hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Monday, January 31, 2011

Walking the Llama

Big bright sun yesterday, all day, accompanied by a crisp 30-ish degrees temperature.  Well, it's still January, if barely, so what can we expect?  We used the occasion of the sun, however, to arrange to take Lily the Llama out for a walk by the ocean.

First, you have to get the halter on her, which is neither easy nor hard.  She might be willing to let you put it on her or she might not.  You might have to wait a while until she expresses the willingness.  But you mostly just stand around while she prances back and forth, watching you very carefully, I guess to figure out what you have in mind.  My impression of llamas (based solely upon my experience with Lily: how about generalizing from an N of 1?) is that they regard humans as an inferior species with some possible interest as entertainment, although mostly not.  She will come over to me and put her face right up to mine and breathe in little snorts, and sometimes she kind of puts her lips on my face, which feels fairly friendly.  But, after a few seconds of that, she walks away as if I have dismally failed some kind of test of interest.

Anyway, Ed stood around with the halter in his hand and she bounced around mostly at a goodly distance.  Occasionally, she'd come right up to him, but when she got within his reach, she bounced away very quickly again.  After about 20 minutes or so of this, we decided that she wasn't going to submit to the halter and got ourselves ready to leave.  And as we made to leave, she came over to Ed and he put the halter on her easily.  Ed's view is that she was just goofing around and suddenly realized that if she didn't stop she was going to lose her chance to go for a walk on the beach.

So we walked her on the beach, or Ed did, anyway.  I just moved along with them, sometimes ahead and sometimes behind.  We ran into a few other walkers who stopped of course and took their measure of Lily while she took her measure of them.  They all seemed okay to her as far as I could tell.  When she's not wearing a halter, she is pretty standoffish.  But with the halter on, she was all over us.  When we'd stop for a bit, she'd lean her head over to me or to Ed, and we'd be standing there, head to head, or neck to neck, just being buddies.  Normally, she wouldn't be the least bit anxious to have me putting my arm around her neck or patting her on the head.  But on the beach walk, she even let the random beach walkers pat her.

Of course patting her on the head requires some height.  When she and Ed are walking together, the top of her ears are about on a par with the top of  his hair, which is in the 6-foot range.  She's really big and taking her out for a walk really isn't like taking a dog out.  She doesn't strain at the leash or have some kind of agenda of her own.  She's just with you out for a walk.  Nice day, you know?

And that's what we do in Point Roberts on a sunny day in the winter.

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