Two Ashe County alpacas will be featured in the Autumn edition of Alpacas magazine, an international publication.
Located in the Grassy Creek, Landmark Farm Alpacas owner Rachelle Bridges came across two of the farm’s alpacas, Globetrotter and Smudge, staring at a family of wild turkeys in the distance.
“(The alpacas) were about a month old and I was out in the field taking photos of them,” Bridges said. “I noticed the babies were standing like soldiers at attention and were focused on something.”
Bridges, with the camera in hand, got closer and noticed a family of turkeys crossing a field. While the turkeys do not show up in the final image, the photo captured their fascination.
“I just got lucky and got the shot,” Bridges said. “They are fascinated with stuff like that. A crow could land in a pasture and the alpacas would be riveted on it.”
She decided to submit the photo in a contest that took place at a national alpaca conference in Denver. Bridges’s photo won the contest out of over 200 entrants, and that led to the photo being published.
“The photo won the people’s choice award which meant it had the most in-person and online votes,” Bridges said.
Bridges said the contest started with 230 photos and was then narrowed down to 120 before her photo was selected.
Issues of Alpacas magazine are now out and a limited number of copies are available at Tractor Supply in Jefferson.
“They only put out three issues a year,” Bridges said.
The publication, based in Nashville, Tenn., produces three issues a year: one for spring, one for fall and a third that deals specifically with “herd sire,” – or alpaca breeding. The publication is produced by the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association.
Landmark Farm Alpacas is open to the public by appointment. Bridges said at their last open house, there were over 200 people in attendance.
During these open houses, the alpacas are friendly and get up close and personal.
“When we have our open houses, it’s funny because (the alpacas) are fascinated by children,” Bridges said. “The alpacas and shy, but they have to come up and check it out. They are just curious.”
The Bridges moved from Florida to Ashe County with five alpacas in 2010.
“We have owned the alpacas since 2008, but moved here with the first five in 2010,” Bridges said.