Shear delight

Morgan Wagoner and Caitlin Smith make eye contact with an alpaca before brushing the animal.


Photos by Sam Green

Sonny Gustamantes shears an alpaca for Kathy Butler. Butler had 23 alpacas sheared for the fiber, a yearly ritual at the Butler ranch on Boggy Draw above Dolores. Enlargephoto

Sonny Gustamantes shears an alpaca for Kathy Butler. Butler had 23 alpacas sheared for the fiber, a yearly ritual at the Butler ranch on Boggy Draw above Dolores.

Sonny Gustamantes gives an alpaca a close shave down the neck. Enlargephoto

Sonny Gustamantes gives an alpaca a close shave down the neck.

Hank Gustamantes and Rachel Nellingan gather the fiber as it comes off the alpaca. Enlargephoto

Hank Gustamantes and Rachel Nellingan gather the fiber as it comes off the alpaca.

After shearing, two alpacas rub noses and reassure each other that all is well. Enlargephoto

After shearing, two alpacas rub noses and reassure each other that all is well.

Bags of fiber fill Kathy Butler's car, ready to take to the mill in Grand Junction. Enlargephoto

Bags of fiber fill Kathy Butler's car, ready to take to the mill in Grand Junction.