William in center, Darcy to left and Biak at right—
corralled for shearing those heavy winter coats


First up: Mr. Darcy. Frank, Ann, Marty, Eric and Boaz at work.


Marty giving Darcy his “do” with help from Eric and, holding the line, Boaz


William is next, and calmer with Boaz sitting gently on his neck

Darcy checking on Biak


Darcy kisses for Eric

Thinner, cooler

Yesterday was alpaca shearing day!
It’s a festive day on the farm—
for humans,
and, when it’s done,
for alpacas too.
They will be much cooler
without their thick fleeces
come those sizzling days of summer.
But getting it off is no fun for them.
Marty and Eric,
shearers extraordinare,
brought Marty’s son Boaz with them
this year. Boaz is four
and already learning about caring
with animals. He helps set
and release the ropes. Then,
once Marty has skilfully
sheared one side of the alpaca,
and flipped him to his second side,
Boaz takes his place,
gently sitting on the animal’s neck,
to calm him.
Boaz seems to recognize at some level
the privilege of his position
and takes the opportunity to tentatively,
wiggle his tiny finger
into the thick hair atop the alpaca’s head.

Darcy, the ungelded one,
is most energized through this process—
spitting at and swift-kicking us as we comb him
before the shearing,
checking on Biak
as he is laid down,
then, when all are shorn,
first confronting Eric,
before exchanging kisses.
Biak—He Who Will Not Be Touched—
is most violated
by the ordeal, whimpering
the entire time anyone is being sheared.
He’s last
and once finished,
stands up calmly, quiet now.
William, the oldest, is most laid-back.
He and Darcy take turns rolling in hay
and then the three
take to the pasture,
their silky fleece
soon to warm
someone else.


Because Green Connections’ Earth Day Festival
is on Saturday, April 19,
you have another opportunity—
on the official Earth Day,
Tuesday, April 22—
to plan to attend
an Earth Day Rally
for Climate Change Action.
Sponsored by our friends
at The Peace House,
Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign,
Citizens Climate Lobby,
and Peace Education Institute,
it’s at the Oklahoma State Capitol’s South Plaza,
5:30 to 7 p.m.

Earth Day week
is a fitting time to consider
what actions, changes
in your life you will take
this year
to help create a sustainable life
for all.
Here’s a list to consider,
provided by Nathaniel Batchelder,
director of the Peace House
in Oklahoma City:

- Ask a minister/priest/rabbi for a message on Harmony with Nature/Earth
- Write a brief  “Letter To the Editor”
- Contact a Congress Member and communicate:
“GlobalWarming is Real & Man-Made. Do Something!”
- Challenge a house-of-worship and/or school to adopt a “Green” practice
- Check out the website:  <350.org>
- Lead a discussion on Global Climate Change (Or ask us at Turtle Rock Farm to help with that.)
- Switch to LED light bulbs – more efficient than compact flourescent bulbs… and they last much longer.
- Plant trees, bushes, or ground-cover not needing to be mowed
- Plant a vegetable garden.  Conserves lots of energy.
- Consider Vegetarianism
Conserves lots of energy.   Contact Vegetarian Society of OK http://vegok.org/ for a presentation
- Recycle what you can. (Home recycling in OKC is less than 20%)
Conserves natural resources. Saves energy. Reduces pollution.
Oklahoma Sierra Club http://oklahoma2.sierraclub.org/
Okla. City Sierra Club—http://oklahoma.sierraclub.org/cimarron/



We also encourage
water conservation,
solar cooking,
spending time in nature,
giving children a chance to lead exploration
in nature.
Find a “Sit Spot”—
a place you can go to daily
to watch what’s happening
in the “neighborhood.”
Learn about your bioregion.
Take a hike or walk weekly,
observing the natural world.
Take a workshop at Turtle Rock Farm
or ask us to present a program or retreat
for your group.
Every day
is Earth Day.


Sunday mid-afternoon,
temperature dropped from 83
to 65
and storm clouds darkened
as I drove west,
towards home.
Rain and hail pummeled
all for miles.
At home,
I emptied only three drops
from the gauge.
Monday morning,
snow blew almost horizontally
from the north
for a couple of hours.


A sunny close to the day that began with two hours of snow, falling almost horizontally

Early Monday evening,
we covered all blossoms
and tender plants
that we could
and set an alarm for 2 a.m.
to watch the lunar eclipse.


The full moon rose pink
just as sun was disappearing
in the west.
In the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday,
it turned orange
as it moved in
and out
of Earth’s shadow
during a complete eclipse.

DSCN3461Temperature dropped to 26
Tuesday morning,
as Robin sang atop the pecan tree,
and Yellow-Headed Blackbirds
had breakfast in the sun.
Busy days,
simply observing!

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