National Alpaca Day — yes, really

Close-up shot of alpaca. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Stackables.

Alpaca love. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

So there’s that thing, right? Where you go through life oblivious to stuff (like National Appreciation Days), until someone (my friend Sarah, over at Art Expedition) makes you aware of them.

Then of course, they’re everywhere.

Which is why you’re looking at a picture of an alpaca.

According to a post I saw on FaceBook (no eye-rolling please), in which a friend was tagged, today is National Alpaca Day. At least here in New Zealand it is.

According to the National Alpaca Association of New Zealand, “… Alpaca owners throughout New Zealand open their farms to the public to promote alpacas, alpaca fibre, and alpaca products.”

So if I get off my bum quickly enough, I can spend today overdosing on camelid* cuteness.

Since that’s unlikely to happen, here are some I prepared earlier.

Close-up shot of two alpacas, edited to oil painting effect with Snapseed and Photolab. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

More camelid cuteness. Edited with Snapseed and PhotoLab. Image: Su Leslie, 2017.

Sarah is doing a series of posts this month around the daily National Appreciation Days that take place in May. Please visit Art Expedition to see her clever drawings and paintings, and wonderfully creative posts. Since I don’t have Sarah’s skill with a paintbrush, I’ve enlisted the help of the Snapseed, Stackables and PhotoLab apps.

Group of alpacas.Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited to painting effect with Snapseed and PhotoLab.

Not sure of the collective noun for alpacas? Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed and PhotoLab.

A song to play us out?

How Bizarre, by OMC (Otara Millionaires Club) was released in December 1995. It was hugely successful in New Zealand, and unusually for Kiwi music, also charted (in 1996) in a number of European countries, as well as Australia, Canada and the US.

I first heard this while driving on the M11 near Bishop’s Stortford.

For those of you who remember the song, does it evoke any memories for you?

May is NZ Music Month.

* Alpacas, like lhamas and camels, belong to the biological family Camelidae, the only currently living family in the suborder Tylopoda. Camelids are even-toed ungulates classified in the order Cetartiodactyla, along with pigs, hippopotamuses, whales, deer, giraffes, cattle, goats, antelope, and many others. So there!

Thank you Wikipedia.


40 thoughts on “National Alpaca Day — yes, really

  1. OMG… That first pic brings back memories of when I got ambushed by Alpacas. One spat in my face while I was trying to take a photo of her, and another spat in my ear when I jumped back from the first one. Ugh!

    Anyway, love your art, Su! You were pretty brave taking that first shot. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow!!! That’s horrible. The ones we were watching were just totally chilled. Not particularly curious about us, and certainly not aggressive. I guess there was a fence separating us. πŸ™‚


  2. Wow! Thanks so much for another lovely shout out, Su! You humble me with your lovely and kind words, my friend! πŸ™‚ πŸ™
    And those alpacas are just gorgeous!!! I really am in love with them! Those eyes are simply irresistible! They could ask me for anything! πŸ˜‰ And I love what youΒ΄ve done done with the photos! I really thought it was a painting when I scrolled down until I saw that you yet again used so cleverly your various editing softwares πŸ˜‰ It makes me want to paint it exactly like that in fact! Would you mind if I give it a try? I canΒ΄t promise it will look anywhere as good as your piece but I would love to try!
    And I just looove that song! Thank you for beaming me back into my teens! We used to play it all the time here πŸ˜€
    Thanks for this wonderful, lovely and charming post! xxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome. I love the idea of this challenge. I know what you mean about the alpacas. I kind of wish I’d had time to go and visit an alpaca farm yesterday and find out more about them. I’d love to have few of my own.
      I’d love it if you want to paint in that style. Do you want the original photos for reference?
      I wondered if you knew the song? It was a hit in the UK when we were living there and I vividly remember how weird it felt hearing such “Kiwi” music on British radio. OMC did have other hits here in NZ, but nothing like the success of that song. Hope you’re having a great weekend. xxxx πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that would be so lovely if you had alpacas of your own!! I would spend the whole day with them – wearing protecting goggles πŸ˜‰
        Thanks for offering the original photos as well but this one will be more than enough πŸ™‚ I might get confused in the style if I were to look at the originals πŸ™‚
        I think the song was a hit here as well, at least it was often played in the radio and I remember dancing an singing along with it πŸ™‚ But I never knew it was a Kiwi group! I feel so ignorant for this! Thank you for enlighten me, Su! πŸ™‚ xxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        • If I had alpacas I could supply you with great wool to make felted slippers and we’d have winning business πŸ‘

          I was thinking about people not knowing where the ‘how bizarre’ band was from, and realised I never think about where bands come from, so I wouldn’t worry about it!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, that would be beyond awesome!! But I would feel so bad taking away their lovely wool – when they shear the sheep and goats in a little animal park nearby in the spring too early – like now! It was below 0 degrees last night! – I feel so sorry for them! Maybe I should knit them some jumpers πŸ˜‰
            I think in Germany most people assume English singing bands come from the US or UK…

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’d only shear them when it was warm enough. But I am totally loving the idea of knitting them jumpers πŸ™‚
            I think I tend to assume much the same about bands, unless I know they’re Kiwi.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I hadn’t heard that song before. Reminded me a bit of “Every Day I Write The Book” by Elvis Costello because of the hook. I wondered what made you pair the song with Alpacas, but then I read how Alpacas are in the same family as whales and then it made sense! It is Bizarre!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d never thought of that; must go and listen to Elvis C! No hardship there πŸ˜ƒ I love his music.
      I’m so glad you found a connection between post and song: I’d chosen it before I read that alpacas are related to whales; thinking more about how my mind worked putting odd things together!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the song, it brought back memories. It’s also interesting to me that it’s from New Zealand. I did not know that. I remember I liked hearing it on the radio in the car driving here and there. It’s a “drive with all the windows open” kind of song for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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