The 'Quiet' Drought That Has Snuck Up On Our Doorstep

Ten Daily   
By: Emma Brancatisano and Taylor Denny
Photo: By Justin Scott

Original content from Ten Daily.

Lynette Keneally is trying to peer through a crystal ball with a huge crack in it.

Every morning, she pulls on her boots -- slightly later now, being a mother of two -- to tend to her fruit trees, always thinking six, seven or eight years ahead. Her husband, a truck driver, works overnight to make ends meet.

But it’s all guesswork, because she has run out of water.

“I can see the rain clouds. I can smell them. But they're just not forming,” Keneally tells ten daily, from her Oakland property in the Wollondilly Shire, on Sydney’s south-western fringe.

Fifteen minutes up the road, Gavin Moore points out the city skyline from the highest hill on his family-run dairy farm. Milk is just an hour door-to-door to Sydney “as the crow flies”.

But this once-green picture is practically bare, the ground beneath the once green hills cracked, dams drained empty and farmers’ hands left calloused -- with many on the brink of breaking point.
Read the rest of this story, view the photos and watch the video at Ten Daily.

Royal Melbourne Alpaca Show: Malakai Stud to show 15 alpacas

The Weekly Times   
By: Bethany Griffiths
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from The Weekly Times.

SHANE Carey was just 13 when his career in alpaca breeding started.

After learning about the animal in high school, he thought he might try his hand at owning them.

“I started with two and built them up from there,” he said.

Some 25 years later, Shane is the owner of Malakai Alpaca stud at Miners Rest where he runs 300 alpacas, as well as breeding miniature donkeys, on 44ha.

The predominantly white and grey alpacas are grown for their fleece as well as being sold to other breeders.

Shane said it was the challenge of perfecting genetics that kept him interested, while the personalities of the animals were an added bonus.

“I just love the challenge of improving them and trying to better the breed,” he said.                                                                                                                                                                                        

Read the rest of this story at The Weekly Times.  

Hamish the lonely alpaca happy in his new home

By: Alice Angeloni
Photo: Supplied to Stuff  

Photo Caption: Hamish previously had to make do with the company of chickens, but now he's part of a new herd with other alpacas.

Original content from Stuff.

Hamish, the once-lonely-alpaca, has been adopted into a loving new home with five other alpacas, two goats and two pigs.

For the past few years, the stoic alpaca endured a life of solitude, yearning for the comfort of a pack, after his only alpaca mate Jack died following the 2015 Seddon earthquakes.

New owners Brendon and Hannah Price already had a small herd of alpacas at their block just outside of Blenheim, and were happy to welcome another into the fold.

Hamish was tentative and initially shy when he was dropped off last week, "they take a while to socialise," Brendon said.

"They sort of had a little growl at each other and then walked away," he said, recalling the tentative introduction.

"For Hannah and I, it was a case of knowing what alpacas are like and knowing they're very much a herd animal.

"For us a sixth one was not a biggie ... he'll certainly be a lot happier here."

Read the rest of this story and watch the video at Stuff.

‘Alpacas with Maracas’ to be read for 2019 National Simultaneous Storytime

By: Julia Baratta
Photo: Courtesy of Matt Cosgrove 

Original content from Books+Publishing.

Matt Cosgrove’s picture book Alpacas with Maracas (Koala Books) has been chosen for the Australian Library and Information Association’s (ALIA) National Simultaneous Storytime next year.

National Simultaneous Storytime will take place at 11am on 22 May 2019 as part of Library and Information Week, which runs from 20-24 May next year.

Tony Wilson and Laura Wood’s picture book Hickory Dickory Dash (Scholastic) was chosen for the 2018 event, which was the largest to date, with over 1,062,230 people participating at over 8255 locations.

Read the rest of this story at Books+Publishing.