Llama Pajamas

September 29 – Our latest animal visitors from next door have been visiting us lately – a pair of llamas! They seem to like it here and have been over here a lot. They have been wandering around out back and I have been taking pictures of them. Was surprised the first sighting to see one of them in our garden.

However, I do not have any plans at all to be extra friendly to them! I finally made up my mind to let them wander all over our eighteen acres if they wanted to, but they will have to provide their own food and shelter. Just too soon after we lost the second peacock for us to buddy up with another animal—or two, in this case.

So how did we find the latest want-to-be friends pair? I doubt that many such families, even out in the country, would arrive at our doorstep. Well, not at our doorstep, but not too far from it. About 10 days ago, I was hanging out the last of three laundry loads and decided to walk back to the place which we had just cleared of branches, sticks, and quite a few very big limbs, some of which I couldn’t pick up because they were just too heavy.

190929_Llama female

Female llama

Not too far from where I was, I looked off towards the barn, and I thought I was seeing a female llama! Yep, that’s what I just wrote. A female llama! And sure enough, there she stood not too far away.

Of course, Dale should see what I saw, so off I ran to the house, opened the door, and blurted out, “C’mon. Hurry up! I want to show you something! Run a little!” When we got to the area where the llama was standing as she found food she liked, we stood still and watched the dark brown animal enjoy what she had found.

A bit later, Dale announced, “Look at that, another one just over near the garden fence.” They must have though we were not to dangerous, because they continued chomping on bits and pieces of edible stuff (Well, THEY thought it was EDIBLE). “Do you know what kind of animal they are?” Dale asked. “Sure I do,” I answered. “And I’m not going to take a chance on being spit on if we bother the male. I really don’t know what it would be like but I sure don’t like the idea.”

I had just read recently that llamas do spit on each other from time to time. It’s their way of showing irritation or displeasure with other llamas. When this happens, they treat humans just like they would treat other llamas.

190929_Llama paired

Female and male llamas

All of the llamas we have ever seen were in recreational areas or in the zoo. People have told us that friends who live out away from the cities have tamed their animals. Now here were two of the animals we were seeing for the first time.

The female, a chocolate brown, was so different from the much bigger male. I would never know that they were a matched pair. The male was covered with hair and shaggy fur with the look of an animal that ruled the roost. I’d hate to have the job of cleaning him up for a parade or fair or something.

Now for a few interesting facts about the llamas. The six species in this family are found in two groups. Camels are found in Asia and Africa. Llamas, alpacas, guanacos, and vicuñas are found in South America. The species in this family are large and most of them have been domesticated. They have three-chambered stomachs. Their top lip is split into two and they can move each part separately! They have long necks and a small head and long legs with padded feet with two large toes.

190929_Llama male

Male llama

More facts: They live in small groups made up of females and their young and one adult male. The llama eats grasses and shrubs. They were used as pack animals. The llama is 5.5-6 feet tall from head to toe. It has two toes on its padded feet and can easily grip the rocky surfaces in its mountain habitat. The llama has long, shaggy fur. Its fur can vary in color from reddish-brown, to white, black, brown, or a combo of colors. Llama fur is used to make clothes.

The llamas have arrived for the day ever since on a semi-regular basis, and are resting back by the trees where it’s cool and quiet. Looks as if we have inherited those animals, and we are already wondering if they will ever stay in the yard atop the neighbor’s hill where they actually belong! – CHRIS

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