Alpacas at Windy Hill

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Falling Into Fall

Have you noticed that Fall just falls away as soon as it gets here?  No sooner do the leaves start to fall when suddenly it’s CHRISTMAS!  i know— I went shopping today for various things.  Thanksgiving was no where to be found!  So, in the interest of giving Fall its due, I’ve been reviewing the things that have happened in the last few weeks.  i was amazed at how much there was to notice!

The sunsets!  Let’s not miss the fall sunsets.  Sometimes the sky is absolutely on fire!  Here is one from October 31 that knocked my socks off!

We have 2 livestock guardian dogs at Windy Hill: Zeke, a 5 year old Great Pyrenees, and Tucker, a 2 year old Anatolian Shepherd.  They are awesome dogs. Not only are they sweet and love to sit with us and be petted, but they patrol at night making the world safe for alpacas.  I don’t always know where they go to sleep during the day though.  One afternoon I was wandering the pastures when Zeke became visible.  MacKenzie got the picture, and I am still amazed at how stealthy they can be.  I’ve been out on the ranch in the dark, minding my own business, when all of a sudden there is a warm fuzzy head under my hand, escorting me to my destination.  It always makes me wonder how long he’s been there without me knowing it.   Predators, BEWARE! Zeke and Tucker are ON DUTY!

Once in awhile we are blessed by a visit by Christina Marie and her buddy Bruno.  They came by a couple of weeks ago and entertained some of our friends on the ranch.  Christina is a remarkable lady and comes to the ranch to zen out.  She is a falconer and wild animal trainer, and has raised Bruno to do what is called Bird Abatement.  Bruno is carried on a glove with a tether, and when she takes him to ritzy outdoor venues, he flies at seagulls and crows to scare them away from people’s meals.  Bruno is a Harris’ Hawk and only weighs 1 pound.  He lets almost anybody hold him, stroke his chest and kiss his beak.  But don’t be a seagull! lol

Ventura County Farm Day was November 5.  In partnership with, several farms around the county act as host farms for visitors to discover what each farm does.  We were honored to have over 800 people come to Windy Hill that day so we could introduce them to alpacas and their fabulous fleece.  I always get to show visitors the 2 fleece types that alpacas produce, let them touch and take a sample home (a visual memory).  We had 2 friends bring their spinning wheels to demonstrate how fiber is made into yarn.  We had a booth for a Selfie with an Alpaca, and several tables where visitors could purchase yarn, roving, and finished goods made from alpaca fleece.  It was a fabulous day.   I hope you can join us next year.

November always seems to be the month that makes me want to start working with fiber.  The longer evening indoors and the cooler weather makes me want to surround myself with yarn and felt.  My kitchen and dining tables become workshop space, and my favorite chair is surrounded by yarn, felting needles, and projects that get picked up and put down numerous times before they are finished.  Here is my attempt at a natural color ombre with alpaca fleece.  I might just leave it there so I can look at it over and over.   Yarn calls to me with untried patterns, and colored roving begs to be made into felt balls.  What fun!

Nightingale volunteered to demonstrate “the look” you want to watch out for— “the look” you see just before she spits!  Notice how she is looking at you, but getting ready to spit right in front of her?  So if she is giving you the look, you’re pretty safe— that spit is going away from you.  BUT… if she is giving another alpaca “the look”, duck quick!  (no people were spit on in the taking of this picture— but Annie Oakley had a green cheek!).  Nightingale is pregnant, by the way, and there was food involved— the perfect storm.  Normally even the pregnant ones aren’t like that.  Just feeding time.  Just so you know when you come to visit.

In the evenings I usually wind down by doodling, and recently some of my doodling turned into Holiday Cards.  I’ve decided to offer them for sale, and here is a preview of the designs.  Shipping is quick because I have a good local printer, so you still have time.  The black and white card is a “Color Me” card.: color it yourself or find a child to help you color before you send it. :-)  Sets are $20 each and available immediately from my webstore:

Not all autumn skies are fiery.  A couple of nights ago, the sky painter used pastels.  It’s always beautiful out here on the ranch.  We hope you can join us sometime soon.  Make an appointment at, or call me and tell me you are on the Blog List and would like to come for a visit.  We would love to see you.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Cindy, Don & Tracy