Tuesday, June 10, 2014

the true farming begins - and travel ends

    This past week  my husband and I spent innumerable hours at the farm until dark several nights in a row, getting the fencing up for the llamas' arrival on Sunday.  We also had to prep the stalls, get hay,  feed, minerals, etc., etc.  

The children, and indeed friends' children were on hand for the arrival.  The folks we bought the llamas from were later in arriving than originally planned, so we were lucky there was a nice fat garter snake to hold their attention for a bit.

Even our contractor and his dad popped by, ostensibly to mulch the  newly seeded field (which we had not yet seeded!) but they hung around  to see if they could meet the llamas.
    At last they arrived.

  Since our Farm is named Rivendell (with permission from the Tolkien Estate), my daughter and I have been keen to start out with names  from The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings for the animals, although Farmer Giles of Ham, and some of his less popular works may soon become resources for names. So the dark llama is now named Thorin and the white one Elrond.

     They are intended to be guardian animals for the sheep, but we will still work with them on haltering, leading, etc.  According to the family we bought them from, they had been trained to different tasks - Elrond as been a guardian for sheep before, and Thorin  did work with the public, so he is friendly  as far as llamas are friendly.  I think there is a misconception that they are sweet and as "in your pocket" as some horses can be.  They are not.  They can be friendly, but they do not want to be hugged and petted and played with.
    We all watched the  new arrivals for a while, and then Drew and I went and got fried chicken, and we all had a picnic, in the middle of the field, in the back of the pickup, watching the llamas, and watching cars slow down as they realized what was in the field.  Our daughter's boyfriend was there, and I believe this confirmed for him the fact that we are not your typical family:  we are artists, and farmers, and educators, and professionals, and hicks, and snobs, all rolled into one. But there are worse things we might be, so I am okay with that! We might be folks, with 9-5 jobs we felt trapped in, living in an apartment with no green space, and be miserable. Instead we are overworked, never stopping, always trying new things, but pretty satisfied overall.   I'm good with that!
The chickens are unimpressed!

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