Hello, friends and neighbors!
One last reminder about events planned on Westport Island for Saturday, April 29 at the Old Town Hall:
9 a.m.: Annual island cleanup: Come for coffee and munchies before grabbing a trash bag to clean up a designated portion of Westport Island’s roads. Bring work gloves. Thank you for helping to keep our island clean and green!
5-7 p.m.: Chowder-and-trivia night: Bring a crock pot of your favorite chowder for a taste test. Then join friends or a team in a trivia contest. Have fun while eating! Any donations to Helping Hands are always appreciated.
Attention, high school students and parents: Islander Wendy Thompson of Westport Educational Consulting is offering college counseling services in trade for gardening work. Wendy served on the admissions staff at Bowdoin College from 2000-2012, where she evaluated thousands of applications and conducted hundreds of interviews. Her admissions career spans 30 years and she has been advising students in the college search, selection, and application process since 2003. Contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 882-9932 if interested in this barter arrangement or to talk about the work she does with students. This is a great opportunity for any diligent high-schooler who is willing to work for expert advice.
389 Main Road is the place to stop to interact with some enchanting alpacas on Westport Island. Lee and Dan Bodmer invite people to meet and feed treats to their four furry boys: Fleecy (buck teeth), Gussy (no manners!), Marty (living stuffy, with knock-knees and shaggy ears) and Will (white-faced brownie). They will be sheared in mid-May, so stop by to see their lustrous, silky coats while you can. If interested, one can purchase alpaca products, such as reusable organic tea bags ($3 each or 2 for $5), organic alpaca manure ($10 for a 50-pound bag, but other quantities are available), or raw Huacaya alpaca fleece ($25 per pound).
Alpacas are a domesticated species of a South American camelid, smaller than llamas and bred for fiber rather than to be beasts of burden. Alpaca fleece is a lustrous and silky natural fiber similar to sheep’s wool; however, it is warmer, not prickly, and bears no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. Preparing, carding, spinning, weaving, and finishing alpaca fiber is very similar to the process used for wool. I own a beautiful sweater made of alpaca fiber, and my husband loves his alpaca fiber socks. The fleece could also be used for crafts such as needle felting or wet felting, and it might work for rug-hooking as well.
Alpacas are social herd animals that usually have an alpha male. They warn of intruders with sharp, noisy inhalations that sound like a bray. Sometimes they are used to guard sheep because they can be aggressive toward coyotes, foxes, and dogs. They can spit, which is usually reserved for other alpacas, but doing so results in “sour mouth,” characterized by a gaping mouth due to the stomach acids of these ruminants.
We enjoyed meeting these delightful creatures on Easter weekend, and we plan to stop in again to get to know them better. The Bodmers would love to introduce people to their fleecy friends, so don’t be shy. For more information, contact Lee Bodmer at email@example.com or call 221-5202. You can even check out the alpacas on their Facebook page, Gussy & Marty.
On another note, we received word of a rather large rabbit seen running early Easter morning, racking up as many as 10 miles! For more details, check with my source, Gerry Bodmer.
If you have any unusual sightings to report, contact your newshound firstname.lastname@example.org or call 231-4049.