Wool Maker Lane

knitting, spinning and life with alpacas

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Into the darkness…

Heading towards the shortest day

Near where we live in County Meath there is a massive Neolithic passage tomb called Newgrange. It was built over 5000 years ago and is older than either Stonehenge or the pyramids at Giza. Each year on the mornings around the time of the winter solstice the rising sun shines through a roofbox and illuminates the passageway and the centre of the tomb. It is quite spectacular. The tomb is quite small inside and there is a lottery each year so that members of the public can have the chance to witness this incredible event.


Newgrange / Brú na Bóinne

The lack of daylight at this time of year affects all of us. I dislike going to work in the dark and also coming home in it. It means that I don’t get to see the alpacas at all other than at the weekends. When I feed them it is with a torch in my hand which is a shame but I look forward to the days getting longer in the new year. The lack of sunlight this time of the year can also have an effect on the alpacas’ health so we have to give them a vitamin supplement. Usually this would be administered by shooting it into the back of their mouth with a large syringe but when we originally tried this it was spat straight back at us. Now we just mix a tiny bit into their food everyday and they seem quite content with this arrangement although it does have to be stirred in thoroughly or they will leave it. It is vitally important for them though to keep healthy over the winter period.


Bootsy awaits his daily rations