when you visit a farm. You will walk through pellet droppings and your daughter will accidentally step on your toes with her shoes that she has walk through "stuff" with.

The alpacas are herd animals and very jumpy. If one approached the group, they all approached. If one left, they all left. We were told to stay very quiet and not make any sudden movements.

Towards the end of the visit, Addie became more comfortable around the alpacas but at first, she was very stand-offish.

She got to pet a two week old "cria" (baby alpaca). She really liked that part. The sweet thing was that, when the baby was put back into the pen with the other crias and mothers, it immediately found its mother and began to nurse. The nursing lasted for only a moment but was enough to settle it back down. As a nursing mother myself, this fascinated me because I can think of many instances where I have nursed Ian just to calm him down, and within a few moments he is fine and ready to go back to business as usual.

This was our first field trip as home-schoolers. When she woke up yesterday, Addie kept asking if we were going to do "school time." She saw that the books and papers had not been set up on the table like they usually are. I kept trying to explain to her that our school time was going to be visiting the alpacas at their farm. She is such a little creature of habit :)

I am so excited about fitting other field trips into our schedule.


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