the llama down the road

This llama lives in a pasture a few kilometers down the road from us. It’s been there for at least a couple of years now. I’ve always thought it was quite a distinguished looking creature and have been meaning to stop and photograph it for months, but either I don’t have my camera with me, or I do, but the llama is so far across the field that it wouldn’t make much of an image. However, everything finally came together a couple of days ago and I shot these pictures.

The llama seems to be something of a loner. He or she lives in a field full of cattle, but I get the distinct impression that it doesn’t care much for their company. From spring through autumn, the llama spends much of its time in the corner of the field farthest from the barn. We’ve often seen its ghostly shape in the corner of the field, even late at night as we’ve passed by. Sometimes I wonder if it misses the company of others of its own kind.

Over the years, we’ve kept an assortment of animals, but never a llama. I’ve spun their fleece, as well as that of alpaca, and occasionally thought that it might be nice to have one around, but we’re past the stage of wanting the responsibility of caring for livestock.

My only firsthand contact with llamas was about fifteen years ago when I was in charge of an educational exhibit at one of the local fairs. We invited various livestock associations to set up a display on their chosen breeds. The display included an adult llama — quite a stately individual who stood quietly chewing its cud while gazing at the visitors over the weekend of the fair. One evening, some rowdy teenagers stopped to stare at the animal. One of the boys said something rude in a mocking tone of voice. Usually, the llama simply ignored the visitors, but this time, it walked to the front of the stall and spit on the boy’s face. It was very messy and certainly cleared the crowd away from in front of the stall in a matter of moments. I must admit that I laughed to myself and thought “Good for you!”


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11 Responses to “the llama down the road”

  1. romunov Says:

    “One evening, some rowdy teenagers stopped to stare at the animal. One of the boys said something rude in a mocking tone of voice. Usually, the llama simply ignored the visitors, but this time, it walked to the front of the stall and spit on the boy’s face. ”

    There is god! :D

  2. robin andrea Says:

    Great story, and a wonderful photograph. The story reminds me of a similar encounter I witnessed at the San Diego zoo. Many people were staring at the gorillas. Most of the people were quiet and dignified, but there were a few who had to do the “ape” thing by scratching under their arms and making grunting noises. Well, one of the gorillas turned its back to the crowd, defecated into his hands and flung it at the humans. It made me so happy, I still smile about it. I agree with romunov, on the basis of these two stories, “there is a god!”

    Hope your trip is going well.

  3. Peter Says:

    Great stories, Bev and Robin, as gross as that is, haha. I’ve never seen a llama spit, despite the many I have been around.

  4. burning silo Says:

    the trip was to start in the Mount Hood area on Thursday, but it was cold and snowing, the skiboarders were out for an early start to the season, so Bev has wisely headed further south looking for warmer weather and insects to photograph. Should have an update tonight or tomorrow…Don posting for Bev

  5. burning silo Says:

    romunov – Yes! You’re quite right. That’s just about how I saw it too! (-:

    Robin – Oh, great story! I’d have been laughing over that one forever too! And yup, the trip is going really well. I’ll have some photo and stories to share. Not sure if I’ll get them up before I leave this place that has WiFi to head back off into the wilds in the morning, but we’ll see what I can manage tonight.

    Peter – I guess the spitting behaviour in llamas is actually common, but mainly when they are angry or annoyed about something.

  6. Wayne Says:

    Love the spitting llama and poop-throwing gorilla stories. I think they know what they’re doing.

    Glenn wants llamas. It’s a low-level desire that I’m discouraging, should it go the way the much more desirable honeybee hives go.

    I was sure Don had posted this in Bev’s absence and was prepared to thank him for it, but perhaps not. Does Bev have access on her Great Adventure?

  7. burning silo Says:

    Hi Wayne – I just had access to WiFi last night and we’re just taking off to go birding for the day in one of the big wildlife areas in the south of Oregon, so not much time to write this comment. But yes, Don is posting a couple of pieces for me while I’m away. I had hoped to do a post from here today, but time is short and must move on. Having an incredible trip so far though, and will look forward to writing some things about it when I get my next chance to logon to my blog (might not be for a week or two though. Don will try to keep up on things at home until then. As for llamas, I really love them. Always thought they would make a wonderful pack animal for carrying water, camera equipment and light gear when out wandering in the woods and fields. Might even think about it sometime myself. Well, gotta go! Take care everyone! – bev

  8. Delia Says:

    I love the llama’s distinctive facial markings. Beautiful.

  9. Rawr. Says:

    Hello, thanks for the great information, it really helped me with my research project at school!

  10. Folly Says:

    I love llamas thus i love your photos

  11. burning silo Says:

    Thanks, Folly!