Part 1...Beautiful and hilarious faces...Take a peek for a warmed heart and a hearty laugh...Part 2 in a few weeks...

Check out that smile with grass!
Perhaps its just us.  Maybe we're somewhat daft for loving animals as we do finding joy, humor, knowledge and a passion for their health and well being as we tour the world.

They often appear to be smiling.  Perhaps, these gentle animals are as happy as they appear.
Whether its a bird, an insect, a lion, or one of the endearing alpacas on this beautiful farm in New Zealand, we stop to observe, to analyze, to study online to learn as much as we can.

Many moons ago we wrote about the therapeutic benefits for animal lovers when spending time in their presence. Whether its one's own pet or an animal in the wild, many find a surge of feel-good hormones rushing through their bodies.

The noses and lips of the cria are pink until they mature. This cria is only 24 hours old, hugging close to mom.
Yesterday, as we walked the grounds of the farm, I commented to Tom how spending time with the alpacas makes me feel as if I've been infused with an added dose of happiness, unable to wipe the smile off my face.

The bottom teeth are of varying sizes and shapes on each of the alpacas, not unlike in humans.
Looking at Tom, I saw that same smile and sense of peace on his face as we got up close to the alpacas many of whom have come to know us as we approach the fences at the various paddocks.

Again, we stopped to see the pink cockatoos to capture this funny photo from the moment they saw us.  Surely, visiting them will be a frequent stop over our remaining time on the farm. 

"Look," she says, "That weird pair of humans are back staring at us!"  Even the faces of birds are expressive.
Against the narrow diamond shaped galvanized chain link which houses the cockatoos, I tightly positioned the lens of the camera to ensure I got a good shot without any major amounts of chain link appearing in the photo.

Using photo editing software I was able to "erase" any remaining vestiges of the chain links, allowing as clear a view as possible of these exquisite cockatoos.

Its not unusual to see alpacas with grass sticking out of their mouths.
As I sit here now, sipping Tom's perfectly made French press coffee, I need only lift my head to peer outside on this chilly morning to see a number of alpacas munching on the dew covered grass in the side paddock to which they were moved a few days ago. 

Posing for the camera!
They're moved each week to one of the many paddocks to allow the grass to refresh and regrow.  Our favorite paddock is the one closest to the house, essentially in our immediate yard, where we can reach out and touch them from the deck. 

This is Gypsy Rose who loves to look in the kitchen window while I cook. This photo was taken through the glass.
Within a few weeks they'll be back close at hand which may be for the last time while we're still here, as our time winds down and we'll soon have to go.  Over these past almost two months we've come to know and love them not unlike we've adored other wildlife in our travels; warthogs, kudus, zebras, giraffes and more in Marloth Park and "Birdie", albatross and chicks and whales in Hawaii.

There are only a few dark fleece alpacas which appear larger and very expressive.
If we weren't determined to see many parts of the world, I could easily spend all of our travel time living in wildlife areas or on farms with animals (after this amazing farm experience). 

We love visiting these two located in a paddock further down the road, although still on the farm.  They often appear side by side although they are of the same gender.  Adult females (dams) and males (machos) are kept apart unless mating.
Its not beyond my realm to conceive of spending most of our time in Africa and other wildlife rich locations although doing so would be less ideal for Tom.  Instead, we both relish in one another's preferences making our travels meaningful to both of us. 

No, I haven't been disappointed living in countries where a passing bird or an insect may be the only creature within the range of the camera.  We always seem to find points of interest and other pleasing aspects of every country we've visited.

This female appears to have a mouthful of teeth.
Today, we share Part 1 of some of our favorite alpaca photos...faces...adorable,  heartwarming and funny, if not hilarious.  We'll share Part 2 on another date over these next remaining weeks. 

Most of these faces shown today were taken with our old camera. I'm anxious to capture more with the new more advanced camera, especially now as their fleece has begun growing back after their annual springtime shearing, making them even more adorable.

Ears tucked back for the photo shoot.
Smile with us, laugh with us and hopefully, you too will feel a little rush of endorphins and feel-good hormones from the sheer joy of such simple beauty in the faces of these somewhat peculiar looking creatures.

Today, we're off to the winery.  Back tomorrow with new photos!

Photo from one year ago today, March 9, 2015:
Its hard to believe it was a year ago we visited new friends Bev and Sam in Kauai who'd invited us to movie night at their home.  Bev and Sam are the couple from whom we'll be renting the fabulous villa in Costa Rica in 2017.  This photo is of a small portion of the grounds of their beautiful home in Kauai.  Bev explained that these red bamboo stalks on the right as Lipstick  Bamboo.  We continued on the pavers set in dense grass for an interesting tour of their gorgeous, former botanical gardens home.  For more photos, please click here.



Staci Finch Thompson said...

Those pictures definitely put a smile on my face! Precious animals for sure - so expressive!

Jessica said...

Staci, we're thrilled to hear you enjoyed the alpaca faces. I can't help but going back to look at the main photo with the grass sticking out of her mouth. What an adorable face! Thanks for sharing this wonderful journey with us! We love having you and all of our other readers along!

Much love,
Jess & Tom

Elizabeth Banks said...

In the UK we had a television program back in the 1970's called Animal Magic. It was filmed at Bristol Zoo, the city in which I now live. It was fronted by an amazing man called Jonny Morris. He had a fantastic ability to look at each animal and 'impose' a conversation or their perceived thoughts, creating an often amusing, if anthropomorphic story to their circumstances. Looking at these beautifully expressive photos of the Alpaca I can clearly hear his voice passing comment on you Jess and Tom!I recommend you looking it up on youtube-Jonny Morris 'Animal Magic'. Liz

Jessica said...

We'll definitely check it out on YouTube! Animal Magic sounds like fun, right up our alley!

Thanks for writing to us, dear Liz!

Jess & Tom

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