Monday, July 5, 2010

Heat Wave

Two huge industrial fans are running inside the stalls, with another giant fan inside the barn. Yet Tess sunbathes for much longer than any human I know could handle in the middle of this heat wave. Guess I am a product of my generation. I see Marilyn Monroe in There's No Business Like Show Business and hear her singing, "We're Having a Heat Wave." If I were younger, I'd remember the Muppets and Miss Piggy's version. So, at noon, when this photo was snapped, it was 96 and she was scaring me silly. Still, I have come a long way (with still a huge way to go) in learning llamas. A year ago, I called Carol Reigh, leaving too many messages asking if Tess was dying, and when I couldn't ring her up, I consulted an online vet (I can hear him lol) for way too much money. Now, I just monitor the girls every hour, as stealthily as I can (it is almost impossible to surprise llamas). I look to monitor their breathing (normal or air). If they are hot, I hose their bellies and legs down. I don't panic anymore. My learning curve is improving.

Rev is my veteran, and she should be pregnant, but I am not getting my hopes up since I had a false or absorbed pregnancy with Cierra. Not sure what it's called in llama language. Judging from her behavior, significantly changed well before the heat, I'd guess she's bred and a cria's in our farm's future. A first from Carol's Eskalaro is a great way to begin.

SP, aka Stimulus Package, was a last-minute switch; I was set to tell Carol I wanted Bodacious (a stunning girl--breathtakingly beautiful--fits her name) and then watched SP and the rest was history. She is a PERFECT fit for our farm; she is gentle, loving, and comes to me on call, but is willing to wait her turn. I am way head-over-heels in love with her. She loves attention, real hugs despite the heat, and you can tell she has been handled with loads of TLC (thank you, Carol).

And then there's Maria (as in the wind song), whom I sometimes call Maria, and either way she comes a-calling quickly. She stretches to rest her head on my shoulder while I handle her, but that will soon change. Maria will be a big girl one day, yet retain her gentleness. She is alpha to SP, and when it comes to food, she may be new but she gets her full measure without needing me to hover and help. She is, like in her photo, always there first, and I am SOOO glad she's in my herd. For many reasons, I wanted to grow my herd quickly, and at 6 now and hopefully counting a cria, soon at 7. A lucky number? Did I mention both have to-die-for fiber. Softer than you can imagine. Might just beat Tess on fiber.

I am impressed with the resiliency of these magnificent creatures and feel blessed with having such fine llamas to love.

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