Spring is here and I am wondering with amazement where did my winter go? Wasn’t I going to nestle in my cozy chair covered in blankets and catch up on books to read and knitting projects I had been dreaming about? Oh well! Everyone I talk to has said the same thing. Where did the winter go? What happened to all of my projects I had planned?? While we are like most of those hardy northern folks that actually relish in the winter months and maybe one or two really good snowstorms, we also really look forward to spring!
What moments of winter bring to us all are times to reflect and unwind. After 30 years of work in education and raising a family, I now have a great opportunity to care for our family of animals and our woodlands in nature. I also have the opportunity of building my calendar for daily and weekly check off items– things to do…etc. but what is most important as I work through my list, is the enjoyment of staying in the moment while I am completing my work. Finding time to put away the electronic devices that keep me connected to the world at large is really what keeps me connected to the world at large. Just the simple outdoor pleasures of building a paddock, creating a woodland path, taking care of our alpacas, spinning their fiber into yarn and then creating patterns and final pieces of knitted pleasures keeps me connected.
We have met so many wonderful people in this new adventure, only a half year old. There are so many amazing communities of people if you look for them. But to reach inside yourself and ground yourself in your passions of who you are helps to build those communities. We try to stay true to ourselves to follow our dreams, sharing with others that care. Creating the time to reflect and unwind, regardless of the season is first on my list. Being on the farm and working with our animals within nature is an ideal setting. Our friends and families have grown to understand why we chose this path…the only question is why did we wait so long!!
Happy Spring everyone! This spring season, we are watching in amazement both Emalyn and Winterberry continue to grow; enjoying our hound, Louie, frolic in the woods untethered; planning our “breeding dates” for 2017 babies and working the alpaca manure into hopeful gardens of herbs, vegetables and flowers and oh yes, adding to our farm some chickens!! :) Hope you find a quiet moment in your day to unwind and enjoy what you’re doing!! Sweet kisses from our alpacas to you!
Anne and Mike
Ms. Maddens Pk/K class is observing in their community how animals and plants change their environment based on weather changes and patterns. On their visit to Cape Newagen Alpaca Farm on 11/10/15, we talked about how alpacas change to keep warm when the weather changes. The children were able to feel Jackpots soft fleece. They also felt Caliente's fleece from last year that was on the skirting table. They worked together to crank the carding machine that aligns the fiber in order to prepare it to make yarn. They saw how we use the rougher fiber as nesting material for the birds in order to help the birds keep warm during the colder weather. They had lots of fun feeding hay and apples to the alpacas and a few children received some alpaca kisses (almost). Everyone had a great time! Thanks for visiting!
Its mid August and we are enjoying the warm summer air. Soon the humid weather will be just a memory...so for now it is to enjoy. The water buckets get filled a little more, the fans and the flies are moving fast. but more importantly, we have had so many wonderful farm visits from people of all ages. The alpacas are now quite used to being introduced to all our visitors. They are enjoying the extra grass, leaves and water sprays! All of the alpacas are quite a hit, but there is one that has stolen the show and hearts of all our visitors (and us)...Emalyn Alice. She is our little fighter! She has had help from EVERYONE who has visited our farm. From the girls who helped me gather up the spit,...ewww...for Emalyn to help with her digestion, to her cheering crowd from Bayberry Lane and Newagen, to those that helped bottle feed during one of her quarterly feedings and to our visitors from our next door peninsula, Damariscotta...we thank you! Many kind words and strong positive thoughts have been helping her grow stronger every day. While she is not able to stand for long periods of time unassisted, she is cushing more on her own and using the communal poop pile with my help to stand, as well as eating hay and grain on her own with the girls! So a big THANK you to all of our Emalyn fans! She is still with us fighting to build her strength! Enjoy the rest of your summer days!
Anne and Mike
March 2015. While the snow continued to blanket the island in what locals say is the most snow they have seen in seventeen years….our farm progress continues.
We "threw" the snow away from the work site so Ben and his crew could continue to work. This is a picture of our studio with a loft above. Wait until you see the view from inside looking out back to our pastures and woods. We wanted to create a space that felt like you were outside. I think the alpacas will be jealous looking in at us! We are continuing to prepare for our move full time in July 2015 - a little more than 3 months time.
January 2015. We just finished setting up a wall for our tack room. The planks and doors used to create the wall in our new barn were saved from the old barn built in 1900 on our property.
After many barn repairs over the years, and mixed emotions...we decided to tear down the old barn and rebuild a new one that wasn't smack in the middle of our narrow plot of land. The original barn housed the owner's horse and buggy as he was the local mail carrier for the island's south side (Cape Newagen). He went to the west side of the island to pick up the mail and delivered to all his neighbors.
Most of my requests to save any wood that looked good - were met with disdain….but a few years later after saving some of the wood it is put to good use again! It feels good to keep the old with the new.